Cashews are some of my favorite nuts, though they are really not nuts at all. They are the seeds of the cashew apples. Whatever you wish to call them, I love them and I often eat them by the handful. They are healthy and full of nutrients and a great source of protein and healthy fats. But like everything else, sometimes, I like to switch things up a bit and do something different with them too. This time I “candied” them in a chipotle lime sauce.
The cashew is native to northeastern Brazil. Portuguese missionaries took it to East Africa and India during the late 16th century, where it became abundant at low altitudes near the seacoast. At first, Europeans did not know how to eat these fabulous nuts or seeds. They learned by monkey see, monkey do. That’s right. They learned by watching the capuchin monkeys eat them about 700 years ago, though the natives of Brazil have been eating cashews for at least 7000 years. Today, India is now the world’s largest producer of cashews.
The cashew seed is surrounded by a shell containing toxic oils, such as anacardic acid. This is the same acid found in poison ivy. After the toxins are removed, the cashews must be graded and sorted. The entire process is labor-intensive as well as hazardous, which helps explain part of why cashews are so expensive.
These cashews are super easy to make and are great for parties and entertaining. They also only require a few simple, basic ingredients and really only take a few minutes to cook up.
3 cups roasted cashew nuts
2 tsp dry chili chipolte powder r 1 dry chipotle chili ground into a powder
3 TBSP maple syrup
2 TBSP olive oil
I TBSP lime juice
1-2 tsp lime zest
Place all the ingredients into a large, hot skillet and cook over a medium high heat until the nuts are all coated and the syrup starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Stir constantly so the nuts don’t burn.
Once the nuts are ready, pour them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread them out into a single layer.
Allow them to cool completely then break them apart and serve. They will be a big hit at your next party or get together and will be perfect for the upcoming holidays. I served them at our caramel class as a snack while we were working. The Caramel Class There was no way we could stop at just one. We ate them one after another. Fortunately, I made a lot, so I still have plenty left over.
Don’t be afraid to go a little nutty, just make sure you stay safe and stay well ‘Til next time.