Oil-Free Roasted Cashews
- 1 cup "raw" cashews 150 g
- 1 tsp spices and seasoning optional; see Notes for recommended flavour combinations
- 1⁄4 tsp fine salt or 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
- 1–2 tsp water
- Add cashews and oil, if using, to a medium bowl. Instead of water, you can also use 1 tsp of oil. Toss to coat.
- Add spices to the bowl and toss again to coat the cashews evenly.
- Roast in the oven at 375 °F for 15 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes to turn.
For some reason, most recipes call for a lower temperature and a shorter roasting time, regardless of whether or not oil is used. I find that anything less than 375 °F and 10 minutes leaves a lingering raw taste. However, you may want to start checking on them at 10 minutes to make sure you don’t over-brown them, especially if your oven temperature is unreliable. (I used an oven thermometer to double-check that it was 375 °F.)
Oil-free roasted cashews taste pretty good just with plain old salt, but it’s fun to make your own flavour combinations. I’ve tried:
- 1 tsp Goya adobo seasoning
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika + 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper + 1/2 tsp salt
Nutrition and Cost Information for Roast Cashews without Oil
1 cup of oil-free roasted cashews (seasoned with salt and pepper) costs CAD$2.32 in ingredients and totals 833 cal.
Where to Find “Raw” Cashews
Kevin and I love love love cashews—more than is healthy for our bank account, I think, since nuts are pretty expensive. We once went through three kilos in a month… yeah.
We used to buy Kirkland Signature roasted cashews from Costco, but the Yupik brand of raw cashews, also sold at Costco, is cheaper by weight than the roasted cashews. Although, apparently, so-labelled “raw cashews” are actually slightly cooked because true raw cashews are poisonous!! Whatever, they are, parboiled or steamed or whatever, you can definitely tell the difference between these and roasted cashews. They are a lighter colour, have less of that nice fragrant flavour and just taste… well, a little bit raw.
Raw cashews are also so much more versatile—they can be used in a lot of vegan recipes for sauces, desserts, and for vegan cheese-making, where they are preferred over roasted nuts for their more neutral flavour profile, and they are also called for in many curry recipes to add richness. So I’ve stopped buying the pre-roasted ones now. “Raw” is the way to go!
Oil or Water?
Most recipes call for a splash of oil to help salt and seasoning adhere to the cashews. However, nuts are already so high in fat there’s no nutritional benefit to adding more oil. To roast cashews without oil, I found that adding a spoonful of water is just as effective for getting spices to stick, and the result is as yummy as always. They may stick a little if you are using aluminum foil or roasting directly on the pan, but just run a spatula under them and they lift easily. Parchment paper, though, is the easiest and the cleanest.
A Great Road Trip Snack!
On our recent day trip to Niagara Falls, a small container of roast cashews went a long way in keeping us full for a long, busy day of walking and driving.
The only thing I had to watch out for was that they were seriously addictive, and I had to limit how much I ate so I wouldn’t be too full for dinner.