Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cashew Nuts

While blogging on my hubby's laptop, I munch happily the roasted cashew nuts that Tin delivered us two days ago. My hubby, kiddo and I, even our doggie Luigi, we're crazy about these little thingy! You can call us cashew-addicts. It is so creamy and delicious, you can't seem to have enough of it!

Cashew nuts, like all nuts, are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They are rich in mono-unsaturated fat which may help protect the heart. Cashew nuts are also a good source of potassium, B vitamins and folate. They contain useful amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and copper. Like peanuts, cashew nuts are often salted. This added sodium content may contribute to increased blood pressure. So buy plain roasted cashew nuts like we do!!!

What Wikipedia says about the cashew nut...

The cashew is a tree in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The plant is native to northeastern Brazil, where it is called by its Portuguese name Caju, the fruit and Cajueiro , the tree. It is now widely grown in tropical climates.

It is a small evergreen tree growing to 10-12 m tall, with a short, often irregularly-shaped trunk. The leaves are spirally arranged, leathery textured, elliptic to obovate, 4 to 22 cm long and 2 to 15 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The flowers are produced in a panicle or corymb up to 26 cm long, each flower small, pale green at first then turning reddish, with five slender, acute petals 7 to 15 mm long.

What appears to be the fruit of the cashew tree is an oval or pear-shaped accessory fruit or false fruit that develops from the receptacle of the cashew flower. Called the cashew apple, better known in Central America as "marañón", it ripens into a yellow and/or red structure about 5–11 cm long.

The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped drupe that grows at the end of the pseudofruit. Actually, the drupe develops first on the tree and then the peduncle expands into the pseudofruit. Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense the fruit of the cashew is a seed. The seed is surrounded by a double shell containing a caustic phenolic resin, cardiol, a potent skin irritant toxin also found in the related poison ivy. Some people are allergic to cashews, but cashews are a less frequent allergen than some nuts.

No comments: