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America’s most beloved breakfast/lunch/snack is probably definitely PB&Js. They’re easy to make, they fit into any lunchbox, backpack or bag, and – of course – they’re super yummy. What really makes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich so awesome is that basically anyone can make it in a short period of time and every American probably always has the ingredients in their cupboard. Unfortunately, peanut butter isn’t the optimum spread for your sandwiches for quite a lot of reasons. Before going into detail about this, we would like to introduce you to cashew butter. You know cashews, those delicious nuts that you snack on when you’re in the mood for a healthy treat. Well, you can take them and make a wonderful alternative for your everyday spread. Yes, you heard us right; you can make cashew butter yourself, right in the comfort of your own home. We guarantee that it is way easier than you thought it would be, and your body will surely thank you more if you replace peanut butter with it.
So why exactly has cashew butter become all the rage recently? As society is growing ever more health-conscious, more and more people are beginning to gather information about how they can take better care of their body by themselves. Not everybody can afford all-inclusive gym passes, and frankly not many people have the time to exercise as much as they should. The majority are searching for low-cost super foods that they can fix up at home in the classic do-it-yourself manner. Specifically cashews are gaining popularity, owing to their countless health benefits (check out all the super hero qualities cashew nuts possess here). Cashew butter certainly falls under this category and you will soon find out everything you need to know so you can whip up a delicious and healthy batch at home.
Peanut Butter VS Cashew Butter
We have so many reasons to vouch for cashew butter that we are 100% sure it would conquer peanut butter in a celebrity death match. All jokes aside, cashew butter truly offers a wide range of advantages that will convince you to use it as your new favorite spread. Let’s see what each one offers and we’ll let you have the final verdict.
- While peanut butter is usually used for sweet snacks (like biscuits, sandwiches or cookies), cashew butter is not only a great spread for sandwiches, but also can be used as a key ingredient for various dishes and sauces.
- Peanut butter is obtained only with roasted ground peanuts. Cashew butter, on the other hand, can be fixed up with roasted and raw cashew nuts. In fact, it is widely appreciated that cashew butter made from raw nuts is the healthiest of its kind.
- As peanut butter needs to be preserved in a refrigerator so it won’t go bad, cashew butter made from raw nuts does not require being stored at a low temperature after it is sealed.
- In the composition of peanut butter we find sweeteners, hydrogenated vegetable oils, dextrose and salt. Cashew butter is 100% unprocessed and, obviously, a lot healthier.
- Nutrition 101: cashew butter contains high levels of nutrients, unsaturated fats and proteins, lots of proteins. Also, the cholesterol levels in cashew butter are significantly lower. Peanut butter, on the other hand, is packed up with large amounts of calories and fats that will surely harm your body if you regularly consume it.
- Texture: peanut butter is commonly found both in crunchy and smooth versions. That’s great and all, but the super creamy texture of cashew butter is incomparable. Even more so, you can actually enjoy the rich taste of nuts in cashew butter, as opposed to regular peanut butter.
Make Cashew Butter at Home!
Possibly one of the best advantages that cashew butter presents is that you can easily make it at home. If you love do-it-yourself recipes as much as we do, you will surely enjoy consuming your very own homemade butter. You don’t need a lot of extra ingredients and it takes only around 5 minutes to make.
One of the most widely appreciated recipes for homemade roasted cashew butter involves just 4 ingredients (or 3, as the last one is optional) and a blender or food processor.
This is what you are going to need:
- 2 cups of roasted cashews that are not salted
- 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
You take all of the ingredients listed above and combine them in a blender or a food processor (any of them will work just fine). You then set your appliance to high speed and process the mixture for around 30 seconds. Afterwards, you take a spatula and remove the excess on the sides of the appliance and continue processing until you get the right amount of smoothness you’re looking for. If you want to obtain a creamier and smoother butter, you add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil at a time until you get the perfect texture.
Many people believe that raw cashews are a lot more delicious than roasted ones, as they have an incredibly creamy texture and are super sweet. The process of making raw cashew butter is quite similar to the one for roasted, it just involves less ingredients and more patience. Most recommend a powerful food processor, as you’re taking whole raw cashews and attempting to transform it into a creamy spread. You could try around 500g of raw cashew nuts and put them all in your food processor. You run it at high speed and you’ll notice the texture changing from minute to minute. After around 10 minutes of processing, it is advised you take a break so you won’t overheat your appliance. You basically keep processing the cashews until you reach your desired state of smoothness. Spread and enjoy!
3 Recipes with Cashew Butter
Now that you know how to create your dreamy cashew butter, you might want to know more about how you can fit it in your home-cooked dishes and enjoy it in other ways. We have picked out 3 genuinely mouth-watering meals you can fix up at home with cashew butter and enjoy with your entire family. Check them out and try one tonight for dinner!
1. Coconut Cashew Chicken Satay
You are absolutely going to fall in love with this dish, trust us. It contains three sacred “C”s that are delicious both on their own, as well as cooked together: coconut, cashew and chicken. Fix it up & bon appétit!
What you need:
- 1 ½ pounds of chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
- ½ cup of the cashew butter you just made
- ½ cup of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (you can tree gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce
- ½ cup of coconut (toasted, sweetened and shredded)
- 8 soaked wooden skewers
How to make it:
Let your oven preheat and 450 degrees Fahrenheit while you get together your sauce. Take the freshly-made cashew butter, coconut milk, dark brown sugar, lime juice, gluten-free soy sauce and the sweet chili sauce in a food processor or blender and run until it becomes a smooth sauce. Take half of it out and put it near you. Afterwards, you take the chicken breast and slice it into strips, adding as much salt as you want. You then take half of the sauce you set aside and put it on the pieces. You then put the chicken strips on the skewers and prepare them for cooking. Take a cookie sheet, cover it in foil and pan spray, and then put the skewers on the sheet and leave it in the over for around 10-12 minutes, until they are well baked. After you take them out, add some toasted, sweetened and shredded coconut on top and enjoy with your remaining sauce.
2. Cashew-Mushroom Stuffing
This is a wonderful alternative for stuffing that doesn’t take a long time to prepare. Even though the baking takes a while, putting together the ingredients will only last a few minutes.
What you need:
- 1 ½ cups of cashew butter
- ½ cup of onion
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- ½ cup of mushrooms
- ½ cup of celery
- 1 green pepper
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 cup of flour1 cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of water (make sure it’s warm)
How to make it:
After you gather everything, you need to chop up the onion, mushrooms, celery and green pepper. You then take all of the ingredients listed above and mix them up well, afterwards placing the mixture in a pan lined with oil. Set your oven to 350 degrees, place the pan inside and let the stuffing bake for one hour until ready to use.
3. Fruit Muffins with Cashew and Honey Nut Butter
We’re saving the best for last. What can be better after a hearty meal than a delicious dessert? We have the best healthy alternative for any sweet-tooth: fruit muffins with cashew and honey nut butter. The entire process won’t take up more than half an hour of your time, so try this treat out for your friends and family soon!
What you need:
- 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons of baking powder
- ½ cup of cashew butter (that you can make yourself, of course)
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons of honey
- ¾ cup of milk
- ½ cup of fruit (we recommend fresh)
- 1 jar of jam
How to make it:
Set your oven to preheat at 375 degrees and get your muffins tins oiled. While the oven preheats, you mix the flour and baking powder and then the butter, honey, eggs and milk. Mix it all well and then fold in fruit, afterward filling your muffin tins to the top. Take the jam and add a teaspoon on top, swirling through the batter with a toothpick. Instead of icing, add nutmeg on top of your muffins before baking them for approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Photo credits: The Healthy Foodie