Snack Series: Cashews and Cranberries

Sweet, savory, and simple. Dried fruit and nuts. The ultimate hiking snack, travel snack, or I-want-to-stay-full-longer snack. Cranberry health benefits include protection against urinary tract infections, stomach ulcers, and anti-inflammatory issues. Cashews have heart-healthy fats, are good sources of energy, keep your bones healthy, and help prevent gallstones.

Did you know, though, that cashews come from the cashew apple tree? The fruit is a delicacy in Brazil and other parts of the world where it grows. Cashew nuts weren't popular until the beginning of the 20th century. The nut is actually a seed that grows in a pod at the bottom of the cashew apple. The seed pods contain a chemical that is related to urushiol which is found in poison ivy. The pods need to be carefully removed, then the seeds properly roasted to destroy the toxin. However, the roasting has to be done outdoors because the smoke can cause severe irritation to the lungs. Crazy, no?

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