Macadamia nuts are having a moment. In the new year, there are multiple indications the healthy, flavorful nuts will be one of the top trending foods for the year ahead and beyond.
The reasons vary: Macadamia nuts myriad nutritional benefits align with multiple trending dietary lifestyles. Often considered a specialty treat, macadamias will soon become more widely available year-round. Gorgeous, nutritious and delicious, macadamias are even gaining attention on social media.
Want to dive deeper into why we all may be making room for macadamias in 2024? Consider these five reasons:
- Macadamias feature “good fats” that support a healthy diet. Consumers are more frequently seeking diets rich in healthy fats and macadamia nuts — much like avocados — are high in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). In fact, they contain the highest level of MUFAs of all nuts in the form of Omega-9 and Omega-7. Omega-9 is also found in olive oil and are known to reduce inflammation, improve heart function through lowering of “bad cholesterol” levels and support overall wellness.
- Macadamias are the low carb lifestyle’s best friend. Macadamia nuts are naturally low in carbohydrates and make for an ideal choice as a snack or central ingredient that won’t spike blood sugar levels. There is only a minimal spike in blood glucose levels post-consumption, ideal for those using continuous glucose monitors, a gadget gaining popularity among health and wellness enthusiasts.
- Macadamias are a “naturally functional food.” With ultra-processed foods on the wane, macadamias are an ideal, nutrient dense, whole food alternative. “The desire for functional ingredients is on the rise, and I recommend to my patients healthy, filling foods like macadamia nuts,” said Denise Canellos MS, CNS. “Macadamias are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals – a naturally functional food.”
- Macadamia supplies are tripling. The World Macadamia Organisation estimates macadamia supply will triple over this decade. The reason? Farmer choice. WMO notes producers worldwide have steadily replaced their tobacco, sugar cane and other crops with macadamia trees. As a result, look for more macadamias on the grocery shelf, whether they are served whole as a snack, play a starring role in mixed-nut packages and/or are featured as a key ingredient in your favorite healthy snacks.
- Macadamias are the talk of social media. The Food Theorists, the popular YouTube series revealing fun food facts to its nearly 5 million YouTube subscribers, recently devoted 15 minutes to showcasing macadamia’s benefits in a video approaching 1 million views: “A food that isn’t only yummy and nutrient dense, but can also bring out the best parts of whatever ingredients you throw at it.”
Check out these recipes below from the World Macadamia Organisation.
Macadamia Mediterranean Muffins
Recipe courtesy Australian Macadamia Society
1 cup macadamias roasted and roughly chopped
100 ml macadamia oil
1 ea. egg lightly beaten
1 cup milk
100 g parmesan cheese grated
100 g prosciutto finely chopped
⅓ cup roasted capsicum finely chopped
3 T rosemary leaves finely chopped
Rosemary sprigs garnish
12 ea. thin slices roasted capsicum extra garnish
Preheat oven to 390°. Lightly grease a 12-muffin, muffin pan or line with muffin cases.
Place the flour and macadamias into a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
Pour oil, egg and milk into a jug and stir until combined. Pour into the flour well and stir until almost combined.
Add the cheese, prosciutto, roasted capsicum and rosemary and fold through.
Spoon into the muffin holes, garnish with rosemary sprigs and a slice of capsicum. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Macadamia Snack Balls
Recipe courtesy The Food Theorists with World Macadamia Organisation
Yield:12 small balls
3 T maple syrup
⅓ macadamia nuts (whole or pieces)
Add water as needed for consistency
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until they form a cohesive mixture, with the ingredients starting to adhere together.
If the mixture appears too crumbly, gradually incorporate a small amount of water until the desired consistency is achieved.
Shape the mixture into your preferred size of balls.
To firm them up, refrigerate the balls for approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Charred Broccoli with Dates, Macadamia Nuts and Macadamia Oil Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy World Macadamia Organisation
Ingredients for Quick Pickled Onions
1 ea. red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup water
⅓ cup apple cider or white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp sugar
Ingredients for Charred Broccoli
5 T macadamia nut oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (60g) raw pistachio nuts
½ cup (110g) packed, pitted, roughly chopped Medjool dates
1½ T red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C.
Bring the water and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in the salt and sugar. Place the sliced onion into a mason jar that’s roomy enough to hold all of the onion plus a few inches of head space. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onion. Use a spoon to press the onion slices down into the pickling liquid. Cover the jar and set it aside while you proceed with the recipe.
Transfer the broccoli florets to a baking sheet. Drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of the macadamia nut oil and use your hands to mix them well, coating all of the florets with oil. Sprinkle the florets generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the florets to the oven. Roast them for 15 minutes, then use tongs to flip the florets over. Roast for another 10 minutes, or until both sides of the florets are deeply browning. Remove the broccoli from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature.
Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F/200°. Place the macadamia nuts onto a separate, quarter-sized baking sheet. Transfer the nuts to the oven. Roast them for 5 minutes, or until they smell fragrantly nutty and are gently browning. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool, then roughly chop the nuts.
Arrange the broccoli florets on a plate or platter, put them into a wide, shallow serving bowl. Drain the pickled onions. Arrange the chopped, toasted macadamia nuts and chopped, pitted dates over the broccoli florets. Top the whole dish with as many pickled red onions as you like.
Whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of macadamia nut oil, the red wine vinegar, mustard, sea salt, and garlic. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the broccoli florets. Serve.
Macadamia Nut Crusted Fish Bowl
Recipe courtesy The Modern Proper with World Macadamia Organisation
½ tsp ground ginger
1 T sugar
1¾ tsp kosher salt
2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed
Extra-virgin olive oil or cooking spray
12 oz green beans, trimmed
1 ea. egg
½ cup raw macadamia nuts, finely chopped
½ cup coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened
1 lb white fish, such as cod, halibut, or tilapia, cut into 4 pieces
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sweet chili sauce
3 ea. green onions, thinly slice
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
Transfer 2 to 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk to a small bowl, set aside.
In a second medium pot, add the remaining coconut milk, 1 ¼ cups water, ginger, sugar, and ½ teaspoon of the salt, stir to combine.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice using a fork. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit on the hot stove for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Grease a large rimmed sheet pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Once the water comes to a boil, add the green beans and cook for 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the blanched green beans to the sheet pan.
In a shallow bowl or pie dish, beat the egg until smooth. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the macadamia nuts and coconut.
Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Season the fish all over with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Dip each piece of fish into the egg, allowing the excess to drip off. Then dip the fish into the coconut mixture, gently pressing to adhere. Add the fish to the sheet pan.
Drizzle or spray the green beans and fish with a little more olive oil and sprinkle the green beans with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Place the sheet pan in the oven until the fish is flaky, about 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, and reserved 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk.
To serve, divide the coconut rice and green beans among four bowls. Top with the rice with the fish. Drizzle with the chili mayo and sprinkle with the green onions.
Spring Vegetable Crostini with Macadamia Nut Ricotta
Recipe courtesy LepetitEats with World Macadamia Organisation
Ingredients for the Macadamia Ricotta
Ingredients for the Crostini
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and process until a smooth ball forms. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Place in an airtight container and chill until ready to use. This can be made a day or two in advance, if needed.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Bake until bread is toasted and slightly crunchy, about 7-8 minutes., flipping once halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.
Spread a thick layer of macadamia ricotta on each slice of bread. Top with beets, radishes, snap peas and mint. Finish with flaky sea salt.