Wednesday, August 4, 2010

 In May, I saw Tal Ronen on TV, he is the author of the book "The Conscious Cook", an excellent vegan cook book. He prepared a cream soup using cashew cream and here is how the cream  is made.
Servings: Makes about 2 1/4 cups thick cream or 3 1/2 cups regular cream
2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water
Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch.
Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth.  
 (Click on the picture to find the book in our store)
To make thick cashew cream, which some of the recipes in this book call for, simply reduce the amount of water in the blender, so that the water just covers the cashews.
As  nuts are Yin, I always roast them a bit before use.
Health benefits of Cashew nuts:
Cashews are packed with soluble dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals; that help to protect against diseases and cancers.
Cashews are rich in energy and nutrients. They are rich in “heart friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids that help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol.  Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Cashew nuts are very rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Eat just a handful of cashew nuts every day to avoid minerals deficiencies. Selenium is an important micro-nutrient which functions as co-factor for antioxidant enzymes such as Glutathione peroxidases, one of the most powerful antioxidant in the body. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis.
Cashews are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that our body requires them from external sources to replenish and essential for metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates in the body.
The nuts are also containing good amount of Zea-xanthin, an important flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes. It is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions, help prevent age related macular degeneration.

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