Wholesome Cashew Fruit JamMar 10, 2017
The cashew fruit also known as the cashew apple, grows in the warm tropical climate. We are fortunate to have a few mature cashew trees at Beyond Vitality Nature Camp. The cashew fruit is where the actual cashew nut is hanging from. The nut is enclosed in a thick shell and skin. Eaten raw, the fruit has an astringent taste which is undesirable to some people. But as a jam, everyone loves it! There is a little trick to get rid of the astringent taste.
The cashew nut must be properly and carefully processed as it has toxic and caustic acids, but the fruit does not, thus it can be enjoyed raw. Cashew apples are best enjoyed fresh, as they won’t last more than a day or two after picking. They must be processed quickly. That is why we were inspired to create this Wholesome Cashew Fruit Jam recipe. The fruit does not need to be pealed in order to be enjoyed raw or made into jam.
This jam is a great accompaniment to our Moist Coconut Milk Pulp Muffins or any spiced muffins and other baked good. It is also a wonderful addition spread onto traditional cassava bread.
This is a guest recipe post by Victoria de Leeuw. She is a permaculture, health and sustainability enthusiast. Victoria joined us at Beyond Vitality Nature Camp for a month, as part of our Volunteer Program. We hope that you find this post enjoyable and informative.
Wholesome Cashew Fruit Jam
1 kg of cashew fruit (with nut removed)
0.5 kg of cane sugar
3-6 limes, to taste
1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
Few pinches of salt
Few pinches of baking soda
Water as needed
Heat resistant funnel or soup serving spoon
Masher or large fork (if needed)
Clean kitchen cloth
4-6 jars, preferably with lids that 'pop' when you open them
To begin, hand pick and process your cashew fruits by separating the nut from the apple (sun dry and store the nuts for later use).
Put a small plate in the freezer - you will need this later to test if the jam is ready to be canned. Depending on the desired texture, cut the cashew fruit in smaller or larger pieces. Rinse and put in a large pot of boiling water. In order to get rid of the astringent taste, boil the fruit in salted water for 5 minutes - you will notice the skin turn yellow during this process. While the fruit is boiling, grate some fresh ginger and squeeze the limes.
Drain and rinse the boiled fruit and put back on the stove. Add the ginger, sugar, half of the lime juice and enough water to cover half of the fruit. Bring the mixture to a boil while mixing regularly. The time this process takes can vary from 20-45 minutes according to the amount of liquid added and the size of the fruit pieces. Depending on the jam texture you desire, you may want to mash the fruit a bit as cashew is touch and will not fall apart much by itself.
Meanwhile, prepare your jars for canning. Unscrew the lids from the jars, wash everything and put the lids in a bowl. Boil enough water to fill all the jars and the bowl with water, plus a little extra to rinse. Add a bit of baking soda to each jar and the bowl, pour the hot water into everything (to sterilize) and let sit.
Check whether the jam is ready by pouring a few drops on the frozen plate. Leave it for 30 seconds. Use the back of a spoon to see if wrinkles start to occur, or tilt the plate slightly to see how fast the jam moves around on the plate. When it has the consistency you want, empty and rinse the jars and lids with the remaining hot water and put them upside down on a clean kitchen cloth.
You can now start filling the jars with your jam! Take the jam from the pot and fill each jar up to just under the rim; there should be as little oxygen in the jar as possible for preservation. You can gently hit the jar on your counter top to pop any air bubbles. Clean the rim, screw the lid on tightly and turn the jar upside down. Leave the jars like this for approximately 30 minutes. Check whether they are properly sealed by pushing on the lid. When it doesn't pop, the jar is sealed and good to be stored for at least a few months.
Photo Credits: Elsemieke de Boer
About the author
Victoria de Leeuw is an inspiring student and world traveller with a keen interest in permaculture, health and sustainability. She also enjoys baking on her free time! We recently had the pleasure of hosting her at Beyond Vitality Nature Camp. She travelled all the way from The Netherlands to help us at the camp for a month, as part of our Volunteer Program. From being a very hard worker on the land to an excellent baker in the kitchen, Victoria was a very well rounded, unique individual, which we really enjoyed having with us. If you would like to connect with Victoria, you can get in touch with her here on Facebook.
We offer a unique opportunity for experiential learning in the areas of rewilding, movement, holistic nutrition and sustainable living while residing in a beautiful place, eating nourishing food from the land and working with a group of unique individuals from around the globe. Unleash your wild side and check out our Volunteer Program here.
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