If you or someone in your family has a peanut allergy, you do not need to give up the yummy sandwiches that everyone loves.
Instead of using peanut butter, simply buy cashew butter at the grocery store and spread it on bread. Be sure to read the label carefully to be sure that it is not produced in a place where peanut butter is manufactured because of the danger of cross-contamination.
Homemade Cashew Butter
Making your own cashew butter is simple to do and takes only a few minutes. You will need unsalted roasted cashews, vegetable oil, salt and sugar. Process the cashews in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add the oil gradually, until the cashew butter reaches the consistency and smoothness that you want. If it is dry, add more oil, one teaspoon at a time. Add the salt and sugar and process for a few more seconds. Cashews have a natural sweetness, so you may want to omit the sugar.
Cooking with Cashew Butter
Many people are surprised to learn that peanut butter is an ingredient in many foods that do not taste like peanuts. These include egg rolls, some types of chili and certain sauces. You can use cashew butter instead of peanut butter if you do not have a nut allergy. Many Indian dishes like Chicken Muklari, Butter Chicken or Tikka Masala require peanut butter, but some cooks prefer the taste of cashew butter. It can also be used in Chinese cooking to make Szechuan dishes like Hot Pepper Chicken.
One recipe favorite using cashew butter is for Cashew Butter Cookies. These melt-in-your-mouth cookies are made by substituting peanut butter for cashew butter. After making the cookie dough, form each cookie into small balls the size of walnuts. Roll each ball in sugar before placing it on a cookie sheet. If you prefer, you could omit the sugar and simply bake the dough. You can also use a fork to make a crisscross so that these cookies look like peanut butter cookies. You may need to experiment a little if you want to simply substitute cashew butter for peanut butter in your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. Because of the softer texture of cashews, it is sometimes necessary to add a little bit more flour to the recipe.