Cashews are IN!

Not too long ago, almonds were the like the popular girl at the prom. Now, cashews are getting their time in the spotlight. You’ll see all kinds of plant-based dairy alternatives featuring cashews popping up. Here are a few to keep an eye out for:

You’ll find cashew milk in the refrigerator section of the super market, but also in ready-to-drink smoothie and juice beverages. The unsweetened variety of SILK Cashew Milk is only 25 calories per cup (compared to 80 calories in skim milk) and incredibly smooth and creamy. Use it in smoothies or cereal, or drink it straight up—basically, enjoy it like you would any other kind of milk or milk alternative.

Vegans rejoice—you can enjoy cheese again! There’s spreadable cashew “cheese” from Punk Rawk Labs. It’s made by fermenting cashew milk, removing the moisture to create a semi-solid texture and infusing it with various flavors to create different varieties; it comes in plain, smoked, herb and even nacho. The soft texture makes it perfect for spreading on whole-grain crackers or as an alternative to cream cheese on a whole-grain bagel.

Or you can make your own. This “Cashew-Cheese Sauce” recipe, which is super easy and delicious, blends cashews with cannellini beans for a white creamy texture, and uses nutritional yeast, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and dried rosemary to re-create a cheesy flavor without the dairy. It tastes amazing over cooked veggies, a baked potato and even in pasta.

Of course, you can always enjoy whole cashews if these ideas are too out-of-the-box for you. They are packed with heart-healthy fats, along with some protein and fiber, too. A 1/4 cup (a small handful) will run you 160 calories – perfect for a snack.

Go on—embrace some cashews in your life!