This was from a friend of mine, a fellow Brooklynite, who is trying to eat well on a budget. I am a huge fan of that so I did the best I could recommending some local, NY sources.
I bought a fancy juicer to do a homemade variant of the BluePrint cleanse, and I want to make the cashew nut milk to drink at night (it’s super good). I took your advice and used a touch of coconut oil to make it super smooth, but [the recipe] uses A LOT of raw cashews. Where do you buy yours? They’re pretty pricey when you’re buying small amounts at the supermarket.
If you use a touch of coconut cream it is even better! I have three sources for cashews. The fast & easy one is Trader Joe’s. You can get a one pound bag of raw cashews for $5.50.
Pan Asian Foods, on Grand Street, is a wholesaler that also sells to the public. You can buy raw cashews by the pound. The price is slightly less than TJ’s (UPDATE: see comments!), they are in the neighborhood (Williamsburg), and they have a really sweet 7 ft tall buddha shrine. The drawback is that their hours are sporadic and they usually close before 5pm.
The last, and cheapest, is an Indian grocery called Subzi Mandi in Jackson Heights. You can buy a 4 lb. bag of broken cashew pieces for
about $14 (UPDATE: 3.5 lb bag for $12, or 2 lb bag for $9). I do not go often, because it is kind of a trek. I wait until I’m in need of 4-5 bulk ingredients and then go (spices, dried fruit, nuts and gluten-free flours are all cheap/good there).
As a footnote, please keep in mind that none of the cashews I mentioned here are 100% raw. All commercially sold cashews are steamed or boiled to remove the shell. If you are looking for “truly raw” cashews, there are plenty of health food distributors who claim to be the only source.
I took a peek at some of the sites for these distributors and it seems like they go to painstaking efforts to process their cashews. It seems like a lot of fuss for a few degrees difference. If it counts for anything, I’ve found an occasional sprouted cashew amongst my cheaper ones (after being soaked), which means they are somewhat alive, still. Also, the ecological cost of packaging and shipping holier-than-thou cashews kind of offsets their purity.
Let me know if you try any of these stores and how they work out!