I have a new crush. It's not Candy Crush. It's a Cashew Crush. I think we are in love. I entered Whole Foods. I bought the creamiest, decadent cashew (mixed with coconut bits) butter. We collided and it was love at first taste. Here's how my love affair with Cashews came to be.
I recently discovered that I have a leaky gut. How was this even possible?? I'm a fitness professional who lives on an extremely clean diet. I don't drink, I don't eat processed or refined sugar. I don't eat dairy. So, what gives?
I found that my high carb intake was the culprit. That being said, I had to completely change my diet and subsequently, my lifestyle. I realize that the Ketogenic diet is quite trendy these days--regardless of it's long history in the world of nutrition. If you look in my archives, I posted about the benefits of a keto diet, about a year ago. Shortly after writing that blog, I came off the keto diet, as I wanted to increase my carbs, again, but was searching for a different method. I'm always experimenting.
The high carb diet threw my gut into rage. I had major digestive issues, insomnia, lethargy, spike in glucose and cortisol levels, and so much more. Hence, my love of cashews spawned out of a necessity. After discovering that I had to increase the fats in my diet, I was a little afraid. What if it doesn't work? What if I gain weight? Yes, cashews, are high in calories. However, it's the caloric intake that will make us fat, as opposed to the high level of fat, which is predominantly found in a ketogenic diet. So, a few (like, 5-6) cashews a day are all that you need.
If anyone is worried about fat content, throw that thought out the window. Toss it far away because what you will discover is that cashews are extremely healthy for you. Below, I listed some nutritional (1) benefits:
1. Cashews help lower blood sugar levels
2. Help reduce cholesterol levels, as they contain zero cholesterol
3. They're high in magnesium thus helping to deliver calcium to strengthen bones
4. Improve brain function
5. Improve digestive health (high in antioxidants)
6. So good for your hair, skin and nails
One of my favorite ways to consume cashews is homemade cashew butter. I have tried several recipes and found the one that has my heart singing it's praises. The original recipe calls for just two ingredients!! However, you can add anything you want. I added some coconut flakes, to make it a little crispy and crunchy, just like the store bought one! (2)
CASHEW BUTTER RECIPE:
3 cups (450g) dry roasted, salted Cashews
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (melted)
OR (my version):
1/2 cup toasted organic Coconut flakes or chips (my personal fave)
Serving size: 1 Tablespoon
Saturated Fat: 2.2g
Cashews butter can be added to any smoothie bowl or drink. I prefer cashew butter over almond because of it's creamy texture and moreso, over peanut butter for it's health properties. Check out PROFI Health for some fantastic healthy recipes for smoothies, bowls, etc., that include nut butters!
If you have any favorite nut butter recipes, share them in the comments below! And, Happy Crushing!