Tuesday, August 21, 2012

digestion, again -- cashews!

Yesterday afternoon i ate a few cashews that i had soaked "raw" and dehydrated myself, along with the last half-glass of champagne from last week.  ...I'm beginning to think i have a problem with cashews, or champagne*, or both.

After my dinner of baked wild-caught salmon (which was very rich), i ended up taking a betaine-HCl ... and then finally, shortly before bedtime, a dose of enzymes.  That helped.

OBVIOUSLY, i'm going to have to change the way i process my cashews, or give them up entirely.  "Raw" cashews are in fact not really raw; they've been heat-treated in the process of removing their casings -- i hate to call them SHELLS, because cashews aren't really like other nuts.  In fact, they're related to mangoes and poison ivy.

From what i've been able to find out in 15 minutes with the help of google, a lot of people have trouble digesting cashews -- it seems the main protein(s) aren't broken down well with pepsin in the stomach.  The most complete info came from here:  http://www.chetday.com/nutprocessing.html

I was ready for them to perform differently in soaking and dehydration, upon advice from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.  You're not supposed to soak them for over 6 hours, because the heat-treatment they've already gone through keeps them from being sproutable, and they just get slimy and ferment.  They need dehydrating at a higher temperature than the other nuts/seeds i've worked with, too, and it took quite a long time.  They finally came out, with a very good texture, but there was barely any saltiness to them.

I might use up the rest of the quart of the "finished" nuts i have, by putting them in combination with other things and cooking them more, or ... maybe they won't bother my husband, and he'll happily finish them.  The last of the raw ones, i'll try doing in the oven (higher temp than the dehydrator) with a little sea-salt sprinkled directly on them.

[sigh...]  And i love cashews.  :-(  But if it's a case of feeling like i have a nascent volcano in my belly, they may have to go the way of wheat.  There are plenty more fish in the sea -- i mean NUTS in the TREE!
*  the good news is, there doesn't seem to be a lot of anecdotal evidence for champagne causing maldigestion, outside overdrinking.


  1. I don't drink Champagne very often, but on general principle I'd vote cashews off the island first, just cuz...I'm not hugely fond of cashews, so if you told me I couldn't have them I would be like: "too bad, so sad"...OTOH-if you told me I couldn't have Champagne I'd be all sad about the possiblity of not being able to have it on some (yet unplanned) celebration in my unknown future.

  2. I have my raw cashews (365 brand) with sour-creme
    (Amish Sourced) and have not had a problem. Most wheat will do a number on me though. Sprouted
    wheat bread less so, and is an occasional treat
    I have with a slathering of Kerry-Gold.

  3. @Kim, well, i love macadamias and cabernet much more than cashews and sparkling wine, so i could live either way.... ;-)

    @TJ -- hello and welcome! i've never noticed what your tolerances are, though i think i've seen you in comments sections.... for myself, i have to be careful of what i treat myself with, because sometimes the repercussions are very unpleasant and long-lasting. ...but kerrygold makes a lot of things better.

  4. The only way to eat (only RAW) cashews is maybe lunchtime, when you're hungry, and alone - nothing before, nothing after. It takes my hunger away, (yes, about 15 cashews fill me up) eat less, and lost weight!

    1. on the rare occasions i need a snack to tide me over to dinner, i'll have a small handful -- but no more cooking them for me! :-)