Welcome to another nutty day at VCC. Today's featured nuts are cashews and pine nuts. Cashews are a slightly sweet nut that are fantastic as a snack on their own (I love mine roasted and lightly salted personally). They are also wonderful ground up into a paste and used to make creamy soups, sauces and other dishes. Try making a tasty cashew dip with fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs. Just soak a big handful (maybe about a cup) of the cashews for an hour or more. Drain them and add them to a food processor or blender with 2 or 3 roasted garlic cloves, a little fresh lemon juice, a touch of thyme, oregano and if you like it spicy, add a bit of chipotle or cayenne pepper. This makes a tasty dip for veggies, pita chips or crackers. Cashews are an excellent source of selenium, a nutrient known for its anti-oxidant properties. These babies are a good source of iron. Each 1 oz. serving has 5 grams of protien. All of this and they are just tasty tasty tasty!
Pine nuts, like other nuts, are a good source of several minerals including manganese. The oleic and pinolenic acids in these little gems are believed to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol). Pine nuts are also a good source of vitamin E. They provide about 3.8 g of protein for a 1 oz. serving.
I whipped up Sun Dried Tomato Pesto from 500 Vegan Recipes (pg.91) for our family gathering last night. Both of these nuts are used to make this rich and flavorful pesto that is great on sliced baguettes or over pasta. I'm not going to lie, this is not a low fat venture, but all of the fats are heart healthy and you are going to get a significant anti-oxidant kick. Even better, your taste buds will be so very happy.