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The beginners guide to cooking with macadamia nuts

Macadamias are the ideal go-to nut for people looking to embark on a plant-based diet, or just simply improve their overall nutrition. Macadamias are healthy, delicious and incredibly versatile in the kitchen!

Although experimenting with a new ingredient can sometimes seem daunting, with Australian macadamias it needn’t be. They are an easy to use ingredient with so many uses in the kitchen (and so many health benefits) that it’s possible to include them in almost every type of meal.

Store macadamias in an air tight container

Purchasing and storing macadamias

There are several different varieties available in stores, so make sure you choose the right variety for your culinary purposes and then store them appropriately to protect the antioxidants and good oils that are key to their heart and brain-health benefits.

  • Nut in shell: Some grocers sell macadamias still in their shells. Keeping macadamias in their shells – their natural packaging – can help them keep a little longer, but be warned: macadamias are tough nuts to crack! Their super-hard shells require a specialist nutcracker and it’s best to buy the shelled kernels if you are going to use them a lot in cooking.
  • Raw macadamia kernels: This is the best choice if you are planning to use the nuts in cooking or simply want to roast them yourself, incorporating your own flavours as you go. The texture of raw macadamia kernels is slightly more buttery than when roasted, but the flavour is both subtle and versatile.
  • Roasted macadamias: Roasting nuts intensifies their flavour and, though the texture of their crunch is still distinct, it is noticeably crispier. Roasting them gently will not decrease their health-giving properties.
  • Roasted, salted nuts: These are usually bought for snacking, but they can still be used in cooking. Check the seasoning of your food if you use them in a recipe, as they will add additional salt to your cooking.

No matter what variety you buy, macadamias benefit from being stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Stored this way, they will keep in the fridge for 3 months and in the freezer for 6 months.

Healthy snack of macadamia nuts
Snacking on macadamia nuts

Snacking on macadamias

Many people prefer to snack on roasted macadamias. They make a satisfying, moorish snack straight from the packet. Eating them on their own is the most delicious way to enjoy the benefits of a healthy handful every day. However, roasting them yourself also allows you to incorporate additional flavours and control the amount of salt you eat with them. There are several ways to roast your own macadamias depending on the way you like to enjoy them and the flavours you want to include.  Read our online guide to decide which method is best for you.

Macadamia sprinkles

Elevate your cooking with macadamias

Macadamias can add so much to your cooking. They not only boost the flavour of your food and add a unique, textural crunch, they are a tasty way to bump up the health benefits of any dish. Keeping some in the pantry, fridge or freezer means you can always impress family and friends.

With such a delicious ingredient on hand, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are our recipe recommendations to help beginner cooks gain confidence when cooking with macadamias.

  • Don’t be shy about throwing a handful of macadamias onto salads or stir fries. They are guaranteed to elevate the flavour and texture of both.
  • Our macadamia sprinkles are easy to make and can add their magic to meals at any time of day. Try them on your eggs or avocado at breakfast, your salad at lunch or meat dishes at dinner.
  • For easy sophistication, try using macadamias in a crust for baked fish. The results are impressive, but the method is simple.
A classic macadamia recipe

Guilt free sweet treats

The creamy, decadent crunch of macadamias makes them perfect for sweet treats. White chocolate and macadamia cookies are a classic recipe that beginners often try to master. But there are so many more macadamia-style sweet treats out there that are perfect for beginners. 

Macadamias are often the star of vegan, paleo or keto recipes because they provide delicious texture and flavour while not compromising on health. In fact, they can turn sweet treats into health bombs because they include essential fats, proteins, antioxidants and micronutrients that support the health of our brains, guts and hearts.

Novices looking for healthy macadamia treat foods can start with these easy recipes:

  • Bliss balls: The creamy, buttery texture of macadamias and their nutrient-dense character make them a perfect inclusion in bliss ball recipes.
  • Our three ingredient cookies are so good, you could mistake them for a chocolate and vanilla brownie! Macadamias pack them with healthy goodness and you can literally whip them up in minutes. 
  • Ice cream: It might not seem like something beginners should try but trust us. You don’t even need an ice cream machine to make these three delicious variations of macadamia ice cream.
Macadamia ice cream, dairy or dairy free

Plant based perfection

Macadamias make vegan and plant-forward cooking so easy. High in heart-healthy fats, they can transform easily into a number of dairy alternatives for people who want to go dairy free, including butter, cheese, sourcream and milk. Their crunch is also satisfying for people who might miss the mouthfeel of meat in vegetarian foods.

For people who want to share the plant-based love with friends, macadamias are also a key ingredient in vegan party foods that even carnivores will love.

Macadamia oil is a true kitchen all rounder

Don’t forget about macadamia oil

Macadamia oil is a kitchen all-rounder so it’s an easy way to start using macadamias. It has a high smoke point, which means it can handle the high heats involved in frying and stir frying. However, it can also lend its delicate, nutty flavour and beneficial antioxidants to salad dressings. Keeping a bottle in the pantry is an easy way to include the health and flavour benefits of macadamias to your cooking.

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