Posts Tagged ‘cashews’

Unrecipe of the Week: Roasted Nuts

September 3, 2015


Nuts are a great snack. They are plant based, all natural and high in protein and heart healthy fats. That is until a commercial company gets ahold of them.

When I began my Whole 30 quest a couple of months ago, I became a stickler for reading labels on anything that had them. While most of the food I eat doesn’t come in a package, nuts are a whole food that typically does. When companies roast nuts, they add oil to them. Planter’s, one of the largest commercial nut companies adds peanut and/or cottonseed oil to thier nuts, as well as salt. Since legumes (peanuts and peanut oil) are off limits, as is cottonseed oil on Whole 30 and Paleo, I decided to roast my own.

Everyone I share my freshly roasted nuts with loves them. Nuts are already high in healthy unsaturated fats and don’t require any extra oil when roasted. By roasting them “naked” the flavor of the nut is enhanced, and not over powered by the flavor of the aditives. They are so easy to make, that there really isn’t a good reason to buy those cans again.

How To Roast Nuts:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees*. Spread the nuts (I love cashews!) in an even layer on a baking sheet with sides. Roast in the oven for about 5 minutes, and shake the pan or stir the nuts to redistribute them. The nuts on the edges of the pan will brown much more quickly than those in the middle. Continue to roast the nuts until they are an even light brown color, and begin to release a delicous “nutty” smell. They will likely take about 10-12 minutes, but could take longer or shorter, so keep an eye on them. Beware; once they start to color, they brown very quickly! Remove from the oven and cool before enjoying.

Store in a glass jar after cooling.

*Smaller or more dense nuts may benefit from a slightly cooler oven temperature. If you are roasting pine nuts, for example, use a 300 or 325 degree oven, and watch them carefully.Time may vary due to the size and density of the nuts.

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Cashews

June 4, 2013

noix de cajou

Many recipes call for white flour to thicken a sauce. Did you know that you can use ground raw cashews instead?
Grind up a cup or so of raw, unsalted cashews in a spice or coffee grinder, and use a little at a time to thicken a sauce. You can also mix a few tablespoons with a hot liquid to form a roux, much like you would flour.
The result is gluten free, natural thickening with a added bonus of a little protein.

Try it next time and see what you think.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Go Nuts

April 8, 2013

noix de cajou

I love nuts, and while they are really good for you, they are also packed with calories, fat and sodium. There is a great debate, as to whether or not nuts should be consumed roasted, or raw. While the calories and fat content differences are negligible, many nuts lose some nutritional value when roasted.

Cashews and peanuts are however, are better for you when cooked. Both nuts have an increase in antioxidant absorption when heated at temperatures over 140 degrees.

Almonds, on the other hand, as best eaten raw, as heat has an adverse effect on their cellular structure.

Roasting your own nuts is almost effortless, and allows you to control the overload of added fats and salt used in commercially roasted products.

Today, I roasted a bag of cashews in a hot oven for about 10 minutes or so (with no added oil) until golden brown, and added a small sprinkling of sea salt. The raw cashews had a calorie count of 160 per 1/4 cup, and no sodium, while the store bought roasted and salted version had a calorie total of about 190 and 877 mg. of sodium for the same amount.

Most commercially roasted nuts use extra oil in the process,which is unnecessary in achieving good flavor.

The nuts smelled wonderful and it was a real treat to eat a handful of them fresh out of the oven. You can also toss some chopped herbs such as rosemary into the mix, or a little cayenne powder to give the nuts an added zip.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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