Most of us have enjoyed munching on some cashews at some point or another. These delicious nuts make for a great afternoon pick-me-up and a healthy snack when the afternoon munchies take over.
However, what most of us haven’t bitten into is a cashew fruit. Since cashews are nuts, they come from a fruit originally, which is also edible and makes for a great treat!
Cashew fruit, also called cashew apples, have a slightly acidic flavor with a hint of citrus. They’re not classically sweet like most fruits we enjoy, but are more reminiscent of bell peppers or cucumbers.
What Is a Cashew Fruit?
Cashew fruit, sometimes called a cashew apple, is the protective fruit that surrounds the cashew nuts we know and love. They have a tropical flavor but don’t taste distinctly fruity the way that apples or oranges do.
The fruit has a slightly citrus flavor and a mildly acidic taste. Some people even report the flavor as being bitter and is most closely associated with that of a red or orange bell pepper.
The texture of the fruit is unique too. It’s not hard the way that a cashew nut is but is instead fibrous and watery. When you eat it, the fruit oozes out rich juices that add to the flavor and make for a unique eating experience.
How to Eat Cashew Fruit
Many people are under the misconception that they can’t eat cashew fruit simply because we don’t often find it sold in supermarkets. However, just because it’s not a common fruit doesn’t mean that it’s not edible!
You can eat the fruit just like you would the nuts, and can prepare it in a few different ways. The method you use to prepare cashew fruit depends on how you prefer to enjoy the flavor.
The most common method of consuming cashew fruits is tea. You’ll find many tropical countries serve up the fruit in a hot, slightly bitter tea that’s said to be great for your health.
Another common way to eat cashew fruit is in juice. In Jamaica, people often blend the fruit with water to create a refreshing juice on a hot summer’s day.
Because of the more bitter flavor of the cashew fruit, it’s a great fruit to throw into curries, soups, or chutneys. The fruit adds a mild, acidic taste but isn’t overpowering, making it a great compliment for these types of meals.
If you love Mexican food you might want to try a twist on your favorite salsa by using cashew fruit. You can dice the fruit and mix it with tomato, cilantro, jalapeños, and a bit of lime juice for a tasty salsa you won’t find anywhere else.
Depending on where you are, you may also come across alcohol made out of cashew fruit. In Goa, India, the drink is called Feni and is similar to wine. In parts of Africa, you’ll find the fruit brewed into a strong liquor that’s taken as shots or mixed into cocktails.
Health Benefits of Cashew Fruit
Eating cashew fruit is good for more than just trying something new. Cashew fruit also has tons of health benefits that make it a go-to for many people who want to take better care of their health.
For one, cashew fruits contain a hefty dose of vitamins. With all those nutrients, they’re great for fighting off bacteria and diseases and for keeping your body healthy.
The main nutrients in cashew fruit that make it great for boosting immunity are zinc and antioxidants. Both of these nutrients prevent you from getting sick and lead to a stronger immune system overall.
Improves Heart Health
Although cashews themselves have a high fat content, the fruit doesn’t contain these fats. And, even if it did, these fats are good for you anyway!
The fruit itself, however, helps the body produce more fatty acids. Fatty acids are important for preventing blood clots and boosting your brain health.
What’s more, fatty acids help to regulate your blood pressure and lower unhealthy cholesterol levels. That means that they’re critical for staying healthy and avoiding serious heart conditions further down the line.
Improves Your Eye Health
If you want to avoid cataracts and eye issues down the line, eating cashew fruit is a great preventative measure. That’s because these fruits contain plenty of zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which are important for eye health.
Not only do these nutrients help keep your eyes in good condition overall, but they also protect them from harmful UV rays. And, they help lower the likelihood that you’ll develop cataracts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have lingering questions about cashew fruits? Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers.
Are Cashew Fruit Poisonous?
Even though we mostly eat just the seeds of the cashew tree, you can also eat the fruit itself! The fruit isn’t poisonous at all and can actually be sliced up and eaten raw on salads, in salsas, or simply as a quick snack.
What Is the Cashew Fruit Called?
Although cashew fruit is a perfectly acceptable way to refer to this food, it’s more commonly known as cashew apples. This is partly due to the appearance of the cashew fruit, which is red and oblong like an apple.
Where Can I Find Cashew Fruit?
If you’re wanting to sink your teeth into some cashew fruit you’ll need to look a little harder than at your grocery store. You can get this fruit from Amazon, specialty food stores, and occasionally at farmer’s markets.