You would have bought so many types of fruit and nut butter, especially peanut butter, but did you know that cashew butter is just as enticing as any other butter? This natural sweet spread made from raw or roasted cashews tastes awesome, and it contains a lot of nutrients too.
Would you like to know the benefits cashew butter has and how to make it? Then this post is just for you! Read on!
Nutrients Present In Cashew Butter:
While Cashew butter is not replete with the goodness of Omega 3 fatty acids, it would be wrong to think of its health benefits as insignificant. On the contrary, this butter comes fortified with several essential nutrients. It has nutrients like protein, calcium, iron, vitamin E, riboflavin etc (1). The butter also contains a moderate amount of healthy fats (like oleic acid) that your body needs.
Raw And Roasted Variants:
You will find two broad types of cashew butter in the market – raw and salted. Both can appeal to your taste buds. However, from the health perspective, raw is better than roasted. When you eat raw cashew butter, your body gets the nutrients in large amounts compared to that of the roasted type. The unsalted variant of cashew butter contains almost no sodium and cholesterol.
Important Health Benefits Of Cashew Butter:
1. A Good Source Of Magnesium:
Cashew butter is a good source of magnesium, an essential mineral that plays a pivotal role in keeping the body fit and healthy(2). Consumption of magnesium is important for keeping muscles in shape, and ensuring the metabolic functions and the immune system are optimal. It also regulates blood pressure levels and aids the absorption of calcium, another important mineral.
2. Less Fat Laden Than Other Butter Types:
Like most of you already know, no nut butter is devoid of fat.The same is true for cashew butter. However, you intake far less amount of fat by eating cashew butter compared to peanut butter, and other types of nut derived butter. In a tablespoon of cashew butter, you get 94 calories, which is less than other variants. Cashew butter also contains less sugar than peanut butter.
3. Source Of Protein:
The protein quotient in cashew butter is lower than that of peanut butter. However, it can still serve as a good vegetable source of protein. If you eat less amount of animal meat (known to be a good protein source), make it up by taking cashew butter with the meals.
4. Source Of Iron And Selenium:
Cashew butter contains a fair amount of iron. Without iron, you may be subjected to anaemia and fatigue. Raw cashew butter should be eaten for optimum iron consumption. This butter also contains Selenium. This is vital for health as it fights free radicals and stops them from damaging the DNA membrane and cells.
5. Important For Cardiac Health:
Everyone wants to keep their heart healthy and properly functioning. For strong cardiac health, it is advisable that you include cashew butter in your diet. Its monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help fight the development of harmful cholesterol levels in the body. This in turn reduces the risk of various heart ailments.
6. Helps Thwart Diabetes:
There is no denying the epidemic nature diabetes has assumed all over the world. Diabetics are forced to live life with several restrictions, and it is better to prevent the disease from happening rather than fighting it after discovering! To keep diabetes at bay, you should include cashew butter in your meals. It helps regulate blood sugar levels, and thus thwart diabetes.
7. Reduces Risk Of Gallbladder Stones:
Gallbladder stones can be quite painful and annoying. Studies have shown women can bring down the risk of developing gallbladder stones by eating cashew butter.
How To Make Cashew Butter:
While you can find both salted and raw cashew butter in supermarkets, it is also possible to make it at home. That way, you will be able to evade the artificial flavours, sweeteners and preservatives. The preparation process is neither difficult nor time-consuming.
The Basic Process:
When you want to make cashew butter and do not have much time, use a mixer grinder and blend raw or salted cashews to a spread-like consistency. Roasted cashews result in a smoother texture and an alluring flavour. If you use a blender, the butter will be ready in a few minutes, but the preparation time can be longer if you use a food processor. You may mix a small amount of water. If you use raw cashews, soak them in water before making the butter. It will wash away any impurities. It would be good to use cashews that fill half of the container or a little more in the blender. After using the butter for the first time, store the rest in the fridge to prevent it from becoming rancid.
There is no denying cashew butter tastes and smells great when made with no other ingredient. However, for the sake of variation, you can put in a few additives. For example, you can add a small amount of flaxseed oil or coconut oil. This will make the butter texture creamier! Some people like to add some salt to it. This is okay, but you should refrain from adding artificial sweeteners, as doing so defeats the purpose of making it at home! Adding maple syrup or honey is still better. For experimentation, you may also add a little amount of vanilla and cinnamon essence. It surely helps in enhancing the flavour.
What You Need To Keep In Mind:
Cashew butter tastes yummy and eating it regularly offers you several health benefits. However, you should not eat it in excess amounts. It contains quite a lot of calories, and if you are on a weight loss mission, controlled eating is advisable.
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