One of Australia’s best gifts to the world is the macadamia nut, some- times called the Queensland nut. This delicious nut now grows in other areas of the South Pacific, particularly in the Hawaiian Islands.
Like all nuts, macadamias are rich in minerals, such as copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. They also contain B vita- mins, particularly vitamin B1. In addi- tion, macadamias are extremely rich in vitamin B17 or nitrilosides, containing as much per gram as bitter al- monds.
Macadamias have a unique fatty acid profile. About 80% of the total fat content is stable monounsaturated, of which more than 22% is the 16- carbon monounsaturated palmitolytic acid. This fatty acid has strong antimicrobial properties; that is, it protects us from viruses, pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the gut. About 60% of the total fat is monounsaturated oleic, the same kind of fatty acid found in olive oil. About 15 % is saturated fat with the remaining 3% as polyunsatu- rated fatty acids, with the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 exactly equal— an excellent balance.
Like all seed foods, macadamias contain numerous anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors that can cause gastric distress and irritations to the mouth and throat. It’s best to buy raw macadamia nuts and then soak them to remove anti-nutrients.
This recipe appears on page 516 of the book Nourishing Traditions. Makes 4 cups.
- 4 cups raw macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoons sea salt
- filtered water
Some care must be taken in preparing cashews. They will become slimy and develop a disagreeable taste if allowed to soak too long or dry out too slowly, perhaps because they come to us not truly raw but having already undergone two separate heatings. You may dry them in a 200 to 250 degree oven—the enzymes have already been destroyed during processing.
- Mix nuts with salt and filtered water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight.
- Drain in a colander.
- Spread on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven or dehydrator (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry and crisp.
- Store in an airtight container.