The story of ‘Ailani Orchard’s Macadamia Nuts
We currently harvest our 280 Macadamia nut trees by hand and create our products from tree to bag!
Macadamia nuts grow on a beautiful tall green tree. The trees produce long white bottle brush-like flowers and when the bee comes, the nuts make glorious clusters of green balls along the spine of the flower. When the nuts are mature, they fall from the tree and we race to beat all the other creatures who want to eat this delicious and nutrient-rich food. We gather the nuts from the ground in 60 pound bags and take them to the production area for husking. Once we pour them through the husking machine the nuts are laid out in racks to dry in the shade for a week or two until we are ready to crack and sort. Our small commercial cracker can open about 250 pounds of nuts in 2 hours, and another 16 hours of labor is required to sort the nut meat from the shell, all done with love and by hand. After the nuts are sorted and washed, we place them in our specially designed dehydrator which blows warm air over the nuts for the next 4-5 days (96 to 120 hours) whereas most commercially produced nuts are roasted for about 15 minutes.
Roasting vs. Dehydrating
Low and slow is the best way to remove the moisture from the nuts without killing the heat sensitive (whopping) 5 omegas contained in the nut. Omega-rich macadamias contain the perfect balance of 3’s and 6’s, as well as omega 7, 8, and 9, but ONLY if they are not roasted. All these healthy omegas are credited with helping lower HDL cholesterol—the one you don’t want—that helps fight heart disease. Most commercially produced nuts on the Island are roasted at high temperature which destroys the omegas and damages the healthy 80% mono-saturated fat. Out of the 500 pounds we pick, about 250 pounds remain after husking, and once cracked they give a final yield of about 60 pounds of finished product in one week of processing time. We love our nuts and when they are produced in this manner they love us back by adding yummy healthy nutrients to our bodies. They are also more delicious and buttery tasting when they are dehydrated rather than roasted.
So—If nutrition is your goal, dehydrating wins over roasting hands down. If good flavor is your goal dehydrating wins again. Further, there are numerous delicious products that can be made from the organic dehydrated macadamia nut.
Macadamia Nut Milk—Perfect accompaniment for your shot of K’au coffee espresso
Dairy Free Vanilla Pastry Cream
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Dairy Free Ice Cream
Macadamia Nut Butters—to name just a few!