Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Cashews have already made their way into the balanced and healthy diet of many people. Not only can the kernels be used as a source of protein, but also as a real health bomb. However, many people are still not aware of the variety of uses for cashews.

We want to help you choose the right cashews for your taste and show you what you should pay special attention to when buying them. For the following product comparison, we have compared different varieties of cashews and filtered out the most important aspects.




The most important facts

  • Cashews are not nuts, although many people refer to them as such. They are the seeds of the cashew apple and therefore, from a botanical point of view, cashews and not cashew nuts.
  • There are many different variations on how you can enjoy and even use cashews. Whether incorporated into recipes or combined with a special seasoning with the cashews, you can try your hand at the world of flavours.
  • In addition, cashews also have many positive health effects on your body and you. Nevertheless, you should make sure that you do not eat more than a handful of cashews a day.

The Best Cashews: Our Picks

In the following section, you can read about our cashew kernel favourites. In this way, we want to help you gain an overview of the selection of cashews and find the ones that meet your needs.

Buying and evaluation criteria for cashews

The range of cashew kernels is very extensive and therefore the next section serves to give you a brief overview of what you should pay particular attention to when buying cashew kernels.

We have prepared the most important criteria that could make your purchase decision easier and they are as follows:

In order to enable a better comparison and evaluation of products, we will go into more detail on the criteria mentioned in the following paragraphs. Here you will also learn why you should look carefully when buying the kernels.

Origin

The cultivation, harvesting and processing of cashew kernels is very time-consuming and laborious and therefore often not fair. Minimal payment and child labour are not uncommon in the production of the kernels.

During the roasting process, the cashew kernels are freed from the toxic substances in the shell to make them suitable for consumption. But it is precisely these harmful substances that the workers are exposed to.

Therefore, look for the Fairtrade seal when buying products to declare war on these inhumane and bad conditions and to support fair working conditions and wages. This way, you make sure that the origin of your seeds also creates fair and increased employment.

Quality

Not only the Fairtrade seal could be relevant for you when buying the kernels, but also the organic seals. To be allowed to carry an organic label, the product must meet certain criteria that could also benefit your health.

This means that the cashews are free of all pesticides or that no pesticides are used during cultivation. Therefore, simply dig a little deeper into your pocket and opt for organic quality rather than supporting the additional burden on the workers and the harvested soil.

Taste

Tastes are different! This is not only true when it comes to choosing the right partner, but also when it comes to choosing the right cashews for you. You probably know the normal choice between salted and unsalted cashews. However, many people are not aware of the wide variety of flavours available.

Do you want something sweeter? Then you can enjoy your kernels in a chocolate coating or with honey flavouring, for example. If cashews alone are too boring for you, many supermarkets also offer a mix with cranberries or various nuts. If that's not special enough for you, flavours like coconut curry or wasabi might be worth a try.

Quantity

Depending on your needs, you can of course adjust the amount you buy. While you can get cashews in smaller packs in supermarkets, you can also get them in larger quantities online or in certain shops. You can already buy cashews in over 2 kg packages.

It is important to know when buying cashews that they will keep for about 2 more weeks after opening.

With a suitable fresh-keeping container, the shelf life can also be extended to several weeks. However, if you are not working in a catering business and therefore always need larger quantities of cashews, you should buy the kernels as needed.

When buying, however, you should also bear in mind that cashews, unlike other snacks of this kind, are not exactly a bargain. Logically, the price of the product increases with the quantity of kernels.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about cashews answered in detail

In the next few paragraphs, we will go into more detail about the most frequently asked and most important questions. We want to help you gain a better understanding of the world of cashews.

What are cashews and where do they come from?

For many people, cashews are also known as cashew nuts. But: Cashews are not nuts at all! They are the kernels of the fruit of the cashew tree, which is also called cashew or acajou tree.

This fruit is a drupe, which belongs to the group of nuts. From a botanical point of view, we are talking here about the seeds of the cashew apple and therefore the correct name is "cashew kernels", although we nibble and use them like nuts.

Although many assume it, the cashew nut is not a nut. It is the seed of a fruit known as cashew apple. (Image source: Bishnu Sarangi / Pixabay)

The main areas of cultivation and export include Brazil, the country of origin, Latin America, Southeast Asia, East Africa and India. The harvest period is from February to May, as soon as the first cashew apples fall to the ground.

What are the possible uses for cashews?

Cashews can be eaten not only whole from the store-bought package. There are various other ways to use the kernels. The following points should give you a little inspiration for different uses:

  • Milk and cream substitute - Cashew milk can serve as a vegan milk substitute.
  • Dips or sauces - Cashews are also a popular ingredient in pasta sauces and various creamy dips.
  • Baking ingredient - The kernels are also popular in cake or other baking recipes. Cashews are also very popular in vegan baking variations.
  • vegan source of protein - Only 100g of cashews already contain 21g of protein. The vegan protein source is also gaining popularity among sports enthusiasts.

As you can see, the seeds are versatile. Depending on what appeals to your taste buds, you can incorporate them into a wide variety of recipes or simply have them as a snack between meals.

What are the benefits of cashews?

Cashews are known for their many health benefits. With a regular consumption of the kernels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can be lowered, therefore ensuring a healthy and well-functioning cardiovascular system.

As a vegan protein supplier, cashews also support you in building muscle. If you don't want to gain weight, but rather the opposite, these kernels can also be helpful and also prevent type 2 diabetes.

What many people don't want to believe is that they can also have a mood-lifting effect. The L-tryptophan contained in them increases your well-being and your feelings of happiness.

In addition, the seeds serve as an energy supplier for your brain and support your metabolism. So you can see that cashews can have numerous positive effects on your health.

How many cashews should you eat per day?

There is no exact number that describes the ideal daily amount. The right amount of cashews per day can vary from person to person, because it also depends on the individual's physical condition.

However, one should be careful with any kind of nut allergy. An allergic reaction is not guaranteed, but it can happen. Therefore, always consult a doctor.

Remember that quality makes a big difference. Good quality offers you a better taste and a better effect on your health. There is nothing wrong with a handful of cashews a day, but larger quantities should be avoided for daily consumption.

What are the alternatives to cashews?

Although cashews are not nuts, they are often substituted with nuts. These could be almonds, peanuts or similar.

If you are allergic to cashews and want to substitute them in a recipe or something similar, you should first find out if your allergy is really only limited to cashews. Other alternatives may include the following:

  • Whole grains - used to add texture to the dish
  • Seeds - for example, pumpkin and sunflower seeds have a relatively similar taste

In addition, you can also replace cashews with dried fruits, which add a certain sweetness to salads and baked goods in particular. Dried fruits also contain plenty of fibre as well as antioxidants for your benefit.

Conclusion

Tastes are different and the suppliers of cashews know that too. The kernels are already available in many different variations. Whether simply salted or with wasabi or a curry-coconut flavour for people with more specialised taste buds, they reflect the variety of different tastes. They can also be combined excellently with different recipes.

Cashews not only have a convincing taste, but are also considered a good source of protein for active and vegan people. When buying the kernels, particular attention should be paid to organic and fair trade products in order to stand up for fair working conditions and a healthy snack for in between meals.

(Cover photo: Ngamnithiporn/ 123rf)

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