The Wonder of Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are a popular staple on Hawaii. This delicious and flavorful nut has many health benefits thanks to all the fiber and trace minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. Although these nuts are considered one of the fattiest nuts around, their health benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. The fat in them comes from monounsaturated fatty acids, just like those in olive oil, leading to a boost for your cardiovascular system.
Eating just 10 nuts gives you 10 percent of your daily fiber needs, according to Livestrong. Macadamia nuts are best consumed in moderation, as they do contain about 200 calories per ounce, a careful consideration for those on diets. However, as a protein-filled treat, macadamia nuts are a great source of nutrients for your body.
In Hawaii, you can get macadamia nuts from grocery stores and super stores like Wal-Mart. But the funnest place to get them is at the Macadamia Nut Farm Outlet on Oahu. This popular tourist stop in Ka’a’awa was established in 1987 as Tropical Farms off Kamehameha Highway. Owners Steve and Chrissy Paty started out by devoting their nights to cracking, sorting and packaging the prized nuts, and their days to selling fresh macadamia nuts from their car on the roadside. Today, Tropical Farms is still going strong and remains a pit stop for many tours and excursions on Oahu.
The macadamia nuts come in bags, available in salted, unsalted, onion and garlic, caramel glazed, Kona coffee glazed, cinnamon glazed, caramel glazed and honey. If that doesn’t get your taste buds going, we don’t know what will! Gift baskets are also available for the person who has everything. From Taste of the Islands to Nuts About You, you’re sure to find a basket that suits you, chock full of nuts and complementary items like barbecue sauce, jelly and pancake mix. Craving something a little more sweet? Try Menehune Mac Chocolate Macadamias or Hawaiian Candies Chocolate Mac Nut. There are even sugar free versions for diabetics. Pick up some whole bean or ground Kona coffee while you’re there too.
There’s a good reason why people from all over come to Hawaii to enjoy fresh macadamia nuts…that’s because this state is the macadamia nut capital of the world, with 90 percent of the nuts on the planet originating from here. Although the macadamia nut tree first originated in Australia, the first tree was planted on the Big Island in 1882 by a sugar plantation magnate. The very first plantation devoted entirely to macadamia nuts began in the early 1920s, but commercial mass production of these delicacies didn’t begin until the 1950s. Today, there are about 700 farms and eight processing plants on Hawaii, keeping 4,000 employees working hard, according to Suncatchers of Hilo.
Many day tours on Oahu include a stop at the Macadamia Nut Farm Outlet. Get more details when you book through Hoku Hawaii Tours, your trusted resource for tours of all kinds.