• How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food

    July 23, 2020 • EAT, GUIDES, LIFE

    Australian native edibles have not only been traditional food for Indigenous Australians, but also serve as important connection to country, totems and medicine.

    Read on as we show you how to incorporate some popular native ingredients into your food, and help environmental and cultural preservation and sustainability in the process.

    The book Warndu Mai by Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan is an absolutely beautiful resource too.

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    Australian Native Foods

    Wattleseed

    Very important foods to Indigenous Australians, wattleseeds are extremely nutritious, contain 18-25% protein and can contain a high level of fat too.

    Wattle species grow all over Australia, but only some of the hundreds of species of wattle produce seed that is harvested for consumption, and they are mainly located throughout the arid regions of the Northern Territory and South Australia.

    Wattleseeds must be roasted before eating otherwise they could chip a tooth!  Once roasted, wattleseed tastes and smells a little like roasted coffee with a touch of chocolate and hazelnut. It’s unique flavour can be used in a range of sweet and savoury dishes.

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    Ways to incorporate wattleseed into your food:

    • Roasted wattleseed and macadamias work well in Anzac biscuits, granola, dukkah
    • Blend a little ground roasted wattleseed with freshly ground coriander seed, lemon myrtle and Murray River salt flakes, and sprinkle this mix over meats,  fish, potatoes and other veggies before cooking
    • Really delicious when added to chocolate dishes, like self-saucing chocolate puddings, cakes and truffles
    • Use in place of coffee for a caffeine-free coffee alternative – simply steep 1-1.5 teaspoons of ground roasted wattleseed in freshly boiled water and enjoy (don’t discard the grounds, use them in another dish)
    • After you have enjoyed your wattleseed coffee alternative, mix the soaked grounds through vanilla ice-cream for a delicious treat!

    Buy roasted ground wattleseed here >

    Or why not try Kakadu Plum Co.’s wattleseed and almond dark chocolate, available here >

    Kakadu Plum Co. is a social enterprise celebrating Indigenous culture and our traditional Australian bush foods. They work directly with the Traditional Owners of the Lands where the produce grows, and their communities.

     

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    Saltbush

    Saltbush grows in the semi-arid and arid regions of mainland Australia. Traditionally saltbush seeds and leaves were an important food source for Indigenous Australians. While it is commonly used today as a livestock grazing plant, it is also gaining popularity as a protein rich Australian bush superfood.

    Saltbush seeds taste like little salty popcorn kernels, while the leaves taste salty and earthy. It lends itself well to savoury dishes.

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    Ways to incorporate saltbush into your food:

    • Sprinkle dried saltbush leaves over veggies or meats before roasting
    • Use in place of regular salt to flavour your meal
    • Combine with parsley or chives and add to scrambled eggs
    • Add to damper, bread dough, polenta or risottos
    • Works really well with Tasmanian pepperberries, garlic and olive oil – why not try the recipe below

    Cut a bulb of garlic in half, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a little sugar and Mt Zero Olives’ Pink Lake natural salt with Australian native pepperberries, and roast in the oven for about an hour or until the cloves are caramelised. Remove from oven and sprinkle with dried saltbush leaves. Serve with toasted bread, cheese, or fruity chutneys. You could also squeeze the cloves out and add to a bread dough, hummus, sauce or dressing.

    Recipe adapted from www.heneedsfood.com

    Buy dried saltbush here >

    Tasmanian Pepperberry

    Tasmanian pepperberry is also known as mountain pepper and is native to the woodlands and cool temperate rainforests of south eastern Australia.

    It was traditionally used by Indigenous Australians for its antiseptic properties, as well as for flavour.

    It is a spicy alternative to traditional pepper with a subtle fruity flavour. Rich in antioxidants, pepperberries will add a unique flavour to savoury and sweet dishes alike. But use sparingly, as a little pinch has an intense bite!

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    Ways to incorporate Tasmanian pepperberry into your food

    • Fill your pepper grinder with whole Tasmanian pepperberries instead of regular pepper
    • Mix ground pepperberries with Tasman sea salt and sprinkle over veggies and meats before roasting, or to season your fried eggs or avocado on toast
    • Add it to a beetroot, red wine and feta risotto or a mushroom risotto
    • Works really nicely with cheese, so you could add it to your favourite cheesy pasta
    • Make a pepper sauce as you would normally, replacing regular pepper with Tasmanian pepperberries

    You can buy whole and milled pepperberries here >

    Or a handy Mt Zero Olives Pink Lake natural salt and pepperberry grinder pack here >

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    Mt Zero Olives is a family owned olive grove three hours west of Melbourne on the northern edge of the Grampians National Park in Victoria, Australia. They collaborate with the traditional land owners of the Wimmera region, the Barengi Gadjin Land Council for harvesting produce in the area.

    Kakadu Plum

    Kakadu plum is native to the Kakadu and Kimberly regions of Australia. It is an antioxidant rich, immune boosting superfood that has been used by Indigenous Australians for centuries.

    Nutritionally, it is extremely potent – Kakadu plum is known to contain over 100 times the Vitamin C of an orange, and as an antioxidant, it is over five times more potent than blueberries. If you are eating it for these nutritional benefits, we recommend you don’t heat it and enjoy it raw.

    Kakadu plum has a sour, slightly nutty flavour with a fruity aroma.

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    How to incorporate Kakadu Plum into your food: 

    • Works nicely in chia puddings, smoothies and yoghurt
    • Incorporate into raw slices, bliss balls or healthy energy balls
    • Add to sauces and salad dressings
    • Pairs well with ginger, chilli and garlic

    Buy Kakadu plum here >

    Lemon Myrtle

    Lemon myrtle has been an important food and medicine for Indigenous Australians for centuries. It is endemic to the subtropical rainforests of central and south-eastern Queensland, and has a refreshing, clean citrus aroma and taste. It goes with just about anything!

    Lemon myrtle boasts immune boosting properties, aids digestion, and contains Vitamin A, E and magnesium. It also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    How to incorporate lemon myrtle into your food:

    • Works well with macadamia nuts
    • Use in place of lemon peel or juice
    • Flavour shortbread, biscuits, cakes, tarts, pies and slices
    • Compliments chicken, seafood and red meat dishes nicely
    • Combine with Murray River salt flakes, Tasmanian pepperberries and sprinkle over tempura veggies, veggie chips or wedges

    Buy Lemon Myrtle powder (with 5% Kakadu Plum) here >

    Also try the delicious Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia Nut muffin mix from Oz Tukka, available here >

    How to incorporate Australian native ingredients into your food | Bush Tucker, Australian Native Edibles, Bush Food | Biome Eco Stores

    Oz Tukka was founded in 2003 out of a curiosity and passion for bush food and a huge appreciation of the Australian nature. Oz Tukka endeavours to source as much of the bush food as possible in a way that supports local Aboriginal enterprises.

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