Crazy about cashews

Cashew nuts are one of the most popular nuts that we incorporate into our diets on a daily basis. This can be through eating nut butter, consuming them raw, roasted or salted, naked bars, cashew milk or a tasty nut roast.

Nutritional value per 100g

  • Carbohydrates – 30g – 10%
  • Protein – 18g – 36%
  • Fat – 44g – 68%
  • Fiber – 3.3g – 13%
  • Calories – 553
  • Sodium – 12mg – 1%
  • Calcium – 4%
  • Iron – 37%
  • Vitamin C – 1%

Cashews contain the lowest amount of fiber out of all the nuts but make up for this in containing many minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Cashews are extremely high in fat so best to stick to the handful recommendation (found in my previous blog post ‘Are nuts good for you?‘.  You do have to be careful and watch your fat content but the good news is that most these fats are good ones – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. When these fats are eaten instead of saturated fats (and within moderation) they assist in the prevention and fight against heart disease, stroke and weight gain.

When thinking about eye health, carrots probably pop into your mind. I’m sure you will be as surprised as I am that actually cashews are equally as beneficial due to their high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds basically work together to prevent cataracts and protect the eye from light damage and ultimately blindness.

By chance I found the most delicious dish that contains cashews whilst visiting a popular cafe in Fitztrovia, London:

Riding House Cafe

This quirky little cafe offering all home comforts is located in the heart of Fitztrovia, London. I found out about this place from Instagram, it has suddenly taken off in popularity and I can see all the influencers and bloggers alike taking posts in this restaurant. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about for myself so went ahead and booked a table for the following week.

Dining wise, there is no set theme, you could rock up wearing any attire and have whatever experience you are seeking. What I mean by that is that they offer, brunch, cocktails, beer, breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday roast, dessert and anything and everything in between.

It took me a very long time to decide what to do for with all these options to hand. The menu can be found here – Riding House Cafe Menu

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There is just so much choice, even though I was tempted by the buttermilk pancakes I went for the healthy option and had Freekeh and Feta Salad along with a green smoothie.

I will start by saying the green smoothie did not go down to well at all. I don’t believe the ingredients below complimented each other at all. The spinach and kale completely over powered the rest of the ingredients making it taste very bitter and difficult to digest. Had there been slightly more apple and ginger I think it could have been a lot more pleasant. However, this drink is the definition of health so I braved it, and finished the lot. I did have to drink a lot of water after to wash it down though. I would NOT be ordering this again in a rush.

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(even the shade of green isn’t appetizing)

It contained:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Apple
  • Ginger
  • Mint

The cost was £5

Freekeh and Feta Salad:

I am so so so pleased I picked this! It is absolutely delicious and full of nutrients. I had no idea what freekeh is but as I was out I thought why not try something new. I knew it wouldn’t be unhealthy and its hard to go wrong with a salad so why not. This is the final result:

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Inside it contains:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Feta cheese
  • Freekeh
  • Cashews

It is so healthy and filling and the flavors are amazing. So you have probably realized I’m more that just a bit obsessed with this dish so I went ahead and recreated it at home. I just purchased all the individual ingredients in the local supermarket and bought the freekeh from Holland and Barrett.

I boiled the freekeh in water with a bit of salt for about 15 minutes (taste it to check its soft enough, if still hard carry on boiling until soft). I then went ahead and chopped and prepped all other ingredients so that they were ready to mix into the freekeh.

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This is my final result:

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Freekeh:

If you’re like me you probably have never heard of this grain and no nothing about it. Little did I know, but freekeh is the all new exciting and popular super grain that has outshone the famous quinoa. This grain as celebrity fans including Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Oliver raving about it.

This grain is traditionally a middle eastern food. It is a fantastic base for getting the necessary protein and fiber into your diet. It contains three times more protein than brown rice and 2 times more fiber. So ditch the rice and jump of the freekeh craze. However, at over £5 per 500g it doesn’t come cheap.

If you enjoyed this, you can look at my other content within my nuts series:

Instagram – @keziakco

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Lunch

I eat a wide variety of foods for lunch, depending on my mood and what my activity level will be for that day. After breakfast I really restrict the amount of carbs I eat and I usually don’t have any at all for the rest of the day. Saying that, if your body is craving carbs you should eat some, especially if on a workout day or the day after an intense session. If I really crave carbs I will have either a jacket potato or sweet potato pieces to go with my salad.

Normally I make a salad to take to work accompanied by a greek yogurt as this quick, easy and filling. Today I have a greek salad with tuna:

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Ingredients:

  • Half a red onion
  • Small can of tuna in sun flower oil
  • quarter of a cucumber
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 green olives
  • Chia seeds
  • Feta cheese
  • Half a lemon squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Washed down with a glass of vitamin C.

I always have Total Greek Yogurt by Fage as after doing my research I have found that it contains the least amount of sugar and also has the filling thick and creamy taste. I usually don’t go for the 0% fat yogurts as they often contain more sugar. If you are going to do a low carb diet you cannot cut out all of the fat and it is important to consume healthy fats to keep yourself healthy.

Please take care when selecting yogurts as most of the advertising leads you to believe they are a healthy option. Research has shown that some Muller yogurts contain almost 18.4 g of sugar per little pot which is more than 3 chocolate digestive biscuits. They are not the only offenders, with Yeo Valley yogurts containing 14.3 g and Active containing up to 13.3 g.

I always say that it is best to make a conscious decision to have a ‘cheat day’ by going all out and having that cake or pizza rather than consuming the equivalent unknowingly. This is why it is so important to eat food with limited ingredients inside. Usually the less ingredients in the product the better it is for you, and the more control you have over what you are consuming.

Instagram – Keziakco

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