Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), growing in the desert and arid regions of West Australia, is well renowned for its fragrant heartwood, but also holds another prized gift, the Sandalwood nuts.
Best known for its oil, these nuts are a fabulous eating nut too. They remind us of rice puffed cereal and are great seasoned and toasted. Perfect in absolutely anything you would use nuts for in cooking or just for snacking!
Grown in the desert and arid regions of Australia, the Sandalwood nut is quickly overtaking the Macadamia nut in the flavour and nutritional stakes. With a unique and delicate flavour, the versatile Sandalwood nut boasts almost 20 per cent protein (nearly double that of the Macadamia) and three times the dietary fibre of a Macadamia.
◎ Common Name: Sandalwood nut (sandlewood nut)
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Santalum spicatum
◎ Comparison: Rice Puffs with the same texture as macadamia just slightly less oily.
◎ Seasonality: All year dried
◎ Region: Widely Grown
◎ Taste Profile: Sandalwood nuts can be consumed raw or roasted and have a creamy, nutty taste similar to a macadamia, hazelnut, or almond.
Of the 15 different species of sandalwood that grow throughout the world, there are 2 main varieties that are traded internationally. These are Santalum spicatum (Australian sandalwood) and Santalum album (Indian sandalwood).
Our Sandalwood nut is Australian grown and is packaged in a 100g resealable bag.
Sandalwood nut is rich in oils containing one of the rarest fatty acids found in the world – ximenynic acid. Ximenynic acid is found thus far in only two genera of the plant kingdom (Santalum and Ximenia) making the Sandalwood nut a plentiful source of this valuable fatty acid.
Sandalwood nuts contain around 60% Fat. This oil is comprised mainly of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
Sandalwood nut oil is packed with:
- Ximenynic acids, which is incredibly unique, rare and powerfully anti-inflammatory1 and is hailed as an anti-ageing Skincare gem.
- Oleic acid (53.5%), a monounsaturated omega 9 fatty acid (an important component of olive oil) known as a good fat, reducing the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) whilst boosting the levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
These nuts contain a low concentration of saturated fatty acids which is a positive indicator from a health perspective and also a low concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids that will benefit the oxidative stability of the oil.
The Sandalwood nuts provide 17.6% protein (nearly twice the amount of protein in Macadamia) and 17% dietary fibre (nearly 3 times the amount of fibre in Macadamia).
Aboriginal & Traditional
Utilised for centuries by Indigenous Australians, Sandalwood nuts were consumed as a cure for rheumatoid arthritis and the oils inside applied topically to skin to aid with inflammatory conditions and body aches.
Western & Modern
Sandalwood Nut kernels have a unique and delicate flavour with an amazing texture which makes it a highly versatile ingredient or a stand-alone product. This superb native Australian Bush Food is now capturing the interest of a vast range of consumers, Culinary Professionals in fine restaurants and numerous chocolatiers.
Today’s research reinforces what was long known by Aboriginal Australians. Sandalwood nut is rich in oils containing ximenynic acid, one of the rarest fatty acids found in the world and hailed as a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging superpower. High in protein and fibre, with minimal carbohydrates, the nuts are also extremely high in monounsaturated omega 9 fatty acid – known to increase good cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and eliminate build up in the arteries.
Research has also suggested that a diet high in monounsaturated fat may provide the following health benefits:
- Help with weight loss.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and inflammation, as long as they don't add extra calories to your diet.
- A diet high in monounsaturated fat may be a healthier alternative to a conventional lower-fat, high carbohydrate diet in people with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.
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Sandalwood Nuts are featured in these recipes in Warndu Mai:
- Sandalwood Rose Boab & Coconut Granola
- Bush Food Brittle
- Chia crusted Barramundi with chickpea mash & muntrie salsa
Warndu Products featuring Sandalwood Nut
Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble