So… a few months ago I was having some real issues where my body was telling me I needed to tune in and figure a few things out. Nerve pain in my wrists, sides of my knees and ankles. Stomach pain that would not go away and I was all backed up (literally). One of the first experiments I tried with my body was to take away the dairy. I had read numerous articles discussing the inflammatory nature of dairy and the effects of inflammation on the body.
I cut out dairy and found an immediate improvement in my gut and my nerves. On the flip side, I was sad and missing my cheese.
The truth of the fact is that once you get a certain thing out of your system for a while your tastes and cravings change as well. I realized that what I was really missing was that creamy goodness that cheese used to deliver, and I had to find a way to get it.
I began to experiment, and found salvation in cashews. I know it sounds odd, and truth be told – if you go cold turkey and jump from alfredo sauce to cashew cream you will be surely disappointed. But given half a chance, and after a little dairy detox, you will find this luscious dreamy creamy gem of a cashew has a lot to offer your palate.
I will get to some basic recipes in a minute, but let me just gush out some juicy cashew facts.
Cashews are classified as tree nuts but are actually seeds from the bottom of the cashew apple from a cashew tree. They have NO cholesterol and are one of the lowest fat nuts. They are full of monounsaturated fat (thats the good one, the healthy fat – you need it) which supports healthy heart. They are an excellent source of copper and magnesium. Copper is an antioxidant (yay!) and aids in the development of bone and connective tissues. Magnesium is my drug of choice (shhh!), and it is abundant within the mighty cashew. Magnesium helps to relax your nerves, promote normal sleep, lower blood pressure and has been shown to reduce the severity of asthma and frequency of migraines. Cashews are also high in zinc, manganese, and phosphorus. You need that too.
Give cashews a try, and please leave your comments or share your experiences with dairy or cashews. I would love to hear from you! If you try the recipes, let me know how you liked them!
Here is a basic recipe for cashew cream and a few variations; Tziki, chipolte cream, and raita.
Depending on how much water you use (how thick you make it) it can be used like you would an aioli, cream sauce, dip, spread to name a few. You can alter the flavors to suit the dish you are preparing, try one of these first to get your feet wet!