Macadamia Nut – Interesting Facts

Macadamia nuts originate in Australia and have been consumed by the aboriginal population for years. However, their name was given to them by the Scottish-Australian chemist John Macadam. Due to their hard shells macadamia nuts usually have to be cracked using a machine and are then sold in bags or jars. They are also available with the shell still on, which requires a leverage nut cracker.

The high fat content of macadamia nuts makes them very high in calories, but they are nevertheless considered healthy. Similarly to avocados, macadamia nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids. They are also rich in plant protein, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and vitamin B. As a tasty snack or as an ingredient in sweet or savoury dishes, macadamia nuts are a healthy option. Another elegant addition to many meals is aromatic macadamia nut oil.

Food Facts Food Facts

Macadamia Nut

Class

Macadamia

Calories

780 kcal per 100g

Nutrients

5g carbohydrate, 9g fibre, 78g fat, 9g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store cool, dry and dark

Shelf life

up to two years in their shells

Macadamia Nut – Origin and Characteristics

Macadamia nuts grow on evergreen trees of the sugar bush family. The trees grow up to 15 metres and take 7 to 10 years to bear fruit. They have pink or purple blossoms and form small, round fruits. Macadamia nuts require a lot of processing once harvested, which makes them one of the more expensive types of nut. Once harvested, the seeds have to be removed from the green fruit pod, dried and mechanically cracked. The crunchy yet soft consistency of the cream coloured nut makes all this work worthwhile.

Aside from Australia, the tasty nuts are also cultivated in countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Israel, Brazil and the US. Due to the different maturation periods in the various areas of cultivation, the nuts are available all year round. In order to retain the flavour of the nut, they are best stored in a sealed container, and ground or chopped shortly before use.

Macadamia Nut – Uses

Macadamia nuts are ideal as a crunchy contrast to the otherwise soft texture of an exotic fruit salad, chopped up as a crust for fish or included in biscuit dough. To really highlight the special nut, combine it with almond flakes, lemon balm, lime juice and maple syrup to make a delicious pesto, which goes well with grilled watermelon.

Mixing macadamia nut oil with egg yolk, lime juice, brown sugar and some curry powder results in an unusual salad dressing that goes well with green salads or chicory. Macadamia nut oil can also be used to lend vegan banana pancakes a buttery note. Mash up a ripe banana and mix with flour, soya milk, vanilla sugar, cardamom powder, a little salt and, of course, macadamia nut oil before frying. Maple syrup and berries finish off this healthy and delicious breakfast option.

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