We (don't ask me how, but I convinced Farmer Mick to participate too) have decided to go 'full' gluten free and by full, I mean no cheeky pseudo-grains or store-bought gluten free bread but the full hog. Naturally, the bulk of this task has fallen on my shoulders so I've been tinkering with recipes in an attempt to spice up our kitchen cupboard staples.
I feel much better and my tummy always thanks me when I avoid gluten but being married to a man who grew up on an organic wheat farm means there is always gluten in our house. Don't get me wrong, I don't think gluten is a dirty word but if you really research it, it hasn't got a whole lot of health benefits but it is closely linked to a lot of dis-eases out there, namely autoimmune diseases.
I wanted to convince Farmer Mick that every meal doesn't have to contain gluten. So starting with breakfast I introduced him to my special muesli blend. Unbeknownst to Farmer Mick, I have been making my muesli for sometime now. It's always struck me as odd that he's never bothered to even try my muesli but nonetheless, I wasn't going to force feed it to him either. To be honest, I was actually quite happy making muesli for one...but seeing him jump out of bed soooo excited to eat my muesli, well I'm happy to make it for two now :)
These deliciously golden nuts, seeds and grains that his beloved Weetbix are a breakfast of the past. The toasted rice flakes give this blend a lovely texture and unique crunch.
There are no right or wrong quantities with this particular blend, and mine changes each time I make it based on what I have in the pantry (ok and my commercial kitchen) but honestly you can throw pretty much anything in this mix and it will always taste good!
Trust me, you will be so excited to eat breakfast now that sleep-ins will be a thing of the past too!
You can also add dried fruit to this mix as well - cherries or apricot are our faves.
Being a long-term vegetarian recently-turned pescetarian, a decent falafel has always got me excited and living on a macadamia nut farm means that they pretty much creep into in every meal in our house...hence how these lil' beauties were born!
They make the perfect light lunch/dinner or summer afternoon nibbles, are relatively easy to make and they will not only impress your favourite foodie friends, they will make them think that you are now stiff competition in the kitchen!
1 cup Barenuts Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspsoon tahini
Generous squeeze of Barenuts Macadamia Nut Butter
2-3 garlic cloves (diced/minced)
1 x small brown onion, peeled, chopped
½ cup fresh parsley
½ cup fresh coriander
½ teaspoon fresh chilli
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 x tablespoons Barenuts Macadamia Nut Oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
Zest ½ Kaffir Lime or lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 x egg
3 x tablespoons brown rice/spelt flour/ any gluten free flour – add a little more if mixture is too wet
1 x tablespoon gluten free baking powder
Macadamia nut oil for frying
Place macadamias, chickpeas, onion, tahini, parsley, coriander, garlic, cumin, chilli, salt, pepper, macadamia nut oil and egg in a food processor. I like to leave a few bigger macadamias so you get a nice little crunch in each falafel.
Blend until combined. Place mixture in a bowl and sprinkle over combined sifted flour and baking powder. Stir until flour is combined. Using your hands, pinch out tablespoons of mixture and shape into flat discs. Mixture should be slightly wet – roll into the macadamia nut meal and place on a lightly floured plate and put into the fridge to set.
Heat the oil over high heat and then reduce heat to medium and add half the falafel pieces. Fry for 3-4 minutes, turning once when the underside is golden. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Keep warm and repeat with remaining falafel pieces, maintaining a steady medium heat. Serve immediately or raw patties can be frozen in an airtight container.
1 large eggplant - roasted
½ cup Barenuts Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts
1 garlic clove
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat BBQ to 200°C. Place eggplant on the grill, cover with BBQ lid and cook, turning occasionally, for 20- 30 minutes, until flesh is soft and skin blistered. Remove from BBQ and cool before halving with a knife and scooping out the flesh. Place in a food processor and add remaining ingredients. Process until just smooth.
LEMON MYRTLE YOGURT SAUCE
1 x cup of natural yogurt
sprinkle freshly ground native lemon myrtle
Cherry tomatoes, chopped
Drizzle warm falafels with yogurt sauce, babaganoush, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, coriander and warm tortilla/pita bread or lettuce cup if gluten free.
Did you know you can get your Barenuts fix in 60 stockists from Bundaberg to Byron Bay? That's right, we have all your macadamias needs covered and if you don't have a Barenuts stockists close by, then consider asking them to get in touch with us!
Find your local stockist now and experience the benefits of our wonderfully nutritious native Australian treats!
If you live regionally or remotely, never fear you can purchase Barenuts online via our virtual farmer's market Farmhouse Direct and have fresh Fraser Coast macadamias delivered to from our orchard to your door anywhere in Australia!
Rudi and I cannot believe our eyes, well we can but we can't but we have sproutage!!
In 2017, Farmer Mick worked overtime in the Barenuts Nursery to give these babies the best start to life that he possibly could and with the end of year rains, we couldn't have asked for a better result.
Now it's over to our local grafter Justin who is an absolute gun on the plainer + knife and has a 85% strike rate so we are in safe hands.
1000 down boys, only 5000 to go. I really take my hats off to these guys, grafting is a rare trade and talent and finding a reliable grafter with a decent strike rate is really a job in itself!
Stay tuned and watch this space :)
The older I get, the faster time goes and this year has been no exception. I pretty much blink these days and the year is almost over. So FYI, it's only 65 days until Christmas.
There's been a growing trend for local food boxes aka a taste of the regions along the East Coast and I must say, it really is a great way to get to know your local producers if you aren't visiting a regular farmer's market. Barenuts has been lucky enough to work with several forward-thinking companies including Foodie's Collective and Chilli & Vanilla and many more.
The taste of local trend has now made it's into offices and corporates alike and so the 'conscious corporate gifts were born. It's wonderful to see the thought going into this year's gift baskets and I am very happy to be receiving orders already!
So why not give your employees or colleagues the gift of local this year and support your local farmers? All of our products are handmade to order and nothing beats farm fresh macadamias at Christmas time so start planning for your festive menus, gift baskets or secret Santa's now!
Keep an eye on Farmhouse Direct for Christmas promotions and bag yourself some farm fresh goodness without having to leave the house!
Farmer Mick has been busy as usual making sure the Barenuts orchard thrives from year to year but he's been super busy this past year with the addition of the Barenuts Nursery! That's an extra 6,000 Baby Barenuts to take care of because we are expanding the farm....so it's a very exciting time!
As Summer approaches, these baby beauties are almost ready for planting and what an exciting day that will be! We have been visualising the farm full of trees since we first visited so to actually see that dream come to fruition will be very, very satisfying.
To date, we have over 2,000 mature trees which are currently yielding up to 10 tonne and with the additional trees, we hope to be yielding up to 50 tonne by 2020. Macadamia nut farming can test the ole patience as most varieties do not yield fruit for 7 years (commercially), however we are very excited to be planting our some new varieties.
We grow 741’s, 816’s and Daddows at the farm – not the most glamourous botanical names but there are so many varieties of macadamia nut trees and they are always developing new varieties (it’s hard to keep up) so I guess the numbering system is working for them?
The nursery consists of 6,000 baby macadamia nut trees which will be grafted in the Spring and planted out after Summer. We will be grafting onto our Daddows as well as a new variety that’s just been released. This variety is called the P variety – clever huh and they are actually a much smaller tree, so we will be able to fit more in per hectare and they only grow to a certain height too so it ‘should’ make them easier to maintain. The bonus, they yield just as many nuts as the larger variety so we are very eager to see how they grow at our farm. Technically, we are going into this a little blind as the trials are still quite young so cross your fingers for us!
The main differences across varieties include the size and shape of the tree and some varieties have a serrated leaf while others have a smooth leaf. The flowers or racemes can also be different too, most are a pale white/yellow colour but they can also be pink too – I am yet to see this in the flesh but when the whole orchard is in full bloom, the flowers look absolutely magic!
The size of the nuts can also vary per variety as well as how long they hold onto their nuts. The Daddows for instance often flower a little later, and therefore drop their nuts later and they also drop quite a lot of leaf as well which they like to store around their trunk for the Winter, much to Farmer Mick’s distaste when harvesting! They are also quite bushy, and have a Christmas tree shape. They are one of our favourites because even if they hang onto their nuts for so much longer, our Daddows are always good to us and produce lots of big, happy and healthy Barenuts!
Our 816’s and 741’s are fairly standard, they flower early, drop their nut early and their season is usually over by July/August. Having three different varieties means that our harvest runs much longer than those orchards who just plant the one variety, or spray chemicals to make their trees drop all of their nuts at the same time. We like to let our nuts fall naturally, when they are ready and even if the harvest is 6 months or longer, it makes it easier for Farmer Mick to manage the orchard on his own.
That's macadamia nut farming in a nutshell ....well kind of :)
Well it,s the first of Spring and it's well and truly sprung at the Barenuts Macadamia Nut Farm! We're already experiencing glimpses of Sprummer (Spring x Summer) days as we eagerly await the summer storms we so desperately need!
Rudi and I walk through the orchard twice a day and at the moment, it's completely abuzz with the hum of our natural pollinators hard at work! The orchard smells absolutely divine so Rudi and I love to face-plant a few macadamia nut flowers along the way because that beautiful fresh smell of honey never gets old. I've always said someone should bottle it and they would make millions - hang on, hold that thought ...maybe that someone could be me one day! Watch this space :)
Happy Spring everyone!
I had a late night brain wave that I wanted to share with you. I'm not really looking to expand our current range but when I do get the time, I love experimenting in the kitchen. I get really excited when I create a new flavour combination so wait for it...introducing Barenuts Dry Roasted Dukkah Macadamias!
This taste explosion seems so obvious to me now but most good dukkah's will feature macadamias or hazelnuts, but I figured why not create my own dukkah and then coat the nuts and voila our latest flavour was born. I have used varying spice to create this unique blend of herbs and spices including Tasmanian Pepperberry which gives the dukkah mix a lovely sweet peppery boost!
Check out our list of stockists so you can satisfy your Barenuts fix!
My family and I have been visiting Fraser Island for as long as I can remember. My parents would wake us up in the wee hours and pile us all into the 4WD to make the barge by first light. These sparrow's fart missions were carefully planned by my Dad, so he could throw in a line for a fresh Tailor by lunch. He's a smart man my Dad.
The Island is only a 3 hour drive from Brisbane but when you are 5 years old, it felt like forever to get there and back then, with 4 kids my parents no doubt agreed 3 hours was a long time too. There is no place like Fraser Island and hands down, it is still my favourite place in the whole wide world. Even after travelling the world, I can still say that for those 3 weeks every September holidays, it was our home, beach camping at it's best....fresh fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'd take Fraser over a 5 star hotel any day.
When we first moved to the farm, I remember thinking how lucky I felt to finally be calling the Fraser Coast home. We are blessed with a diverse and abundant food bowl including red claw, rosella, lychee, pineapple, liquorish and sugar cane farms all close by and we have access to some of the best seafood in Australia – which suits my pescetarian taste buds jusssssst fine!
The Fraser Coast region plays host to several seafood festivals throughout Winter and August is home of the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival - the only seafood festival in Australia managed by the men and women who catch the seafood for you!
So in honour of this weekend's event, I wanted to share some simple, yet fancy scallop recipes with you because fresh, pan seared or baked, they truely are my favourite seafood.
Porcini Crusted with Cauliflower Macadamia Puree
Place 1/2 cup Barenuts Natural Macadamia Nuts into a food processor and blitz into breadcrumbs.
Place 1/2 doz dried porcine mushrooms and 2-3 tablespoons of macadamia mix into fine crumb.
Roll scallops in mixture to coat. Set aside.
Puree 1 x cup cooked cauliflower, 2-3 tablespoons of macadamia crumbs and a dash of milk/almond milk to get a thick consistency.
Add lemon zest and lemon juice to taste.
Roast or saute scallops and serve on warm cauliflower puree.
Seared on Sundried Tomato + Wild Mushroom with Macadamia Truffle Vinaigrette
Braise brown button mushrooms in a few splashes of white wine, thicken the mixture with some Barenuts Macadamia Nut Butter.
To make the vinaigrette, blend together 2 x tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 3 x tablespoons of Barenuts Macadamia Nut Oil, 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil and salt to taste.
Add 1/4 cup of macadamias and blend until chunky bite size pieces.
Sear scallops and serve over the mushrooms.
Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Lemon Myrtle Macadamia Crusted with Sweet Potato Ragout
Combine 1/4 cup of Barenuts Natural Macadamia Nuts and 1/4 cup of polenta (cornmeal).
Coat scallops with the macadamia/polenta crust. Refrigerate.
Saute diced sweet potato with some diced Barenuts Lemon Myrtle Macadamia Nut + shallots, until golden.
Add diced cherry tomatoes and a dash or water or citrus and braise until tender, mashing the sweet potato slightly.
Sear the scallops and serve over Ragout.
Team with your favourite Pinot Grigio or Sav or Chardonnay.
My love affair with macadamia nut oil dates back to December 2014 when we first moved to the farm. I remember my taste buds literally exploding. As the subtle nutty aroma hit my lips, my belly agreed and said 'hello, I've been looking for you'. I knew I would never buy olive oil again and I haven't.
One of the things I love about this wonder oil is when you get it on your hands while cooking, no problemo! Simply rub it all over yourself! That's right folks, up your arms, down your legs, into your hands...all over your face because not only does it make you smell divine, but it has anti-ageing properties too. Let's just say, that Farmer Mick and I like to keep a bottle of macca oil (as we affectionately call it), in our bedroom because once you have a macca massage, you will never go back!
Pillowtalk aside, macadamia nut oil is extremely versatile and can be used in almost any savoury or sweet recipe. With a beautiful nutty aroma that complements baking, salads and is perfect for stir frying (we love drizzling over fish) this super-oil has stolen my heart.
The Bare facts about Macadamia Nut Oil
Seriously, no hard sell is required when it comes these Australian native bursts of goodness because look at all the greatness that each little nut contains!
I challenge you to the switch today, from olive oil that is...and rest assure, I'm not a complete oil snob just yet, I still buy truffle oil, avocado oil + coconut oil because I love them and mixed with macadamia nut oil, well that right there is a whole other post.