Macadamias are a rich source of monounsaturated (omega-3) fatty acids and come with a host of health benefits in just one handful. Whether you eat them as a snack or use them in a recipe for added crunch, here are five reasons why you need this healthy tree nut in your diet and two delicious recipes to get you started.
1. Gives you a dose of antioxidants which boost the body’s natural defenses
2. Naturally gluten-free, low in sugar and very low in sodium
3. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, keeping your heart healthy
4. Contributes to strong and shiny hair and nails
5. Contains vitamin B1, magnesium and potassium for increased energy and muscular function
Wondering how to incorporate this healthy tree nut in a recipe? Try these tasty picnic recipes courtesy of Australian Macadamias.
Macadamia, pumpkin and blue cheese tartlets (picutured above)
These tasty tartlets use store-bought pastry, so they’re quick and easy to make. The pumpkin, blue cheese and coriander combination makes them a classy work lunch option, or the ideal addition to a long and leisurely picnic. But don’t be fooled by their simplicity – the golden macadamias on top ensure they’re anything but ordinary.
300g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
2 tsp oil
450g pack store-bought short-crust pastry
¼ cup thickened cream
50g blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped, or chives if you prefer
¼ cup macadamia halves
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place the pumpkin pieces on a small tray and drizzle with oil. Roast for 15 minutes, or until just soft.
3. Place pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut out 6 x 14cm rounds, to fit tartlet tins. You may have slightly smaller or larger tins, so cut according to your size. Press the pastry circles into the tins.
4. Cut 6 rounds of baking paper to line the pastry. Line the pastry and weight with pastry weights or an appropriate weight – rice or dried chickpeas work well. Bake for 5–7 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Remove the baking paper and weights.
5. Whisk together the eggs and cream. Pour the egg mixture into the empty tart shell so that it comes halfway up the sides. Divide the pumpkin and blue cheese between the tarts and sprinkle with coriander. Dot with macadamia halves and return to the oven for a further 5–7 minutes, until puffed and golden.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Macadamia and three seed crackers recipe
These deliciously moreish crackers are perfect with cheese and add a little macadamia magic to any picnic platter. Best of all, the super-easy, blend-and-bake recipe means you can whip up a batch in no time and hit the picnic rug sooner!
¼ cup wholemeal flour
¼ cup oats
½ cup macadamias
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp water
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place all the ingredients except the water in a blender. Blend until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Note that many of the sesame seeds and all the poppy seeds will still be whole.
3. With the motor running, add the water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together and forms a balls/" 10017 rel="nofollow" target="_self">ball. Place the balls/" 10017 rel="nofollow" target="_self">ball on a sheet of baking paper that will line a baking tray.
4. Flatten the balls/" 10017 rel="nofollow" target="_self">ball to a rectangle about 1cm thick. Place a large piece of plastic wrap over the flattened mixture and roll out to a 2mm thick rectangle with a rolling pin. Remove the plastic wrap and use a ruler and knife, or a pasta cutter, to score the flattened dough to create small, cracker sized rectangles.
5. Transfer the dough and baking paper to a tray and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the edges have started to go golden and the inner areas are cooked. Remove and cool for 5 minutes on the tray before gently breaking into pieces along the score lines and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
This piece was produced in partnership with the Australian Macadamias.
NEXT: Packed with nourishing good fats, here are 11 other healthy nuts to add to your healthy eating regime.