What is cashew butter?
Cashew butter is a creamy paste with a naturally sweet taste. It’s made from roasted or raw cashew nuts that have been ground to a smooth texture to release their oils. Good quality cashew butter contains just cashew nuts and nothing else. But, be warned, sometimes manufacturers add sunflower oil to make it more spreadable, so always read the label before buying.
If you want to make really sure you’re just getting 100% cashew nuts in your butter, why not make your own? It’s really easy. All you need are cashew nuts and a blender – blend the nuts for 10 minutes, blend a bit more, pour into a jar and store in the fridge.
Sometimes the butter can separate when it’s stored, with the oil coming to the top. This is normal and no problem. Just stir before using. As it’s quite high in fat, it’s important to always store it in the fridge to make sure it doesn’t become rancid.
Cashew butter is lighter in colour than peanut butter and almond butter, being a pale golden brown colour.
For those with adventurous taste buds, why not try some variations? Try adding mango or turmeric with its unusual earthy sweet flavour. Or add your favourite superfood powders or spices. We recommend maca powder, cinnamon and nutmeg as great additions to your homemade recipe.
Because all that cashew butter contains is cashew nuts, the health benefits are similar.
Cashew butter is a rich source of proteins, vitamins and unsaturated fats. These are all known to support your immune and nervous systems, maintain healthy cells and increase muscle and skin tone.
Even though it has a high fat content, it contains less fat than other nut butters. Around 75% of the fats in cashew butter are ‘heart-friendly’. Fatty acids including oleic and palmitoleic acids can help increase ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood and lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. And this all helps to reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes.
Cashew butter is loaded with phosphorus, copper, iron and magnesium. Phosphorus and magnesium are essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium also helps to reduce the frequency of migraines, improve brain function and lower blood pressure. Copper is important in supporting the functioning of several enzymes and a lack of iron can result in fatigue, weakness and sometimes anaemia, so it’s really important for good health.
A 20-year study of 80,000 women showed that women who eat at least 25g of nuts each day have a 25% lower risk of getting gallstones. 25g of nuts is roughly 2 tablespoons of cashew butter, so that’s pretty easy to fit into your diet.
At its simplest, cashew butter can be spread on wholemeal toast. Topped with banana and cinnamon, it’s absolutely delicious. You could also try a dollop on your porridge or breakfast cereal. When it comes to savoury flavours, add to pumpkin or butternut squash soup or to pasta sauce, salad dressing or in a stir-fry for sweetness. It’s also tasty with ice cream, in cookies, cheesecakes and brownies.
When used in energy ball recipes, it holds the mixture together acting as the ‘glue’ while adding its distinctive sweetness.
Energy ball recipes including cashew butter: