Learn more about the origins, culinary uses and nutritional benefits of macadamia nuts below.
About Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts come from the fruit of a large evergreen tree native to eastern Australia. Thousands of years before European settlement, the aborigines of Australia gathered the native nuts from rain forest floors and consumed them as snacks. It wasn't until the early 1880s that the macadamia nut was first introduced to Hawaii, which today is one of the world's leading producers of macadamias. The nuts are often drenched in chocolate and sold as confectionery items or used in baked goods, like white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Their pleasant, mellow flavor also works well in savory dishes. Macadamias are beloved for their delicious buttery taste and immense health benefits.
Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are one of the few food sources that contain palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that can improve fat metabolism. A 2011 study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease examined the effects of palmitoleic acid supplementation in diabetic mice. The researchers found that palmitoleic acid was beneficial for improving insulin sensitivity and reducing body weight increase.
Nearly eighty percent of the fat in macadamia nuts is monounsaturated, which has been associated with reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. A 2008 study published in The Journal of Nutrition studied the effect of a macadamia-rich diet on individuals with high cholesterol levels. As part of a heart-healthy diet, macadamia nut consumption helped reduce total and LDL "bad" cholesterol levels in the patients studied.
The Perfect Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio
Compared to other nuts, macadamias contain the lowest omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (6:1) which is important because many Western diets are at risk of getting too much Omega-6 and too little Omega-3. Consuming foods with a healthy proportion of both essential fatty acids is important for reducing inflammation in our bodies.
Macadamia nuts are rich in potent antioxidants like phytochemicals and vitamin E. These antioxidants prevent cell damage and oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which are associated with chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
All-Around Health Nut
Macadamia nuts are a good source of protein, dietary fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They are also an excellent source of thiamine and manganese. Thiamine plays an important role in supporting the nervous system, maintaining good ocular health, and aiding cerebral function. Manganese is required for calcium absorption, bone development, and blood sugar regulation.
Macadamia Nut Recipes & Ideas
The sweet flavor and creamy texture of the nuts makes them a great addition to any number of dishes, including both classic desserts- like Macadamia nut cookies- and traditional savory plates- like Mahi Mahi.
To create a sweeter confection, like muffins or cookies, we recommend pairing the nut with white chocolate, banana, cranberries, or coconut. The nuts can be left whole or chopped, but serve to supply the ideal crunch when left at a larger size. We recommend using our delectable macadamia nut pieces for cookies and similarly small treats.
For savory dishes, the preparation will vary from plate to plate. Pesto, for example, will require the nuts to be ground into a fine powder with a food processor. Alternatively, you can use our macadamia nut flour to combine with cilantro and coconut oil. You can then use the pesto to garnish mahi mahi kebabs or to season your favorite pasta dish.
You can also combine whole nuts or nut pieces with fresh pineapple to serve alongside a breaded fish of your own choosing. For a fast mahi mahi dish with macadamia nuts, follow this simple recipe submitted by one of our health nuts!
Macadamia Nut Storage
Macadamia nuts can be stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry for up to four weeks. To extend the shelf life of your macadamias, transfer them to the fridge or freezer. Due to their high oil content, if the nuts are kept for longer than one month, they should be stored in the fridge to preserve freshness and prevent rancidity. They can be stored in the fridge for up to six months or transferred to an airtight container or heavy duty freezer bag and stored in the freezer for up to one year.
How are macadamia nuts harvested?
Macadamia nuts are ready for harvest when the fruits of the macadamia tree begin to fall to the ground. Large-scale commercial facilities will use mechanical sweepers to collect the nuts from the orchard floor. At this point, the fruits are sent to processing facilities where they are dried and de-husked within 24 hours of the harvest to reveal the smooth, hard-shelled macadamia nuts. The nuts are then cleaned and passed through a quality control inspection where they are sorted according to size and color. For shelling purposes, the nuts are sent through steel rollers which exert enough pressure to crack the shells without damaging the nut kernel inside.
We also offer wholesale macadamia nuts.