A Macadamia nut. One of these simple, creamy white globes weighs in at about 2.6g and looks, well, relatively unremarkable.But don’t be fooled by their simple exterior! These little nuts are punching above their weight in taste and nutrients, and even helping support a more sustainable farming and food future.
So let’s start with taste. If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll recently have heard Daniel Pearce, Executive pastry chef at The Savoy, explaining how roasted macadamia nuts add the perfect ‘intense and delicious’ flavour to his signature Choux pastry dessert (Missed it? Read all about it here: https://www.nutcellars.com/blog/big-choux-to-fill). So, we know they are ideal for fine dining, but we also think our macadamias are just as well enjoyed in our crunchy or smooth nut butters, or even simpler, on their own as a quick and satisfying snack.
Fortunately, these little nuggets not only taste good, but also provide a wide range of nutrients important for good health. A source of copper, phosphorus, magnesium and Vitamin B6, the nutrients in Macadamias can help our bodies have the vitamins and minerals they need to run normally – from supporting our immune and nervous systems, helping with the transport of iron and even promoting normal skin and hair pigmentation! A 30g portion provides a whopping 83% of our recommended daily intake of Manganese, important for the protection of our cells from oxidative stress and helping in the formation of our connective tissues and bones. Not bad for something so tiny!
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Small nut - big impact
It’s not just us in the Western world that can benefit from the important nutrients in Macadamias. In Malawi, our nuts are grown and harvested by smallholders. Independent farmers make up 90% of all the food produced in Malawi and the success of these small farms is incredibly important to the local population. Staple annual crops such as maize can be volatile and prone to erratic yields, an issue exacerbated by climate change, but farming Macadamia nuts can help.
The period from January to April is known in Malawi as ‘The hunger season’, when the main crop of Maize is not yet ready for harvest, and food and sources of income start to dry up. It’s at this time of year however, when macadamia nuts are ready to harvest, providing a valuable crop that can in part be sold to buy food, with the remainder being eaten by the farmer and their families.
Macadamia nuts provide a concentrated source of energy, with around 228kcal per 30g serving. The majority of this energy comes from ‘healthy’ monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil and avocados. This makes them a really useful energy source for the farmer’s families and in particular for their children. Getting insufficient food at a young age can lead to stunted growth and other conditions caused by malnutrition. It can also affect children’s ability to learn and concentrate. The income from, and nutrients in macadamias can help rural communities nourish their growing families.
Small changes that add up
By starting to grow macadamias alongside their usual maize crops, the smallholder farmers that supply our delicious Nutcellars macadamia nuts are not only creating a more secure future for themselves, but also for the environment in which they are beginning to thrive. Farming multiple crops can promote biodiversity, help conserve the fertility and moisture in the soil and reduce the impact of extreme weather events on their livelihoods. Check out our video on soil conservation here:
At Nutcellars, we are committed to making a difference to the lives of our suppliers and the environment, and are actively supporting the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations in 2015. We work in partnership with the UK based charity the Neno Macadamia Trust (NMT) and the Highland Macadamia Cooperative Union Ltd in Malawi, helping smallholders make positive changes to the way they farm to protect the environment and become more resilient to climate change.
Who could have thought so much good could be wrapped up in such a tiny package? Thank you for purchasing Nutcellars Macadamia nut products, in doing so you are directly supporting small independent farmers and their families.