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

xxx

Are nuts good for you?

The words on many peoples lips are, are nuts good for you? The simple answer is yes  but we will go into this in a lot more detail.

There is a lot to go into within this topic. Rather than writing a very long detailed post, I thought it would be easier, and more user friendly if I did a nuts series.

Across the series I will be  focusing my attention on the following nut:

  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Peanuts

First of all, nuts are very expensive. Six packets of nuts at Holland and Barret cost me over £22 and please believe that is using buy one get one half price. I know I probably should of gone to Aldi/ Lidl but I simply didn’t have the time.

In articles regarding weight loss, weight control and diet you often find they recommend consuming no more than a handful of nuts. I’m going to show you what that actually looks like, and how many calories you consume in doing so:

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As you can see a small handful of nuts contains a lot of calories but these are good calories. Actually eating nuts of a daily basis helps you live a healthier life. They contain compounds that work to lower cholesterol, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 and various antioxidants.

As nuts are so calorific and contain a lot of protein and fat, they make you feel fuller for longer. They raise blood sugar so that you don’t get those sugar cravings and this ultimately helps you to loose weight.

Now the next question you probably have is, can eating too many nuts make you fat? As they are very high in calories many people would automatically jump to this conclusion and leave them out. Obviously, maintaining a healthy weight or indeed loosing weight involves consuming a specific calorie amount on a daily basis. Should you exceed this you will of course put on weight. Every time you eat excess of 3,500 calories this translates as 1 pound of fat on your body. Anyway, despite these calorie related concerns I can confirm that studies have shown that people who eat nuts regularly usually have a lower BMI than those that don’t.

A bit of science make simple for you; nuts contain a lot of calories however when we eat them our bodies cannot break down all the material. This means even though we eat the whole portion of nuts we cannot break out all the energy from them and so do not actually consume the full amount of calories. This is quite different to processed food as this is fully digestible and we absorb all the calories. So the next time someone says that they are eating a ‘be good to yourself’ diet bar for 100 calories instead of a 100 calorie portion of healthy almonds as ‘its the same thing’, they are completely wrong!

It is advisable to actually substitute the bulk of your carbohydrate intake with nuts but portion control is key. The worst offenders are macadamia nuts at 240 calories per 32g.

Nuts are an easy snack to consume, they do not require any preparation and can be eaten out and about. They are easily obtainable on the go and can be added to almost any dish, savory or sweet. They are a great alternative to grabbing a chocolate bar when on the go, so there are no excuses!

This post describes the benefits of nuts but check out the posts to follow that will show you which nuts are best for you and what are the healthiest nuts to eat on a daily basis.

Instagram @Keziakco

xxx

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