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Cashew butter, without salt (organic?)

Cashew butter (cashew puree) without salt can be purchased commercially or made at home (organic?). It is suitable for refining savory and sweet dishes.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 29.16%
Macronutrient proteins 18.57%
Macronutrient fats 52.26%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 8.2g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.2g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 48:1

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 8.17 g to essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 0.17 g = 48:1.
Ratio Total omega-6 = 8.17 g to omega-3 fatty acids Total = 0.17 g = 48:1.
On average, we need about 2 g of LA and ALA per day from which a healthy body also produces EPA and DHA, etc.

Cashew puree or cashew butter without salt usually consists of 100% roasted and ground cashews . The cream-colored cashew paste is rich in magnesium, iron and mood-enhancing tryptophan. Make sure it is organic quality .

Use in the kitchen

Is there a difference between cashew butter and cashew puree? In colloquial terms, cashew puree is also known as cashew butter. In contrast to cashew puree, which consists of 100% cashews, cashew butter usually has vegetable oil added. This makes it easier to spread, but at the same time increases the fat and calorie content. However, this addition makes no difference in terms of taste.

The mild, nutty-tasting cashew butter is particularly popular in vegan and Asian cuisine. Due to the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates it contains, cashew butter is also very popular among athletes. It is ideal for thickening sauces or for refining spreads, desserts, baked goods, dips, salad dressings and vegetable dishes without the taste being too overpowering. The butter goes well with both savory and sweet dishes. For example, it is suitable for spicing up a pumpkin soup with Hokkaido pumpkin , in the dressing of an apple and carrot salad, a protein-rich soba noodle salad with cashew and ginger dressing , in a vegan mushroom and cashew butter sauce or a curry with colorful pulses. Ready-made cashew butter is also ideal for a quickly mixed vegan plant-based drink and provides an extra portion of protein in a smoothie. It also gives homemade vegan ice cream a wonderfully creamy consistency.

your own cashew puree

You can make using a high-performance blender. For one jar (approx. 400 g content) you need 400 g of cashews (organic). Put the cashews in a pan without fat, roast them on all sides over a low-medium heat until golden brown and then leave to cool briefly. Then put the nuts in a blender and puree everything until a homogeneous mass forms. After the short mixing phases, scrape the blades of the blender clean. It is best to wait about five minutes between mixing phases so that the oil from the nuts can settle and pureeing is easier. After about half an hour, the result is a creamy puree that can be filled into a jar.

How can you make cashew butter yourself? To make cashew butter without salt, follow the same instructions as for the cashew butter described above, but also add a vegetable oil (e.g. sunflower oil or rapeseed oil).

Vegan recipe for fennel salad with cashew butter sauce

Ingredients (for 4 people): 2 tablespoons fennel seeds , 3 tablespoons walnuts (organic), 700 g fennel , 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice , 4 tablespoons cashew butter (organic), 4 tablespoons rapeseed oil (cold-pressed) , 4 tablespoons hot water (from the pot in which you steamed the fennel), 2 teaspoons salt , a littleblack pepper (to taste).

Preparation: Roast the fennel seeds in a pan and leave to cool. Then briefly roast the walnuts in the same pan. Wash the fennel bulbs, cut into pieces of about 2 cm and steam in a pot over a steamer insert (steamer) with a little water for about 10-15 minutes until al dente. For the sauce, mix the cashew butter, lemon juice, steaming water, rapeseed oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Add the fennel pieces to the sauce and mix well. Serve the vegan salad and decorate with the roasted fennel seeds and walnuts.

Vegan recipe for smoothie with cashew puree

Ingredients (for 1 glass): 1 ripe banana , 1 cup berries (e.g. strawberries ,blueberries ,raspberries ), 1 tbsp cashew puree (organic), 240 ml unsweetened soy drink (or another plant-based drink of your choice), 1 tsp maple syrup (optional, depending on desired sweetness), 1 tsp chia seeds (optional).

Preparation: Peel the banana and cut into pieces. Put all ingredients in a blender. Run the blender on high until all ingredients are mixed into a creamy smoothie. Add more soy drink if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy immediately.

This smoothie is a delicious and healthy option for a vegan breakfast or snack. The cashew butter gives the smoothie a creamy consistency and a slightly nutty taste.

Vegan recipes with cashew butter can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Cashew puree and cashew butter, which consist of 100% cashews, are available for purchase in stores. There does not seem to be a uniform regulation or guidelines for naming the products based on their contents. This can sometimes lead to confusion among consumers and requires a look at the ingredients.

Major retailers such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer , Billa as well as organic supermarkets such as Denn's Biomarkt and Alnatura only sell organic cashew puree. The puree is also available in drugstores, health food stores or online. Cashew butter, including organic, can be bought online. In addition to the pure puree, crunchy versions with fine cashew kernel pieces are also available. Salt is sometimes added. These are not usually raw products. So that cashew kernels and processed products made from them can be consumed safely, the kernels undergo a heating and roasting process to render the toxin "cardol" contained in the shell harmless. You can find more information in our article " Cashew nuts, dry roasted, unsalted ".

The availability of cashew butter varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. If you are interested, click on our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries (above under the ingredient image). There you will find current prices from various supermarkets and their price development.

Storage tips

To maintain the creamy consistency, used puree is best stored at room temperature in a dark and dry place. In the fridge, the cashew puree will have a firmer consistency. If stored for a longer period of time, the oil may settle on top. This is completely normal, however, and can be quickly mixed back into the rest of the mixture by stirring.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

Per 100g, the nutrient-rich cashew butter has 28 g carbohydrates, 49 g fat and 18 g protein and has 587 kcal/100g. 1

Cashew butter has a high content of tryptophan (0.29 g/100g). This is one of the eight essential amino acids and serves in the human body as a precursor to various messenger substances (neurotransmitters, hormones), such as serotonin and melatonin. The tissue hormone serotonin regulates many functions of the cardiovascular system, especially blood pressure, and also performs a variety of tasks as a messenger substance in the brain. It has a mood-enhancing effect, promotes sleep and can have a positive effect on emotions. Tryptophan is therefore considered a natural antidepressant. Peanut butter contains a similar amount of tryptophan at 0.23 g/100g. Higher amounts are found inroasted pumpkin seeds (without salt) (0.57 g/100g). Almond butter has slightly less of this amino acid, at 0.16 g/100g. 1

What is the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio? Cashew butter contains a relatively high amount of omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid, LA : 8.2 g/100g = 82% of the daily requirement or the maximum daily amount) and very few essential omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linoleic acid, ALA) . The LA:ALA ratio is 48:1. Sesame butter "tahini" has a similar ratio of 53:1. Both peanut butter and almond butter have an even worse ratio of 175:1. 1

Seeds, nuts and vegetable oils rich in omega-6 should be consumed in moderation and at the same time sufficient omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed. Good sources of these are ground linseed (22.8 g/100g), ground chia seeds (17.8 g/100g), walnuts or tree nuts (9.1 g/100g), cold-pressed rapeseed oil (9.1 g/100g), ground, unpeeled hemp seeds (8.7 g/100g), leafy vegetables or herbs. Erb-Müesli or Erb-Müesli plus oat flakes have an ideal composition in the ratio of LA to ALA of 1:1. In the list of ingredients, select "sorting by health values" to be able to filter healthy ingredients - or those that correct an unfavorable ratio. The same applies to the recipes, e.g. with the criterion LA:ALA ratio.

Valine is also one of the eight essential amino acids and is abundantly present in cashew butter at 1.2 g/100g (74% of the daily requirement). Almond butter (0.94 g/100g) and peanut butter (0.77 g/100g) have slightly lower values. Roasted pumpkin seeds (without salt) anddried pumpkin seeds (1.6 g/100g each) contain a little more of this amino acid. 1

You can find all the ingredients of cashew butter, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health effects

Cashew nuts and products made from them offer a variety of benefits for the human body. 2 They are rich in micronutrients such as phosphorus , magnesium and potassium and have a high content of vitamin E , vitamin K and bioactive compounds such as phenols and flavonoids. 3 Eating cashew nuts has been shown to have a positive effect on lowering blood cholesterol levels, the risk of coronary heart disease and in the treatment of diabetes, among other things. The high magnesium content can have a beneficial effect on bone formation and the prevention of high blood pressure. Cashews also have antibacterial, hemostatic and wormicidal properties. Despite the lower amounts of unsaturated fatty acids compared to other nuts, cashew nuts can minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease. 2

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

Some people, often children, can react to eating cashews with a nut allergy. 2

Is cashew butter healthy? The unfavorable ratio of omega-6 fatty acids (LA) to omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) speaks against the high consumption of cashew products. These two fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the human body cannot produce itself and therefore must be obtained through food. The Western diet is characterized by a high proportion of omega-6 and a low proportion of omega-3 fatty acids. 4 Excessive amounts of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio promote the development of numerous diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. However, the intake of omega-3 fatty acids can counteract these developments. 5 Cashew nuts still provide valuable nutrients. If consumed irregularly and in moderation, the higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids is not a problem.

Since the receptors for the pro-inflammatory LA and the anti-inflammatory ALA are the same, a ratio of at least 5:1 (LA:ALA) is still desirable. Instead of a ratio, the Federal Nutrition Commission ( EEK ) now recommends absolute intake amounts. For example, you should consume polyunsaturated fatty acids in an amount of 2.5-9.0% (omega-6 fatty acids) or 0.5-2.0% (omega-3 fatty acids) of your daily energy requirement. This corresponds to a maximum of 20 g per 2000 kcal (omega-6 fatty acids) or 1-4.4 g per 2000 kcal (omega-3 fatty acids). 6

Vegans and vegetarians - largely because of the popular cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and vegetable oils - show a significantly worse ratio than the 10:1 of "normal eaters", which is already far too high.

We can only warn: vegans and vegetarians who are misinformed or uninformed generally live worse than normal eaters - and a study is sure to come out that will ruthlessly expose this (see link in the box above). This would then stop the vegan hype that is so important for animal welfare and the environment and discredit the oriented minority. This has been our fear since 2014! See this link to see what happened with raw food: The Giessen Raw Food Study .

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

The carbon footprint of a food depends on various factors. The type of agricultural production (conventional vs. organic), average or seasonal or regional production, domestic production or import by truck, ship or plane, different types of packaging and whether the goods are fresh or frozen all play a decisive role. The Big Climate Database gives the ecological footprint of roasted cashews as 4.01 kg CO 2 eq/kg. 9 Since cashew butter often consists of roasted cashews, a similar ecological footprint can be assumed. Cashews usually have a very long journey behind them before they can be bought in our supermarkets - they are harvested in Africa, but further processed in Asia. The emissions caused by transport are correspondingly high. In comparison, the carbon footprint of regional walnuts is 0.9 kg CO 2 eq/kg and that of peanut butter is 2.0 kg CO 2 eq/kg. 10

The amount of water required to produce 1 kg of cashew nuts is also immense at 14,218 litres and significantly higher than for walnuts (9,280 litres) or hazelnuts (10,515 litres). 11

In addition, cashew production itself is a major burden on the environment, as the exhaust fumes and waste water produced during roasting are not disposed of properly and simply end up in nature. 12 The processing of cashew apples is also very dangerous for the workers, as the pulp is caustic and poisonous, but there are hardly any protective measures for hands or eyes. The people working here are usually women and sometimes children. 13 When buying cashew butter, you should therefore definitely look for products from fair production and sustainable cultivation.

Worldwide distribution - cultivation

Cashews are native to northeastern Brazil. Portuguese traders introduced the cashew tree to India and Africa (Mozambique) in the 16th century to prevent soil erosion on the coasts. The cashew tree thrived, became wild and formed extensive forests in these locations. Eventually it spread to East Africa and throughout the tropical lowlands of northern South America, Central America and the West Indies. 7 With increasing interest in a plant-based diet in Europe and North America, the demand for cashew products is also growing. The world market for cashew nuts is now growing considerably. The main growing countries and exporters of cashew products, such as Vietnam, India and Brazil, are importing more and more unprocessed cashews from African countries to supplement their domestic production and subsequent export to the USA, Europe and the Middle East. 2

Industrial production

The harvesting and production of cashews sometimes takes place under conditions that are hazardous to health. Here we refer to the article on cashews and the video on the production of cashews . In some cases, the manual production steps are now being replaced by fully automated processes. The industrial production process for cashew puree is somewhat more complex than the process for homemade puree and requires special equipment and technology. However, the production steps remain the same as for home-made production. After the kernels have been removed from their shells, they go through a roasting process to release their natural flavor. They are then ground into the actual puree, which is then packaged and released for distribution. 8

Further information

Cashew nuts ( Anacardium occidentale ) belong to the sumac family (Anacardiaceae).

Alternative names

Cashew puree and cashew butter are called "cashew butter" in English, whereby only the ingredients list shows whether additional salt or vegetable oils are included.

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