When it comes to nuts, cashews are often the most overlooked. Peanuts and almonds are far more common, walnuts provide a bit more in terms of nutrition and Omega-3’s, and macadamia nuts are much creamier and more fun to snack on. You can usually find cashews tossed in an Asian Cashew Salad or in that container of mixed nuts, but that’s really it.
That’s too bad, because these little tree nuts are actually pretty delicious and versatile. They’re probably the sweetest of nuts, so while peanuts are savorier and almonds better for baking, cashews make some delicious desserts and treats for the health-conscious among us or those with food allergies.
To celebrate the unsung hero that is the cashew, here are 3 creative uses and recipes for cashews.
Cashew Mocha Latte
Cashew is often used as a dairy alternative for folks with dairy allergies and makes a decent milk – kind of like almond milk but so much sweeter. Thus, it’s perfect for making desserts and sugary-sweet drinks like mocha or lattes, or even just as a dairy-free coffee creamer.
Cashew Mocha Latte Recipe
This delicious cashew mocha recipe is delicious, tastes (almost) just like the sweetest, sappiest mocha from your local coffee shop, and is about 5x as good for you.
- 8 oz. espresso
- 4 oz. cashew milk
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 cocoa powder
- Blend all ingredients in blender on high for about 30 seconds
- Pour into a mug
Yeah, this one might surprise you. But cashews are actually very frequently used for making healthy, dairy-free “cheeses”. When whipped and chilled, they take on a very cheese-like texture and even flavor that is great for everything from homemade Paleo cheesecakes to homemade dairy-free brie.
One preferred use for cashew cheese, however, is as a “cashew mozzarella” for sprinkling and melting on healthy, allergen-free pizza. See more about how to use this recipe on a healthy, allergen-free pizza.
- 1 cup cashews
- 4 teaspoons tapioca starch
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until creamy smooth.
- Transfer into a saucepan. Stir continually.
- When the “cheese” has become stretchy and clumps into a ball, remove and cool off in a container. Once cool, chill in fridge for 1 hour.
- Slice into mozzarella slices, or shred for use on pizza.
Paleo “Cookie Dough” Fudge
This stuff tastes just like traditional cookie dough, but it’s really a delicious combination of healthy, nutrient-packed ingredients and foods that come together to give you the stuff you need while giving your tastebuds the stuff they want.
Like the cashew cheese, it’s designed to be completely allergen-free for those who need such accommodation but doesn’t sacrifice taste or sweetness. The cashews provide that sweetness with almost no sugar and are complemented by the natural honey.
In fact, many people find they like this Paleo Cookie Dough Fudge even more than regular old cookie dough with the usual ingredients!
- 8 tablespoons ghee
- 3 cups raw cashews
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil 1/8 cup maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut or almond flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Stick cashews in food processor until they have turned to meal, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Keep processing until the oils start to release – almost like peanut butter.
- Add the melted coconut oil and process until it turns into thick, moist-but-not-gooey dough.
- Combine the cashew butter, ghee, coconut or almond flour, and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer. Add the honey, salt, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add chocolate chips (if desired!).
- Stick in fridge for 30 minutes- or just skip that step and enjoy!