When I was a kid, every block in suburban Brisbane had a backyard macadamia tree. Maca season meant finding a good rock with the right kind of hollow to stop the nut flying off, and a good hand sized rock for hitting them with. And for the gourmets, lighting a backyard fire to roast them in. It took quite a lot of time and effort to get a feast out of those hard, hard shells, but it was so worth it!
Unfortunately we grown-ups don’t have that kind of time these days. For years, most of the macas that dropped from our trees went unharvested – too hard to get at – and macadamia trees in their bumper years have a huge yield. The tool that changed all that – that will make macas a staple in your house is a maca cracker.
Whoever invented this needs a medal. It is so easy to use that macadamia nuts become a real food, not just a kid forage food. And if you learn the way macas should taste -fresh, in-season, out of the shell – you will realise why kids go to all that trouble.
Macadamia nuts are in season, and they are super healthy. Their fats are the “good” kind – monounsaturated – like olive oil. They have good quality protein, lots of fibre and B vitamins (including folate) and a variety of minerals. They are also a good source of a whole range of micronutrients. This recipe also has wholemeal flour, healthy orange juice and and zest with its flavonoids, and not too much sugar or butter.
This is the eighteenth in my Muesli Bar Challenge series and the first for Term 3. The Challenge is a series of recipes for school lunch box treats that are healthy, based on in season ingredients, easy and fast enough to be a realistic option, and most important of all, rated by my school age reviewers as preferable to packaged junk food.
Makes about 10 muffin-sized friands.
Turn your oven on to heat up.
You will be folding together three mixes: the dry mix, the wet mix, and the egg whites.
The Dry Mix
- First,crack your nuts to extract 100 grams of macadamia kernels.
- Process them with ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of sugar in the food processor, or grind with a mortar and pestle, into a fine meal.
- Mix in 3 tablespoons of wholemeal plain flour and a good teaspoon of baking powder.
The Wet Mix
Separate 4 eggs. Beat the yolks with half a cup of orange juice and 2 teaspoons of orange zest.
The Egg Whites
Beat the 4 egg whites with an egg beater or whisk until soft peaks form. This is really not hard to do so long as you use a clean dry bowl and beater. It is a bit harder with very fresh eggs but still takes only a matter of half a minute to do.
Fold the three parts together till they are just combined. Spoon the mix into paper lined muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or so in a medium oven till they are lightly browned and spring back.
Meanwhile, make a little glaze by boiling together a couple of tablespoons of orange juice, a teaspoon of orange rind, a teaspoon of butter, and a dessertspoon of sugar. Boil the mix in a small saucepan for a few minutes till it goes thick and syrupy.
When they come out of the oven, spoon a teaspoon of glaze onto the top of each friand and decorate with half a maca.