In addition to giving your smoothie a thick and creamy texture, a handful of macadamias can also ramp up its nutritional value.
Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, helping to not only keep you satiated, but also to lower cholesterol. One ingredient that’s not only packed with healthy fats but is also low in sugar is macadamia nuts.
Australia’s native nut occupies a special place in the national consciousness not only because it’s ‘ours’, but because it has a delicious flavour and unique texture, which when added to smoothies makes for a decadent buttery richness. In addition to taste and texture, though, it also packs some pretty impressive nutritional credentials – both in terms of what it has, as well as what it hasn’t.
What they have
Macadamias can help with:
- Managing weight: Contrary to popular belief, nuts are not fattening. In fact, regular nut eaters tend to weigh less and gain less weight over time. The healthy fats, fibre and protein in macadamias really satisfy and help resist the urge to go hunting for less healthy snacks.
- A healthy mind: The food you eat is important for your mind and mood, just as it is for your body (click here to read more on that). Studies have found that regular nut consumption reduces the risk of stroke and boosts cognitive function in the elderly, and the phytochemicals in macadamias may help to protect the brain from damage over time. Macadamias, like other nuts, are free of trans-fats that have been linked to the development of depression, while also providing healthy oils, fibre and plant sterols to maintain optimal blood supply to the brain and vitamin B1 for nervous system function.
- Healthy skin: Macadamias contain manganese, an antioxidant and essential mineral required for collagen production in the skin. They also help to lower the glycaemic index (GI) of the diet, so eating a handful a day may help reduce acne and keep skin looking healthy. Macadamia nut oil is light, non-greasy and helps moisten dry skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- A healthy heart: Macadamias contain a low proportion of saturated fats and are one of the richest sources of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil.
- Healthy bones and joints: In addition to benefiting skin, as mentioned above, the manganese content also helps strengthen bones and joints.
What they haven’t
Australian Macadamias are:
- Gluten free
- Dairy free: This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because they can work as a substitute, making dairy-free milk, butter and cheese.
- Low in sugar: Containing 4.6g per 100g of macadamias.
- Very low in sodium: Containing 5mg per 100g of macadamias (<1% of recommended dietary intake).
- Low in carbohydrates (14g of carbohydrates per 100g of macadamias).
If this has whet your appetite for adding Australia’s little powerhouse nut to tomorrow morning’s smoothie, check out these recipes.
MACADAMIA BANANA SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup skim milk
- ¼ cup macadamia butter (store bought or make your own)
- 1 tablespoon oats
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup plain yoghurt
- ¼ cup ice
Blend all ingredients except for the crushed macadamias until smooth and pour into a glass to serve, top with crushed macadamias.
- 50g strawberries, hulled, roughly chopped
- ½ cup frozen mixed berries
- ⅔ cup Greek plain yoghurt
- ⅓ cup macadamia milk (store bought or make your own)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup ice cubes
Place strawberries, berries, yoghurt, macadamia milk, maple syrup and ice in a drink blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into glasses and serve.
MACADAMIA GREEN VEGGIE SMOOTHIE
- 2 cups macadamia milk (store bought or make your own)
- 1 tablespoon macadamia butter (store bought or make your own)
- 1 cup English spinach leaves
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 1 green apple, cored, chopped
- 1 large banana
- 1 cup ice
Place all ingredients in a blender on a high speed and blend until smooth. Divide into 4 tall glasses and top with fresh mint.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION OF AUSTRALIAN MACADAMIAS
TABLE 1: Vitamins and minerals in macadamia versus daily recommendations
|Raw, unsalted macadamias||Per 30g serve||Per 100g||Daily Recommended||% of recommended serve|
|Sodium (mg)||0.5||1.4||1600mg (SDT)||0%|
|Potassium (mg)||135||410||4700mg (SDT)||3%|
|Magnesium (mg)||39||130||320mg (RDI)||12%|
|Calcium (mg)||25.5||85||800mg (RDI)||5%|
|Iron (mg)||1.1||3.7||12mg (RDI)||9%|
|Zinc (mg)||0.4||1.3||12mg (RDI)||3%|
|Thiamin, B1 (mg)||0.4||1.2||1.1mg (RDI)||33%|
|Riboflavin, B2 (mg)||0.05||0.16||1.7mg (RDI)||3%|
|Niacin (mg)||0.8||2.5||10mg (RDI)||8%|
|Folate (µg)||3.3||11||200ug (RDI)||2%|
|Pantothenic acid (mg)||0.2||0.76||5mg (RDI)||4%|
|Vitamin B61 (mg)||0.08||0.28||1.6mg (RDI)||5%|
|Vitamin E1 (mg)||0.15||0.5||10mg (RDI)||1.5%|
|Copper (mg)2||0.23||0.76||3mg (RDI)||8%|
|Manganese 1 (mg)2||1.2||4.13||5mg (RDI)||25%|
|Selenium 1 (µg)2||1.1||3.6||70mg (RDI)||1.6%|
|Arginine 1 (g)||0.4||1.4||N/A||N/A|
|Plant sterols (mg)||35||116||N/A||N/A|
| Antioxidant Capacity
(ORAC- umol TE)2
TABLE 2: Nutritional content of raw, unsalted macadamias
|Raw, unsalted macadamias||Per 30g||Per 100g|
|Fat total (g)||24.4||74|
|Fat saturated (g)||3.3||10|
|Fat monounsaturated (g)||19.7||59.8|
|Fat polyunsaturated (g)||1.3||3.8|
|Fat omega 3 as ALA (mg)||32.7||99|
|Trans fats (g)1||0||0|
|Carbohydrate total (g)||2.6||7.9|
|Carbohydrate sugars (g)||1.4||4.6|
|Dietary fibre (g)||2.1||5.4|
Content courtesy of Australian Macadamias