Many people transitioning to the raw vegan diet seem confused about the subject of cashews and whether or not they are fully raw. The short answer is that store bought cashews are generally not raw -- even if they do not appear to have been roasted -- because they have been steamed to remove them from their shells efficiently and safely.
Fortunately, the good news for cashew lovers who want to remain fully raw is that you can indeed order truly raw hand-shelled cashews online. The price can be a bit high for some budgets, but when you are trying to get that special taste and texture in a raw dish that cashews offer, it can be well worth the cost and open up the possibility of creating some delicious raw vegan desserts, cheezes and sauces.
Furthermore, while macadamia nuts make a delightful snack and can substitute for cashews in most raw vegan recipes, even they might not be raw if you buy them from your local store. For example, major grocery store brands like Mauna Loa reportedly heat their macadamia nuts in the drying process beyond the 117 degrees F that raw food needs to remain below, even when they are not sold as roasted nuts.
Those wishing to remain fully raw will therefore need to contact the nut manufacturer directly or buy their macadamia nuts online from a trusted raw food supplier that understands exactly what raw vegans are looking for.