Foods We Love: Cashews

When stocking my pantry with healthy snacks, one option I often seize is cashews.  A munchie that is healthy, natural, and doesn't need any kind of dip or spread to make it taste good is definitely great to have around all year long.


Cashew nuts are native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil and come from the bottom of the cashew apple, which is the fruit of the cashew tree.



A quarter cup of cashews provides 189 calories, which doesn't exactly make it diet food. However, it also offers 25% of your recommended dose of magnesium, 20.3% RDA of phosphorus and 37.5% RDA of copper. Approximately 75% of their fat comes from unsaturated fatty acids, and about 75% of that comes from oleic acid, which is the heart-healthy fat also present in olive oil. Oleic acid is known to promote good cardiovascular health, and the high antioxidant factor in all nuts help promote cardiovascular health as well, lowering the chances of heart disease.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Cashew Nut Risotto, courtesy of

Cashew Nut Risotto


  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 180g / 6.5oz Basmati, long grain or brown rice, washed
  • 125g / 4oz Cashew Nuts (raw, unsalted)
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried Basil (or a few fresh basil leaves)
  • 1 large Red Pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 570ml boiling water
  • 400g / 14oz can chopped Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper seasoning to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan
  2. Add the onion and fry for a few moments until soft
  3. Add the garlic
  4. Add the rice, and stir
  5. Add the cashews, stirring and turning to roast a little
  6. Add the peppers and cook for a couple of minutes, taking care to ensure rice is not sticking
  7. Pour on half the water and the chopped tomatoes
  8. Add the dried basil if using
  9. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes
  10. Add more water as necessary, when most of the moisture has been absorbed
  11. If using fresh basil, add at the end of the cooking time
  12. Check rice is thoroughly cooked
  13. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper


Photo: Meyersph