Macadamia nuts are loved by many for their buttery taste and crisp, light texture. Scientific name: Macadamia integrifolia. It takes seven years for Macadamia Nut fruit to be grown in round nuts that are extremely hard. The edible kernel is yellowish-white and has a smooth buttery appearance. The nut crunches in the mouth when eaten and has a lovely sweet taste, both fresh and roasted. Many people consider macadamias the world’s finest nut because of their delicate flavor, delightful color and appearance versatile uses and crunchy texture.
Because macadamia nuts are so high in fat, they should be refrigerated for the longest shelf life. If kept at room temperature, the nuts may go rancid. Try to use macadamia nuts quickly in either case, as they generally taste better fresh. Toasting also highlights their flavor; to toast macadamia nuts, either roast them in a heavy pan or bake them, turning them occasionally until they turn golden brown.
MACADAMIA NUT TREE
Macadamia nut treesare a fast growing, regular-shaped, medium-sized tree with heavy, dark green foliage. Leaves develop in whorls of three, paired, or in fours. The leaves are rarely solitary. The leaves are blunt tipped, oblong, 1 foot in length or more, edged with fine teeth, and the petioles are about half an inch in length. The flowers are small, whitish, tasseled, and grow on long spikes. The nuts ripen in the fall, both the spring and fall, or through the year. The nut is encased in a leathery two valved case that is 1 inch in diameter. The case encloses one spherical nut or two hemispherical nuts. The nuts have a smooth hard shell that encases a white kernel.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MACADAMIA NUT
Although macadamia nuts are high in fat, it’s the healthy monounsaturated fats that dominate their nutritional profile. In fact, they are known to have higher levels of monounsaturated fats than any natural, commercially available food source. Studies have shown that consuming this type of fat can lower the risk of heart disease by enhancing good cholesterol (HDL), while helping to suppress bad cholesterol (LDL).
Macadamia nuts are a good source of protein. They contain all of the essential amino acids as well as some non-essential amino acids. Protein is important for muscle growth and repair, as well as proper immune system function.
The carbohydrates in macadamia nuts include sugars, such as fructose, glucose, sucrose and maltose, as well as a quantity of other starchy substances. These carbohydrates supply the body with energy.
The fiber in macadamia nuts helps to give a feeling of fullness and reduces hunger pangs. Fiber is also important for digestion. It helps to maintain the health of your intestines by promoting the right balance of intestinal bacteria and can aid in relieving constipation.
Macadamias contain important antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium, as well as other phytonutrients. These essential nutrients are free radical scavengers; they can help to prevent free radical damage in the body.
The monounsaturated fats contained in macadamia nuts are thought to metabolize differently from other types of fats. Studies show that nut eaters usually weigh less than those that don’t eat nuts. So, substituting macadamia nuts for other high fat snacks could lead to weight loss.