TIL something new about Cashews (and Paleo diets)steemCreated with Sketch.

in #til5 years ago (edited)

What botanical category do cashews fall into?

I eat cashews myself and use them for baking and to make milk. But today I was wondering about whether cashews are technically allowed on the Paleo diet. So I went searching…

Does it really matter what they are?

In some ways, no, not really. Weston A Price found, during his travels, that all grains, nuts, seeds and legumes were soaked, sprouted or fermented before being eaten by traditional cultures. So either way, you will get maximum nutrition and minimum toxins from soaking your cashews before using them.

But for Paleo diet, nuts and seeds are allowed, and legumes are not. For a raw diet, they would need to be raw. So let’s dig a little deeper.

Are cashews NUTS?

They are often referred to as cashew nuts. Most people think they are nuts. But although in a culinary sense, they are used as nuts, botanically they are not tree nuts.

Are cashews LEGUMES?

Many people who know a bit about nutrition think cashews are legumes.

That’s what I thought myself, which is why I suddenly started thinking some of my recipes might not be Paleo after all. But to my surprise, and relief, I found that no, they are not legumes either.

What are they then?

They are seeds. Specifically the seeds of the cashew apple.

So technically, they are suitable for a Paleo or GAPS diet, and it’s all good to go for making my Grain free, dairy free Pumpkin & Cashew Bread.

Are they raw?

Ah, there’s the rub. Even though some are labelled raw and some are labelled roasted, they have actually all been cooked. This is because the outer shell is toxic, and the entire thing needs to be roasted before the inner seed can be extracted safely.

Apparently there is one small producer in Indonesia who has developed a safe way to extract them without heating, but these are not available in most places.

So if you eat all raw, you may prefer not to include cashews.

Are there any other reasons not to eat cashews?

Like all of the seed foods (grains, legumes, nuts and seeds) they are calorie dense. So be careful with your serving size.

1 oz (28gms, about ¼ cupe thi) of cashews contain:
• Calories – 155
• Fat – 12g
• Carbs – 9g
• Protein – 5g

They are related botanically to poison ivy, mango and pistachios. Some people have bad reactions to them, so if you’re having issues, and eat cashews, consider excluding them for a while.

And remember that, due to the presence of phytic acid, they are better for you if soaked in salty water for one to six hours, then drained and rinsed. You can then use them in a recipe straight away, or dehydrate them till crispy for storage.



Thanks for reading. Back to my series on Dairy tomorrow.

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Grain free, dairy free Pumpkin & Cashew Bread
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• For MORE RECIPES and my 15 step Whole Food cooking course, see my recipe website.

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GAPS diet Part 3: Foods we CAN have
GAPS diet Part 4: What if I can’t eat some animal foods
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hows the crazy summer weather today down there - we just got wind and a little bit of rain

It's been windy, but nothing out of the ordinary for Wellington. Unless it's still due to come through overnight, I think it's passed us by.

They are from custard apples? Well, not the kind I am used to, the seeds from those are more lenticular than kidney shaped.

Nice to know a favourite seed is paleo :)

Bother! Typo or maybe autocorrect. That should have read cashew apple. Thanks for picking that up. Corrected now.

Roasted cashews taste amazing. I just learned they were not true nuts less than a year ago. I wasn't aware the shells are toxic, however.

interesting stuff. I avoid cashews...but only because I find them addictive. I open a bag, no matter what size...all gone, down the chute. These are my snacks of choice... good, bad or indifferent?

Cashews are awesome. \0/ I can destroy a full bag if not careful. :) Love them. I am on 10 almonds and 10 cashews per day these days.

1/4 cup in my smoothie is my allowance per day at the mo.

I knew there was something not right about cashews!

I'll stick the real nuts - like peanuts.

hehehehe (yes, I know......) :-)

Cashews are one of my favorites, second only to macadamias, but I had to stop eating them because I developed an allergy, and started getting crazy inflammation every time I ate them. I miss my cashews.

Great post. Thank you.

I seem to be ok on cashews, but I'll keep an eye on that. What specific symptoms did you notice, if you don't mind saying?
Macadamias are my favourite too, but I can't seem to digest them, they just go right through me, sadly.

As soon as I'm done eating them, my gums swell up, and itch. It's kind of disgusting. It didn't used to happen.

Great article. I was one of the people who actually at one point believed cashews were a legume. Thanks for the informative post!

Wow thank you for all your research. Love cashews!

Yes, me too!

OMG! I've just been to your website. Those treats look amazing. Double amazing because I'm in the process of coming off water fast, and things like honey and chocolate haven't made it back in yet. And sadly I had a reaction to almonds! But I will do some energy work to neutralise that at some point. I imagine it costs a lot of SBD to ship to New Zealand though.