While I was out and about on my lunch break I visited my local health food store. I’m fortunate enough to be situated by a busy town centre, where I have access to an abundance of stores, a shopaholics nightmare. Thankfully I’m not a shopaholic, a food-a-holic – indeed that I am. I went to the health store to replenish some household items – shredded coconut, medjool dates, sunflower seeds and some cashews. I’m completely nuts about nuts but not their extortionate price.
My favourite nuts are Cashews and Macadamia – both are relatively costly. My thoughts soon turned to the upcoming recipes I was hoping to make using cashews. Noone likes to waste money, especially hard earned cash on expensive items, that’s usually my line of thinking. Given the price of cashews and my trial and error in baking, just like every other cook, I decided to try my luck with purchasing some nuts to make cashew butter.
Cashew are nutty and sweet in taste, well at least they are in my humble opinion. The results from making cashew butter were astounding, it’s definitely featured on my hit list. I made the nut butter using my trusty Vitamix, similarly there’s the option of whipping the nuts using a food processor, although this is timely and I’m not sure if the motor could handle the duration of time it takes to yield results. Having said that, I have seen many impressive results using a food processor, sadly the length of time it takes is less appealing.
The Vitamix is a powerful, sturdy machine so needless to say it can handle a bit of chugging with some rough and rumble. I honestly believe it was made with that in mind. I used 500g of cashews to make the butter; poured the nuts into the container, switched the machine from variable to high speed and used the tamper to push the cashew nuts onto the blade. It’s so important to use plenty of nuts in order to see the best results, the Vitamix needs something to grab onto and breakdown in large quantities during processing.
After a minute or so the nut butter should form, what you’ll be left with is pure heaven in a large container. Thick, creamy and highly additive butter. Keep in mind the texture is on the thicker side as cashew don’t extract oils like peanuts. You’d need a stone grinder for the nut butter to resemblance that ultra thin, creamy texture which is seen in stores nationwide.
The properties of cashews are unreal, they might be on the calorie dense side, yet they are packed with a bunch of minerals. Selenium, copper and zinc are crucial co factors for enzymes. Enzymes are a very important aspect of digestion, helping to breakdown the food we eat. Vitamin B5, B6 and B1 assist the cell structure and play a vital role in the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Another interesting fact about cashews is the soluble fibre (great for bowel movement) and phyto chemicals which protect against disease and various cancers. The fats in cashew are a complete contrast the to trans fats which run rampant on supermarket shelves. Monounsaturated fats are what I like to call “friendly fats” that help to lower the low density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as the “bad fats” which attribute to cardiovascular disease. The “friendly fats” lower these “bad fats” keeping our heart fit and healthy.
- 500g of Cashews (approx 2½ cups)
- Pour the cashew nuts into the large container and secure the lid.
- Switch on the machine and slowly increase the dial to variable 10 then to high.
- Insert the tamper and push the cashews down onto the blades. At this stage the machine will start to make a loud noise whilst converting the whole cashew into butter.
Feel free to add a tbsp or two of coconut oil if experiencing difficulty with pureeing the nuts.
High speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec is recommended.
Food processor is optional although results and time may vary