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Choosing the best homegrown Australian macadamia oil for cooking

Macadamia oil is a truly versatile ingredient to have in your pantry. As a kitchen all-rounder, it can add a sweet nuttiness to salad dressings and marinades, but still has a high enough smoke point to cope with intense bursts of heat when pan frying. 

It was once difficult to source Australian macadamia nut oil, from anywhere other than boutique retailers, however, there are now an increasing number of brands available on supermarket shelves. 

A homegrown hero

In the world of healthy fats and oils, olive oil attracts lots of attention because of its high levels of monounsaturated fats and its proven track record as part of a mediterranean diet. However, when it comes to oils fresher is definitely better. If you aren’t buying a local olive oil product, you may find that the oil you buy has spent so long in transit that it has a diminished flavour and nutrition profile. 

It’s a much better idea to buy a fresh, locally-produced Australian macadamia oil. It’s an even greater source of monounsaturated fats (the good kind) than olive oil making it a heart-healthy choice for everyday cooking. It also won’t have travelled so far to get to your pantry so the chances are it will be a fresher – and therefore tastier and better for you – when you ultimately consume it.

How to choose the best macadamia oil

There are three things to look for when trying to select the best macadamia oil to use in your home cooking.

1. Ensure you are buying the freshest oil possible. Like many other products, nut oils begin to deteriorate (or oxidise) the moment they are extracted. An oil is called rancid when it has oxidised to the point where any flavour or nutrition benefits are entirely diminished. So to get the best flavour and nutrition from your purchase buy the freshest oil possible. 

  • Fresh macadamia nut oil has a delicate pale gold colour and a very subtle, nutty aroma.

2. Store your oil properly. Just as macadamias themselves will stay fresher when stored in the fridge or freezer, macadamia oils will store better when kept out of direct light. Darker coloured glass bottles are often best for this. Once you bring your purchase home, store it at room temperature to prevent it from going cloudy. So, in the pantry rather than on the bench is best.

  • The darker the bottle, the more protected the oil is from sunlight that can hasten the oxidation process.

3. It’s best to purchase macadamia nut oil in small quantities. With its many uses in the kitchen you will find many ways to utilise this pale gold liquid, but by buying smaller glass bottles you are avoiding the problem of forgetting that bottle in the back of the pantry!

  • Buy macadamia nut oil in small quantities even though there are many uses for it.

The best brands of Australian macadamia oil

  • Alloway Farms macadamia oil is produced from premium Queensland macadamia nuts. Currently only available in gourmet delis and local produce stores around Bundaberg, but will soon be available online.
  • Brookfarm is known for the many delicious muesli and nut mixes they produce from the nuts they grow in their orchards in the Byron Bay hinterland. However, they also produce a premium grade macadamia oil with a nutty, sweet flavour that enhances the natural flavours of other foods. Their non-GMO, preservative free oil is available online and in health food stores around the country.
  • Pure, cold pressed macadamia oil from Nutworks Australia is a favourite of shoppers around the country. Its golden colour is perfect for dressings and marinades, as well as for cooking meats.
  • Rainforest Foods’ Cold Pressed Macadamia Oil is another homegrown hero from Northern NSW. Not only do they produce a natural oil, they also have a lemon myrtle infused variety. 
  • Australian First Cold Pressed Macadamia Oil from Suncoast Gold has a mild nutty flavour. As with all macadamia nut oil products, store it at room temperature.
  • Australian macadamia oil is also sold at ColesWoolworths and The Source, Bulk Foods.

Where do you source your macadamia oil? What’s your favourite way to use it in cooking? We’ve listed our favourite ideas on the blog.

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