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(FREE) Cashews, Soaking and Drying

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Cashews, Soaked and Drying

Cashews,-Soaking-and-Drying-featureCashews are a magical ingredient in the raw food world but they have been gaining great popularity in the cooked world too.  Vegan chefs use them as a staple that stands in for dairy in a variety of ways.

Cashews don’t have a really strong flavor of their own, they are just a vessel for fat and creaminess.  Apparently, roasting them brings out the sweetness in cashews. Did you know that cashews technically are not nuts? Instead, they are the seeds found in cashew apples, a fruit that grows on trees in tropical climates.

Cashews are sold shelled because the interior of the shells contains a caustic resin, known as cashew balm.  This must be removed before they are fit for consumption. This caustic resin is actually used in industry to make varnishes and insecticides.   The removal process brings up much controversy as to whether or not cashews can be purchased raw or not.

Because cashews don’t have a thick outer skin and they already start off as a softer nut, they only need to be soaked for about 2-3 hours.  You can soak them over night, just be sure to place them in the fridge.  Over soaking them can lead to bitterness, slimy water and a leaching of their flavor.

I soak cashews for two reasons… one is to reduce the phytic acid found within them and the second reason is for softening them which make them easier to process.   With a high-powered blender you can make the creamiest-mouth-feel textures!  This is the one nut that I don’t immediately soak and dehydrate once bringing them home.  For the most part I use wet, soaked cashews in my recipes; creams, sauces, desserts, “yogurts”, etc.  The only time I soak and dehydrate them is when I am planing on adding them to a trail mix, making nut butter or when making a flour out of them.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups raw cashews
  • 1 Tbsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 8 cups water

Preparation:

Soaking:

  • Place the cashews and salt in a large bowl along with 8 cups of water.  The cashews will swell during the soaking process, so you want enough water to keep them covered.
  • Leave them on the counter for 2-3 hours.  Cover with a clean cloth and lay it over the bowl, this allows the contents of the bowl to breathe.
  • After they are done soaking, drain them in a colander and rinse them well.

Dehydrator method:

  1. Spread the cashews on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator.  Keep them in a single layer and dry them at 115 degrees (F) until they are thoroughly dry and crisp.
    • Make sure they are completely dry.  If not, they could mold, plus they won’t have that crunchy, yummy texture you expect from nuts and seeds.
    • The dry time will vary due to the machine you own, the type of climate you live in and how full your dehydrator is when drying them.
    • Expect anywhere from 12 + hours.
  2. Allow them to cool to room temperature before storing.
  3. Store in airtight containers such as mason jars.  If you plan on using them with in 3 months you can store them in the fridge.  Anything longer, store in the freezer.

Oven method: (no longer raw)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Spread the cashews on an ungreased cookie sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Don’t leave them unattended, due to their high oil content, they will continue to roast after you remove them from the oven.  when toasted correctly they taste toasted, not bitter or burnt.  Good idea to stir them around a bit throughout the process.
  4. Cool for about 1 hour.   Make sure that they are cool before storing.
  5. Note ~ You can also attempt to dry the cashews in the oven and keep them raw but this is tricky.  You will need to set the oven on the lowest setting, keep the door ajar and hang a thermometer in the oven to watch the temperature.  Nothing is impossible.  With this method… good luck and do your best. :)

Many people choose not to consume cashews because they contain oxalates.  So I started to research this a bit more.  I read, “Cashews are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating cashews. Laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body. Yet, in every peer-reviewed research study we’ve seen, the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is relatively small and definitely does not outweigh the ability of oxalate-containing foods to contribute calcium to the meal plan. If your digestive tract is healthy, and you do a good job of chewing and relaxing while you enjoy your meals, you will get significant benefits” (source)  For more information on oxalates and which foods contain them, you can read about it (here).

14 thoughts on “(FREE) Cashews, Soaking and Drying

  1. […] 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked 2+ hours […]

  2. Kari says:

    Hello! Is it possible to go through the soaking process, and then store the nuts for a few days prior to using them in a recipe?

    Better yet, can nuts be soaked upon purchase and then stocked in the freezer? Will this impact the nutritional profile?

    Thanks for all of the great content! Your work is inspiring.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Kari,

      Yes, you can soak nuts and store them in the fridge for a few days. I keep them in water and change it out daily.

      I am not sure what the purpose would be to soak and then freeze the nuts. You might lose some flavor and risk getting ice crystals on them which can taint the flavor. I would soak as needed, or soak and dehydrate the nuts. That is what I do whenever I bring some home from the store.

      Thank you for the kind words. I hope you find many recipes to bring you inspiration. Blessings, amie sue

    • Sarah Jane says:

      Kari,

      I’ve tested soaking and freezing un-dehydrated almonds and cashews with success. The almonds are soaked, peeled, rinsed, and stored in sandwich baggies (1 cup measure) in the freezer to use for making almond milk every week.

      I measure and bag soaked and rinsed cashews to readily have on hand for specific recipes or to make cashew milk or cashew creams.

      I think the longest time any have remained frozen might be a month before use.

      And, Amie Sue, I LOVE NouveauRaw! I’ve learned so much and heavily rely upon your information/instructions! Thank you so much!

      Blessings to you all,

      • amie-sue says:

        Thank you Sarah for chiming in. Kari and others will love to read what you shared. And thank you for the sweet words. It means a lot. Have a blessed day, amie sue

  3. Shirlene says:

    I left my raw cashews soaking overnight and part of the next day. They had some discolouration on them. I made salad dressing and put it in the refrigerator. Is it safe to eat and store for the rest of the week. I have tasted several times and did not have any ill effects .

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Shirlene,

      Most likely, they are ok. But here are a few things to think of. How fresh were they to begin with? Did you test the raw nut to make sure it wasn’t rancid? Since nuts and seeds are high in fats, they can go rancid so it’s a good idea to taste test them before using them. Were they left on the counter or in the fridge? If in the fridge, I would easily say that they are ok. If on the counter… how warm is your house? Too warm of temps might cause them to go bad. Did you smell them? Taste them? Did they pass those tests? If they taste “off” to you… I would risk it. I really can’t give a black and white answer because as you can see, there are many variables.

      I hope this was helpful. Keep me posted. Blessings, amie sue :)

  4. Todd says:

    Hi,

    We were interested in your thoughts , experience & wisdom on the following.

    We buy raw cashews, wash & rinse them, then slow roast (or is this ‘drying’) them overnight in the oven (lowest setting is 170*F). This was the method a friend of ours has used for years, and we’ve had good success with it: our nuts are sweet tasting, never burnt, or bitter.

    Are we doing this right, or are we ruining the health benefits of the nuts?

    We tried this with macadamia nuts – occasionally we’d get a bitter one, or a chewy one, but overall they were good. Again, are we ruining the nut in our cooking method?

    We now have a gob of raw Brazil nuts that we’d like to have a go with. We’re tempted to follow your recipe, at the same time, we’ve grown accustomed to “doing it the way we were shown” – whether that is the ‘correct’ method…..we are eager to learn.

    Happily, we will let you know what we try & our results, & we would also appreciate your input, suggestions.

    Thank you ~

    Todd & Susan

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Todd & Susan,

      Please read through this posting that I did regarding your questions. I hope that you find it helpful. https://nouveauraw.com/soaking-nuts-seeds-and-grains/soaking-nuts-dried-fruit/

      Bottom line, if you are using raw nuts and want to get the most nutrients, then you will want to use 115 degrees (F). Anything above that starts to kill those active enzymes and nutrients. I understand the draw to roasted nuts so you just have to decide what is a priority for you. Please do keep me posted if you do some experimenting. Many blessings, amie sue

  5. Niki says:

    Thank you for this info, have you experienced cashews turning purple after soaking? And if so is there any concern (oxidation etc)?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Niki,

      Great question and a tough one. This has happened to me too if I soaked them longer than usual. I have researched this topic but can’t seem to find any scientific information to back up if it is a good or bad thing. A lot of people has shared their thoughts but again, nothing that I trace back to science. I have continued to use them and never had any ill effect. They didn’t taste any different. I have put a few inquires out and will see if anyone can answer this question. I will keep you posted. Blessings, amie sue

      • amie-sue says:

        Ok, I got a response from Wildernessfamily.com who spoke to a nut expert… I think so far this is the closest to an answer that will get. Perhaps in the future more information will become available. But for now, it was shared that it isn’t a dangerous discoloration, but it does indicate they have been in the water for longer than the nut likes. So to avoid it, cut down your soak time…but if it does happen it won’t effect anything. Many blessings, amie sue

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I love cashews. However, I have lately discovered that whenever I eat them I have very frequent and very pale eliminations (sorry!) for around 24 hours. Having now read that oxalates may cause health problems I am wondering if that may be the problem and should research a bit more.
    Could their affect on my body be unhealthy?
    Thank you, Liz

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