Nuts are good source of nutrients and macadamia is one of them. Macadamia nuts are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. However, this nut is so expensive that people tend to buy it just occasionally.
What are macadamia nuts? Macadamia is a nut with smooth or subtle texture and has butter-like taste. It is small, round-shaped, and appears like a chickpea.
Almost everyone thinks that it originated in the United States, particularly Hawaii since the popular brand distributing this nut is using Macadamia grown in Hawaii. However, it is said that Macadamia is a genus of an indigenous tree found in Australia thus, it is believed to have come originally from Australia and considered staple in Australian Aboriginal diet. These nuts are also found in tropical countries like Costa Rica or Brazil and in other countries rich in volcanic soil.
You will seldom see Macadamia nuts in shells as they are often shelled and roasted when sold in the market. Its shell however is chocolate brown in color and very difficult to break.
Macadamia nuts are not only good for snacks but are also used in different recipe. Since it is quite expensive and may also be not available in the market at times, you will need some alternatives.
What are the bests substitute or alternatives to macadamia nuts? There could be a lot of options in your mind, but its best substitute can only be roasted pecans or pecans. However, if you are concerned with the nutritive value, the taste, the recipe, and it other uses, then there could be other nuts on the list.
Ways to Use Macadamia Nuts
Roasted Macadamia nuts are often eaten as snack, but they are also added in different recipes especially in baked goodies. Here are popular recipes with Macadamia.
- Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts
- Macadamia nut cream pie
- White chocolate Macadamia nut cookies
- Coconut Macadamia nut bars
- Platinum blondies
The Best Substitutes for Macadamia Nuts
Even though Macadamia is the most expensive nut in the market, most people patronize it due to its nutritional value and distinct nutty taste. It has natural healthy fats and is high in calorie. The characteristic of Macadamia nut makes other people think that it is difficult to find the best substitute.
It is important to know the main categories you should consider in finding substitutes or alternatives to any food. Here is what you need to check when looking for substitute to Macadamia nuts.
- Nutritional value
- Use (Baking etc.)
What do you intend to do with the nut or how you will use it will help you find the right substitutes. Here is a simple chart you can use as a guide.
|When you need Macadamia nuts||Substitutes (choose)|
|Nutritive value||Brazil nuts or raw pecans|
|As flavoring||Roasted pecans or roasted cashews|
|For baking purposes||Walnuts, pecans, or raw cashew nuts for topping or mixing|
Brazil nuts or raw pecans for flour, cream, mousse, or paste
Here are details about Macadamia nuts that can help you decide which substitute will be best for you.
Flavor is one of the important characteristics of Macadamia nuts one should know in order to find the right substitute.
Macadamia nuts has a distinct butter-like taste that is subtle and sweet. It is also creamy. Roasted Macadamia comes out naturally sweet and when salt is added, it gives a mild umami flavor.
Cashew nuts has the closest taste to Macadamia when raw. They also have the same texture.
Roasted pecans is the next best substitute considering its flavor. It is also naturally sweet though the texture is coarse especially when raw while Macadamia is smooth. Raw pecans are rippled but when roasted they secret natural oil that softens itself.
Your third options would be walnuts. It is similar to pecans in texture, but the taste is a bit bitter and mildly sweet. Lastly but not the least, Brazil nuts can be your substitute as it has similar rich nutty taste. Walnuts are bigger and harder the Macadamia and using it as a substitute can be a different experience.
Macadamia is known to have the highest fat content compared to other nuts. An ounce of Macadamia contains about 22 grams of natural fat. An ounce of pecans or pine nuts contain about 20 grams while Brazil nuts has about 19 grams of fat.
The fat components of Macadamia is mainly monosaturated while other nuts contain both polysaturated and monosaturated fats. For those who are after high natural fat contents in Macadamia, Brazil nuts, pecans and pine nuts can be the closest substitute.
Macadamia nuts is a good source of protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. However, though it provides some healthy benefits, there are other nuts that surpasses its nutritional value which are also not as expensive.
An ounce of Macadamia contains only 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Pecans has about 3 grams while pine and cashew nuts only have one gram. Walnuts and Brazil nut has equal amount of protein and fiber contents per ounce serving.
If you plan on using Macadamia nuts for baking and finding for its alternatives, it will be easier for you to know the recipe and some techniques on how to use the substitutes.
Choosing whatever substitute to make toppings or to mix with your recipe can affect the consistency, taste, and texture of your baked goods. Macadamia nuts in cookies are typically soft and makes it taste buttery, but if you used almonds, the cookies would become crunchy. It will be baked well but the texture will be different.
If you want to use other nuts as substitute to Macadamia for baking, it is best to choose pecans, cashew nuts, or walnuts. These will give you soft and buttery cookies.
When making paste, mousse, cream, or flour with nuts, you should be meticulous about finding the best substitute since the fat content or oil produced by nuts are different and that could affect texture, consistency, and flavor of your recipe or dish. As substitute for Macadamia, it is best to use the nuts with the closest characteristics like Brazil nuts and pecans.
If you are making some meringue and not much concerned with its taste, adding castor sugar will interact with the nut’s oil and make the meringue rise and stay in shape.
Other Substitutes for Macadamia Nuts
The high natural fat content of Macadamia makes it creamy and flavorful; substituting other nuts can somehow change the consistency and taste of your recipe and you will notice it the first time you use substitutes.
Apart from cashew, pecans, pine, walnuts, and Brazil nuts, there are other nuts you can choose as alternatives like hazelnuts and pistachios. Since Macadamia nut is basically a seed, you can also opt to use nut-like seeds like sunflower, hemp, and pumpkin.
Overall, these alternatives have lower fat contents than Macadamia, however they have the same buttery taste and texture. These nuts are all mildly sweet and nutty.
In case you want to refrain from nuts and wanted something else to use in your baking recipe, you can try chocolates, cocoa butter, or butterscotch chips. These are different from Macadamia, but they will surely make your baked goods mouthwatering.
We hope to have given you enough information to choose which is the best Macadamia nuts substitute for you. Here are some Q&A for added information.
What can be a good substitute for pistachios?
To find the right substitute depends on how you want to use it. Pistachios like Macadamia is buttery and creamy, but it has lower fat content than Macadamia. You can choose from hazelnuts, cashew, almonds, or pine nuts.
If you are having second thoughts on which one to use as alternative, then you can use pistachio oil instead to add that taste you want on your dish.
What are the best ways in substituting nuts for baking?
Nuts are used for baking to add flavor, crunchiness, or creaminess, and enhance texture of baked goods. You need understand how nuts will affect your recipe or baked goods if you want to use substitutes since any substitute you use will definitely affect its texture and flavor. You also need to measure the ingredients to make if suffice with the alternative you are using.
Apart from nuts, you can also use oats in some of your recipes, chocolate chunks or chips, and dried fruits are a few of other options.
Are Macadamia nuts good for Keto diet?
If you are on a Keto diet, Macadamia nut is a good option to add to your menu because it is natural and plant-base. It has higher fat content than other nuts but has limited nutritive value.