Macadamia madness!

Delicious and packed with goodness, the home-grown nut is a tasty accessory to a variety of recipes

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Whether you munch on them as a snack, or add them to your meals, eating macadamias is a great way to look after yourself. By simply including a handful of macadamias in your diet regularly, you will enjoy a range of health benefits as well as their unique and delicious taste. Macadamia oil is also versatile and healthy for dressings and cooking.

Macadamia nuts are packed full of nutrients as they are rich in monounsaturated fats and are heart-friendly. They contain phytochemicals such as antioxidants that help maintain health and wellbeing, fibre to maintain digestive regularity, as well as protein, vitamins and minerals. Macadamias are Australia’s native nut and were a treasured delicacy for traditional Aboriginal Australians. Known as the King of Nuts, macadamias can be handpicked from trees in rainforests or grown from native trees on farms from Noosa to Byron Bay, and are even exported globally. And while they can be eaten unsalted, salted or in a variety of mixes, these versatile nuts can also be used to make some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Pumpkin and Macadamia Soup

1 tablespoon macadamia oil

½ cup roughly chopped, roasted unsalted macadamia nuts

1 small white onion

1 teaspoon grated ginger

3 cups diced pumpkin

1 apple, chopped

3 cups salt reduced chicken stock

Reduced fat natural yoghurt for serving

Whole or halved roasted unsalted macadamias, for garnish

Heat oil in a heavy-based pan; add macadamias, onion and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add the pumpkin and apple and cook for 2-3 minutes, then pour over the stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.

Transfer mixture to a blender and process until smooth and creamy.

Serve in large bowls with a swirl of yoghurt and a few roasted macadamias tossed over for garnish.

Mango, Avocado and Macadamia Salad

1 ripe mango

1 ripe avocado

100gms rocket

1 cup dry roasted unsalted macadamias, crushed

For the dressing

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp of macadamia oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 long red chilli, deseeded and sliced

Chop the mango and avocado into small cubes of the same size and set aside; make sure you don’t bruise them and keep them in a good shape.

For the dressing, mix the lime juice, oil, garlic, mustard and sliced chilli together.

Put the rocket in a large bowl, add the mango and avocado and the dressing, and gently toss to combine. Top with the roasted macadamia nuts.

Lamb and Kumara Tagine with Macadamias

2 tsp ground coriander seeds

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp paprika

1 bunch coriander leaves, with stems removed

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp macadamia oil

1.2 kg boned lamb shoulder, trimmed, cut into 5cm cubes

1½ cups reduced salt chicken stock

1 cup dry roasted unsalted macadamias

500 gms kumara, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks

12 seedless dates

Preheat oven to 150°C. Combine the ground coriander, cumin and paprika, fresh coriander, onion, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor, and blend until almost smooth.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan; add 1/3 of the lamb, fry until browned on all sides. Transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining lamb.

Add the coriander mixture and stock to the frying pan, bring to boil and add to the lamb. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 2 hours. Add the macadamias, kumara and dates, and cook a further hour or until the lamb and kumara are tender.

Serve with couscous or rice.

Beans with Macadamias and Pecans

175g green beans, trimmed

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp macadamia oil

1 tsp honey

½ tsp Dijon mustard

50 gms dry roasted unsalted macadamias, roughly chopped

50 gms unsalted raw pecans, roughly chopped

Black pepper to taste

Place beans in a saucepan of boiling water and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Drain well and place on a serving plate.

Heat a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the lemon juice, macadamia oil, honey, mustard and nuts. Season with pepper to taste. Heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring until honey has dissolved. Spoon warm dressing and nuts over the beans and serve immediately.

Recipes and photos: Suncoast Gold Macadamia Nuts www.suncoastgoldnuts.com

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