I’m in Byron Bay, Australia right now, enjoying some time in my home base before my next adventure. Byron is Australia’s most easterly point, best known for its surf beaches, picturesque lighthouse, whale watching, and laidback hippy vibes.
It’s also the home country of my favourite nut – the macadamia. The hinterland behind my home is full of macadamia farms: neat rows of trees with glossy green leaves. Macadamias are crunchy, creamy, and they’re packed full of goodness.
These little balls of deliciousness are high in mono-unsaturated (good) fat, and low in omega-6 (bad) fat, making them good for our hearts. They’re also high in fibre (good for our guts); and a good source of vitamin B1 (for our heart and nervous system); magnesium (for muscles and bones); and manganese (bones and metabolism). And I’m just listing the biggies.
Macadamias are incredibly versatile. My partner loves them so much in their raw, unadulterated form that he almost considers it a crime to do anything else with them (I get it; this is how I feel about raspberries).
One of my school friends claims that one single macadamia nut turns a green smoothie from a chore to a treat. (Here I can’t empathise; I love green smoothies, macadamia included or not).
You can roast them with salt and spices for a savoury snack, or with agave for a sweet treat. You can turn them into nut butter, cream or milk. You can finely grate them over pasta in place of parmesan. You can make pesto out of them. You can use them in raw cakes (base or filling) as you would cashew nuts.
I could keep going.
Instead, here’s a a recipe for raw, vegan macadamia whipped cream. It’s super quick and easy and is a delicious plant-based accompaniment to brownies, fresh fruit or any other dessert that’s calling out for a dollop of whipped cream. It’s also a decadent addition to a smoothie bowl.
This cream is delicious as is, but you could also go wild experimenting with different flavours – I’ve included some suggestions under the recipe.
Macadamia Whipped Cream
1 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked for a couple of hours
2 tbsp agave nectar, or sweetener of your choice
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (pure ground vanilla bean), or seeds from one vanilla bean
1/2 cup filtered water
Blend everything in a high powered blender until really smooth. You might need to scrape down the sides of the jug once or twice. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
- A few drops of orange essential oil, to accompany a chocolate dessert
- Lavender essential oil, to accompany a lemon dessert with blueberries (one of my favourite flavour combos!)
- A few heaped tablespoons of cacao powder (possibly also with orange oil)
- Cinnamon and ground ginger for a warming cream to go with a winter dessert
- A few dates for a caramel flavour (reduce the agave by half)
You can also turn this maca cream into a tasty parfait, like the one pictured above. I made it as per the recipe above, with a few drops of orange essential oil. Then I removed half the mixture, added a couple of heaped tablespoons of cacao to the blender and blended again to create a chocolate cream. I layered choc cream, berries, vanilla cream, and Macadamia Crunch for an easy dessert. (Next time, I plan to add an extra layer of Macadamia Crunch, probably between the chocolate cream and the berries).