(with a touch of nutmeg)
Makes about 1 C
I’ve already learned a few things this year: 1. Recycled resolutions are just as good as new ones, 2. Writing your goals down is a good practice, 3. Starting the New Year without any kind of hangover is the best way to go and 4. Claire Berlin has a food addiction. Her addiction is to cashew butter.
I made a bunch of these Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butters as host/hostess gifts over the holidays and was lucky to have a few jars left over. Now that Claire is past the 1 year mark, nuts and honey are foods that have moved to the OK list. She seems very pleased with that! As far as food addictions go, this one isn’t so terrible. It makes a great nutritious snack with some celery sticks or apples, for babies and adults alike.
Cashews are the lesser known nut in the nut butter melange. Peanuts obviously, but then almonds took over as the go-to nut butter. And for good reason! But cashews, oh cashews are mild, sweet and delicate in flavor. They are so rich, too. Cashews are MY go-to nut, especially when I’m making nut milk and butter. Have you ever tried ice cream made from cashew milk? It’s heavenly!
Cashews are originally Brazilian though we do get cashews from East Africa as well. Have you ever noticed that you never see cashews in their shell? It’s because their shell contains a toxic oil called cardol, which like its relative poison ivy, burns the skin if you touch it.¹ So, they roast the cashews, crack off the shell and roast again and voilà, they’re safe for consumption!
As far as nuts go, cashews have much less fat than other nuts and, most of its fat is unsaturated. Cashews’ fatty acids contains oleic acid which promotes good cardiovascular health. They are also high in antioxidants which may seem surprising. Cashews are high in copper and magnesium. Copper “plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin“² Likewise, magnesium is responsible for several functions in the body including balancing our calcium intake, as well as regulating nerve and muscle tone.² And, contrary to what many believe, nuts help you lose weight, NOT gain it! (Any resolutions coming to mind??)
So, jump start your resolutions and/or goals this year with a spoonful of this sweet, creaminess! Your heart will thank you, your bones will thank you, your cells will thank you, your waistline will thank you and your taste buds will simply adore you. Not a bad way to start the new year!
Happy Cooking and Happy New Year, friends!
2 C raw, organic cashews
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t (scant) nutmeg, freshly grated, if possible
2 t honey
2-3 T organic coconut oil*
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until it resembles nut butter.
2. This sounds easy but it takes some time. You’ll have to stop the food processor several times to scrape down the sides and bottom. You may also have to adjust the oil for a creamier texture or add more nuts if you want a chunkier, thicker butter.
3. Place in small jars to give away or save it all for yourself!
4. Enjoy, Enjoy!
*Because of the use of the coconut oil, the cashew butter will get hard after it’s been in the fridge for a while. It can be made without it, but the texture will be much thicker.
¹Rebecca Wood, The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia