You have probably tried macadamia nuts in your life, maybe raw or roasted, perhaps chocolate covered ones or in cookies but do you know where they are come from and why you should eat them on a regular basis? If not, you might find these facts interesting.
Macadamia nuts, one of the healthiest nuts, originated in Australia. They are named for John Macadam, a Scottish born physician and chemist who promoted the nuts' cultivation in Australia.
Macadamia trees were imported to Hawaii in 1881 as a windbreak for sugarcane, which was a major commercial export for Hawaii at the time. The first commercial orchards of macadamias in Hawaii were not planted until 1921.
Most of the world’s macadamia nuts are now grown on the island of Hawaii, approximately 90% of the world’s supply. The USA is the largest consumer of macadamia nuts in the world (51%) with Japan following at 15%.
From the Proteacea family of plants, evergreen macadamia trees can reach 40 feet in horizontal as well as vertical spread. Only 2 of the 9 species of macadamia trees produce nuts that are edible. Macadamia nuts are not picked from the tree but are fully ripened when they fall and are then harvested. They are a tough nut to crack: it takes 300 lbs per square inch to break the macadamia nut shell, hardest of all nut shells.
Macadamia nuts are higher in good, monounsaturated fat and lower in protein than a lot of other nuts we eat, like almonds and cashews and have been demonstrated to help reduce overall cholesterol levels. Other healthy nutrients in macadamia nuts include the amino acid l-arginine, vitamin B1, and magnesium, and they’re an excellent source of manganese and thiamin.
At the Napili Farmers Market we carry raw macadamia nuts and macadamia nut butter as well which contains only raw macadamia nuts and is heavenly delicious! You can put it on toast with sliced bananas, make desserts with it, put a little bit of it in your morning smoothie or just have a spoonful if you have a sweet tooth:)