Cashew Meal: Tips for Using This Gluten-Free Nut Flour

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I noticed a new-to-me product in the baking aisle: cashew meal. Now I’ve been using almond and walnut meal for quite some time, but cashew meal hadn’t made its way into my weekly lineup. I purchased the bag, began experimenting, and I’m here to report that its uses are varied, delicious, and nutritious!

It’s been a lot of fun to play with in the kitchen. Have you tried cashew meal or cashew flour yet?

Yes, You Can Make Your Own

Now first things first: you don’t need to purchase packaged cashew meal. You can actually make your own by grinding down raw cashews in a food processor or high-powered blender until they’re coarse and crumbly, but just make sure to stop before it turns to cashew butter.

Cashew Meal vs. Cashew Flour

The only difference between cashew meal and cashew flour is the coarseness of the grind: cashew meal is a bit coarser, whereas cashew flour is fine and more suited to delicate baking projects like cakes or thickening soups or curries.

How Do You Use Cashew Flour?

The way I most enjoy getting to know or understand a new product in the kitchen is simply to experiment and try new things with it. Cashew flour is popular in a lot of gluten-free cooking and baking for obvious reasons: the lack of gluten and that it can be used in much the same way almond flour or almond meal is used in cookies, muffins, and quick breads.

I like to start by substituting 1/4 or up to 1/2 of the regular flour in a recipe with the cashew meal and take it from there. I swapped out 1/2 of the whole-wheat flour in my favorite scone recipe for cashew meal and the flavor was incredible.

When I began making these substitutions, my baked goods had a rich, almost savory aroma and a slightly sweet, almost creamy flavor. I’ve even used the cashew meal to bread chicken thighs and loved it!

I’d love to hear if any of you use cashew flour at home and in what recipes. In the meantime, here are a few recipes to get you inspired to start using cashew flour today:

5 Sweet and Savory Cashew Flour Recipes