Articles, Eco

Macadamia Nuts

Recently I was considering what kinds of nut trees I could grow at home. I was disappointed to find out I ought to scratch Macadamia nut trees off the list since they are frost tender, so not really suited to our place. But then, how happy was I to discover, that there are some well-established orchards not too far away near the coast of Thames.

Mark and I are keen to source local, and we were lucky enough to get a tour around ‘Top Notch’ orchard to see how their Macadamias are grown and processed. What I loved about this place was that every part of the nut is used: from the nut itself – in its pure form or with added flavours, processing the nut to make high quality oil, meal and nut butters, to using the husks as mulch.

Nutritional qualities:

Macadamia nuts are wee balls of energy (720 – 740 kcal/100g) which makes them one of the highest nuts for calorific value. So a good option to take hiking. Like most nuts, macadamia nuts are high in fat – about 76% fat. But the fat in macadamias is the good kind (such as oleic acid and palmitoleic acid) that help lower heart disease and stroke risk. Macadamia nuts have a small amount of protein (~ 8%), but contain around 7% fibre of which some is soluble and some not so macadamias are a good source of roughage and can help promote feelings of satiety. The nuts are rich in many important B-complex vitamins that are vital for metabolic functions. 100 g of nuts will provide 100% of your daily thiamine requirements, 15% of niacin, 21% of B-6, and 12% of riboflavin requirements. They are an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc too. That 100 g of nuts will also provide 3.6 µg of selenium – which is a cardio-protective trace element, again, keeping that heart healthy.

Macadamia nut interesting stuff:

Macadamia trees are native to Australia, and are known by several other names in Australian Aboriginal languages such as bauple and boombera. Allegedly … the botanical name Macadamia was given to them by a botanist (Baron Ferdinand von Mueller) who named the tree after his friend, Dr. MacAdam. Sadly (ironically), Dr MacAdam died on board a ship that was en route to visit his friend Ferdinand and to taste the very nut named after himself….

Shop macadamia nut products:

Natural whole macadamia nuts

Milk chocolate macadamia brittle

Honey caramel macadamia nuts

Smoke and spice macadamia nuts … and more!

PS: we ended up planting an almond tree, so I can write about harvesting that in, say … 15 years…