"I love the butteriness of macadamia milk and the way it doesn’t necessarily infuse your food with a nutty flavour but you are left with the lovely creaminess," says Jodie Cameron, a Queensland macadamia grower who became a convert to making her own mac milk when she and her husband Michael moved to their Talegalla Weir property six years ago. "And if you are using raw nuts it can sometimes even have a slight coconut flavour like a fresh, undried macadamia can when you eat it fresh from the tree!"
"I never liked cows milk as a child and I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years so I am very familiar with and always enjoyed plant-based milk but macadamia milk wasn’t really on my radar until we moved to the farm. It wasn’t really commercialised yet then either but having access to macadamias made it an easy choice to start experimenting because it’s so easy to make," she says.
These days, macadamia milk is available in most supermarkets (check this list from Australian Macadamias to find out about some of those available), and offered at some cafes. Among them is Bastion Lane Espresso in Uki, NSW, a cafe and specialty coffee roaster located in a working post office, where MacaMilk is among the milk options, and the coffee roasts on offer include one made especially for non-dairy milk.
"Here at Bastion Lane, we understand that customers have different preferences for their coffee whether that be dietary or otherwise," says founder and roast master Gary Wall. "This is why we created our very special Alt roast. Alt stands for Alternative and has been specially created for use with alternative milk including macadamia milk.
"Macadamia milk has been around for a while now, but only recently a small number of manufacturers have nailed its flavour profile and the ability for it to blend well with coffee. Dairy milk is naturally wonderful when blended coffee - not only does it blend well but it also textures/froths well with coffee. So for frothy drinks like cappuccino or lattes, the textured/frothed milk holds together well due to the cream content in the milk when heated and doesn't split.
"This was the challenge for alternative milk manufactures - create non-dairy milk which hits it home. Like many things in life, the amount of money you spend on something will determine the quality. So, when choosing a macadamia milk, make sure you buy quality if you want a good tasting coffee. As for most of us, your barista is the first person you greet in the morning. So if you’re into alternative milk, make sure they're making your brew with a good quality macadamia or non-dairy milk."
For those who want to make their own macadamia milk, Jodie Cameron has shared two versions with us - and a fantastic idea for turning the leftover nut pulp into a sweet or savoury spread.
"I make macadamia milk two ways. Simply blitz macadamias (raw or roasted), 1 vanilla pod, 1 medjool date and 4 cups of water. Blend until it turns creamy white. Pour into a clean sterilised glass bottle or jar and store in the fridge for around four days.
"For a more watery version, you can also soak your macadamias (roasted or raw) overnight and simply drain the nuts and you have a watered-down version of milk but without having to add anything to it. It’s just not as creamy but it still does the trick poured over muesli or in a smoothie.
"I often blend the nuts that have been soaking until it turns to a soft crumbly paste (you might need a tablespoon of water to bind it together or I use macadamia nut butter) and then add some lemon juice and spices/chilli/herbs or even honey depending on if you want it savoury or sweet. Mould it into a round like a camembert and wrap in beeswax or baking paper and put it in the fridge overnight. It turns into a spreadable kind of cream cheese consistency. Macadamias are such a versatile nut and the perfect dairy replacement!
"Due to the extremely high monounsaturated fat content in macadamias, I have found the homemade version doesn’t always work with everything but if you can look past the oils that sometimes separate on the top of some liquids e.g. in chai, then the taste is still my favourite by far."
You can also use macadamias in mixed nut milk: try this recipe for superfood granola with homemade almond-macadamia milk.
Mark Olive adds his signature twist to the classic Levantine sweet, baklava, with the use of macadamia nuts and lemon aspen syrup.
These irresistible macadamia nuts are roasted, drenched in sugar syrup and caramelised, then double-dipped in melted chocolate.