Salt-free Cashew Spice Blend

Salt-free cashew spice blend is a sprinkle that adds a zesty crunch and flavor blast to salads, pasta dishes, soups, and on vegetables.

Salt-free Cashew Spice Blend in a small olivewood bowl on a white plate with garlic cloves and a lemon wedge.

Initially, I came up with this salt-free cashew sprinkle to replace grated Parmesan on pasta. While it doesn’t taste like Parmesan, it gives a nutty spicy flavor and texture that replaces Parmesan really well. Salt-free cashew spice blend adds that extra blast of flavor, with the benefit of a little crunch too. Now I use the salt-free cashew spice blend to liven up lots of dishes . . .pizza, pasta bakes, salads, soups. It is always a garnish for the Mirepoix Mirepoix Lentil Soup. And it’s salt-free! The lime juice or juice from a very tart lemon gives it enough zestiness that you don’t miss the salt.

The Salt-free cashew spice blend can be refrigerated for up to 7 days. It freezes well for up to 3 or 4 months. I just keep in the freezer so it’s available anytime I need to dress up a dish.

Pin Image: Salt-free Cashew Spice Blend in an olivewood bowl with garlic cloves and a lemon wedge

Tools Used in this Recipe

  • chef knife
  • shallow bowl
  • baking pan or bake sheet
  • parchment paper
  • jar or other storing container
Print Recipe
Salt-free Cashew Spice Blend Recipe
Small olivewood bowl with Salt-free Cashew Spice Blend on a white plate with a lemon wedge and whole garlic cloves.
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
tablespoons
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 lime or very tart lemon juice only, about 2-3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 11/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 11/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 11/2 tsp coriander
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
tablespoons
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 lime or very tart lemon juice only, about 2-3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 11/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 11/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 11/2 tsp coriander
Small olivewood bowl with Salt-free Cashew Spice Blend on a white plate with a lemon wedge and whole garlic cloves.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300˚
  2. Chop the nuts to the size you want. Place in shallow bowl. Pour boiling water over the nuts. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain the water. This step will clean the nuts and get them ready to absorb the lime juice and spices.
  3. Add the lime juice and stir to coat all of the nuts evenly with the liquid. Extra liquid is fine at this stage as some will be absorbed into the cashews.
  4. Sprinkle or grind the spices listed to cover evenly and toss with them in the bowl for better coverage, repeat 1 or 2 more times.
  5. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes or more. This rest time allows the spices to pick up moisture so they won’t overcook and infuses the flavor into the cahsews. If you want to leave longer, put in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
  6. Drain and discard any excess liquid.
  7. Line a bake pan with parchment paper and spread the cashews out to one layer. Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove and lift the paper on each side to toss the cashews, then return for another 5 minutes, then toss again.
  9. After another 5 minutes, the cashews should be a golden brown and when they cool will be crunchy. Leave in longer if you like a darker roast.
  10. You can leave as is, chop the cashews further or pulse them in a food processor for a fine grind at this stage to make a sprinkle.