A few months back, I was lucky enough to have a very sweet and lovely Tasty Yummies reader, Rina, offer to send me some of the beautiful macadamia nuts she and her family grow here in California. Their company is called CaliMac Nut Company. I obviously said ‘yes!’ Macadamia nuts are something I don’t often splurge on at the store.
First, I used some to make the crust on my 4th of July Vegan “Cheesecake” and then I struggled to decide what to do with what remained. I didn’t want to waste them and just use in any ‘ol boring recipe. I wanted them to shine! I originally wanted to make a fun homemade macadamia nut version of “Nutella” with them, but to be honest I worried if it didn’t come out properly, I would be wasting so many beautiful nuts. I wanted to savor each and every one of those beauties. But I loved the idea of combing the cocoa flavor with the slightly sweetened toasted nuts. I decided on a snack that we could take on our pending road trip to San Francisco let month and enjoy easily while in the car and at our booth for the weekend. Enjoying each and every one and celebrating the lovely place and family that they came from with every bite, I love food with a story and I am always so grateful when I can know exactly where it came from and the love that went into growing it.
These beautiful cocoa dusted nuts are full of so much flavor! They have a wonderful roasty crunch, a subtle sweetness from the maple and the cocoa gives a nice punch of rich, earthy flavor. I like that they aren’t overly sweet, so the flavor of the nuts aren’t overpowered and I really enjoy that you get the flavor of the sea salt, which I personally find compliments chocolate more than almost anything. Macadamia nuts are higher in fat than many other nuts, which is why I think this recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy them. A few of these nuts are all you really need, they are rich and satisfying. Close the package up and come back to them again later. No need to consume them all at once. I do feel it is important to note, concerning the fat in macadamia nuts, between 78 to 86 percent of the fat is monounsaturated (the good for you, heart-healthy kind of fat). Monounsaturated fat helps lower cholesterol and decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, macadamia nuts are one of the only food sources that contain palmitoleic acid (a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that may speed up fat metabolism, thus reducing the body’s ability to store fat). (SOURCE)
Feel free to use raw cacao (which is what I did) instead of traditional cocoa. The health benefits on raw cacao are incredible and so worth it. Did you know that raw cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Additionally as we all know, cocoa in any form is great for your cardiovascular health.
You can play with the recipe a bit and add some cayenne pepper and/or cinnamon for a fun and spicy “Mexican Hot Cocoa” twist on the recipe. And, if you can’t get macadamia nuts or you would like to use a different nut, this recipe would also be great with almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or cashews. These would make a wonderful gift wrapped up in a cute handmade package or in a vintage canning jar. Oh gosh, is it bad that I am already thinking about edible holiday gifts?
Thanks again Rina for sharing your delicious macadamia nuts with me. I will certainly be ordering some when the season starts back up again! I cannot wait.
NOTE – as a dog lover who is ALWAYS obsessed with the things that are unsafe for my baby girl, it is very important for me to note that macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, inducing a temporary yet severe weakness and other possible and very serious side effects. Keep those tasty babies high up and out of Fido’s way, please!!
[print_this]Cocoa Dusted Macadamia Nuts – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free
- 2 cups raw organic macadamia nuts
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (if possible, choose organic and/or grade B, for both)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine macadamia nuts, maple syrup and sea salt. Use a rubber spatula to mix together, fully coating the macadamia nuts. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring at least twice during baking to prevent the nuts from burning.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Immediately return macadamia nuts to the bowl, add cocoa powder and toss to coat, making sure the nuts are all evenly coated with the cocoa powder.
Fully cool and store in an air tight container. [/print_this]