Not too long ago, I had placed a fun fact about strawberries on Twitter. Did you know that strawberries are the only fruits with the seeds on the outside? Well one of my followers thought that the cashew apple also had seeds on the outside (the seed being the cashew nut). He was partially right because cashews are seeds to the cashew tree, but the cashew apple is a accessory fruit, therefore the cashew nut is the fruit of the cashew tree and not the apple. Anyways, all of that to say that it got me researching cashews. Here’s what I found out:
Cashews are a great source of protein (5grams in a ¼ cup), fibre, vitamin B and many other nutrients.
But did you ever wonder why cashews are never sold in their shells?
Well cashews are in the same family as poison ivy and poison sumac. This means that the cashew plant contains powerful chemical irritants, just like the previously named plants. You must be wondering why we are able to eat cashews and not have any reactions? The chemical irritants are only found in the shell and not in the nut itself. To make sure that the cashews are free of these irritants, manufactures roast the nuts at a very high temperature to destroy them.
Cashews have a high fat content, which means that if they are left at room temperature, they won’t stay fresh for long. It is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. That way they will last around 4 to 6 months. You can also freeze them for about 6 to 8 months.
It’s crazy that a plant is the same family as poison ivy can produce such a delicious nut!