Australia is the birthplace of macadamias. The creamy, crunchy nuts first evolved in our native rainforests 60,000 years ago. Considered a delicacy by Aboriginal people, they were traded between tribes and used as special ceremonial gifts at inter-tribal corroborees.
Today, they are grown in the same rich, fertile soils (mostly in the sub-tropical climates of northern New South Wales, southern and central Queensland, and smaller plantations in Western Australia) and have the natural advantage of being grown in their country of origin. Once established, macadamia trees can continue bearing nuts for more than 100 years.
Along with being delicious and versatile, macadamias offer a host of health benefits. Packed full of healthy fats, fibre, protein and antioxidants, they are the perfect native ingredient to have on hand in your kitchen. From muffins to dips to smoothies to pizzas, there are endless ways to use macadamias creatively in your cooking.
5 things you might not know about macadamias
1. The best way to preserve the freshness of macadamia nuts is to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
2. Macadamias have the highest amount of monounsaturated fats of any known nut. One handful (15 whole nuts or 30 halves) includes a third of your daily vitamin B1, a quarter of your daily manganese and 12 per cent of your daily magnesium.
3. Being a whole plant food, macadamias are naturally rich in antioxidants, as well as plant sterols, which help reduce cholesterol absorption in the body.
4. Japan is the largest export country for macadamias. More than 1.9 million Japanese consumers voted macadamias as their favourite nut, ahead of almonds.
5. Macadamias contain around 2g fibre per 30g serve, similar to the amount in a slice of wholemeal bread.
(Source: Australian Macadamias)
Macadamia recipes to try
We have a yummy collection of macadamia recipes on be. magazine for you to try your hand at. Here are three picks to start with: