Sunday, October 27, 2013


My sister brought me some - a lot of - beautiful macadamias from Australia where they grow abundantly. Macadamias are the only native Australian food crop to be commercialized. A couple of years ago, while driving around the Nightcap National Park area, we passed dozens of macadamia orchards where folks had baskets of tree-fresh macadamia nuts set out on tables, to be paid for on an honor system. Most people, particularly in North America and around associate Hawai'i with macadamia nuts but in fact they were introduced to Hawai'i in the late 1800s as a wind shield for sugar cane crops. They were, however, commercialized in Hawai'i well before Australia, which is why they're associated with Hawai'i more than Australia.

So anyway I had all these macadamias sitting around and I thought why not do a butter with these beauties - and add in coconut and sweeten the whole lot with plump Halawi dates I had in the fridge. I happened to have 6 dates left so I put them all in, but if you want a sweeter butter, add more! Medjool dates which are most commonly available would probably work well, although I think Halawi is a more fragrant and soft date and any similar date if you can get it, would be just as good.

Macadamias are quite soft and unctuous compared to, say, almonds or pistachios, and will turn into butter more easily. I add salt to my nut butters if I am using unsalted nuts because salt enhances the flavour of the nut butter. You can certainly omit the salt if you wish.

I like this butter with pear and apple wedges but I sometimes have it on a cracker or in my breakfast rolled oats which I always soak overnight with fruits and nuts or nut butter.

Macadamia Coconut Butter
Makes: approximately 1-1/2 cup

- 2 cups (250 grams) macadamia nuts, toasted or raw
- 6 pitted Halawi dates, or any soft date variety of your choice
- 3 tbsp unsweetened dried coconut, shredded or flaked
- 1/2 tsp good quality salt, I use Himalayan pink salt

1. Put everything in a food processor and pulse until you have a nearly smooth butter, with some date flecks. You will need to occasionally push the ground mix of dates, nuts, and coconut back into the bowl of the food processor, as shown in my almond butter post.
2. Enjoy!

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