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MACADAMIA NUTS

Macadamia trees are easily identifiable.
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In northern areas of NZ there can be found a wonderful tree producing exquisite tasting Macadamia nuts. Search the local streets and parks to find an accessible tree. Once found and at the right time of the year you will know where to get them. It is something unique about getting them fresh with their husks on, as opposed to buying them pre-shelled or cooked and salted.
 

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The nuts fall to the ground in the late autumn but they can also be harvested directly from the tree. But be careful, the tree branches can be brittle and may break under the strain of the heavy fruit, wind and/or rough handling. Macadamia nut trees do not produce every year and harvests will vary from tree to tree.

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Leave them with their husks on in a warm dry place (usually in a hessian sack). This will allow them to dry for a couple of weeks and then they are ready to de-husk, and either store or eat. The exterior husk needs to be peeled off so as to prevent mould and stop the nut inside from going rancid. This leaves the smooth brown hard nut shell… the shell is rock hard. The photo above shows the de-husked nut ready to crack open!

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Once the husk is removed if they are still a little damp, they can be oven dried…on a very low heat (50-60deg C) for a couple of hours. Finally, store them in a cool dry place to make sure they keep.
 
A nut cracker is required to get at the kernal. A little hammer and a sculpted wooden block to place the nut on (sculpted to hold it and stop it rolling away) are the ideal implements. Once the hard brown shell is removed inside you will find a very tasty white kernel.

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You can eat them au natural or roast and maybe add a little salt. Kids love then because they get to hammer them open and keep and endless supply going for the adults (that’s if the kids don’t eat them all first).
 
Roast them at about 150oC for 10minutes or so before they ‘brown’ (keep a close eye so you don’t overcook them), you can add a little salt to taste.
Macadamias have a light flavour and a fibrous texture and can be ground over ice cream, in chocolate, over desserts, fruit salads, cakes, and used in roast meat stuffing’s.

Compared to other common edible nuts like almonds and cashews, macadamias are high in fat and low in protein.[5] They have the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut. They also contain 9% protein, 9% carbohydrate, 2% dietary fibre, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.[6]
ref: Wikipedia: Macadamia nut


 
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