Australia is a vast land, blessed with many wild herbs, fruits and nuts. Here’s a guide to some super native Australian bush foods that are nutrient dense and packed full of flavour too.
Davidson plum: A dark purple fruit with juicy but slightly bitter red flesh that is rich in potassium, vitamin E, zinc, lutein and calcium. Its dark colour means it also contains antioxidants known as anthocyanins which are believed to help improve cognitive function and protect against some cancers.
Finger lime: This tart-tasting rainforest fruit contains a lemony lime tasting juice and tiny caviar-like pearls of flesh. But its skin can be green, purple, red or yellow. They are rich in vitamins C and E, potassium and folate. Use finger limes as a substitute in recipes that call for lemons or limes.
Kakadu plum: Also known as gubinge, Kakadu plum contains more antioxidants than a blueberry and 50 times more vitamin C than an orange. In fact, it contains more vitamin C than any other fruit on earth. It also delivers the same amount of folate as broccoli and is a good source of iron and vitamin E. Buy it as a freeze-dried powder to add to smoothies or your favourite raw ball recipes.
Lemon myrtle: As their name suggests, these green leaves have a strong lemon flavour and can be used as a substitute for bay leaves in recipes. Lemon myrtle goes well with fish, chicken and also in desserts. Along with tasting great they contain antioxidants, folate, lutein, magnesium and zinc.
Quandong: Also known as the wild peach, Quandong is a sweet but small bright red fruit that is high in protein and its very large kernel contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory oils. It also contains twice the vitamin C found in an orange along with antioxidants, calcium, folate, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc. Eat it fresh or dried.
Riberry: Rich in immune busting vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. These sweet but slightly spicy berries contain three times more folate than blueberries. Plus they are a good source of manganese and calcium. Eat raw in salads or serve on a cheese board.
Saltbush: Move over kale, the leaves of the saltbush plant have about 20 per cent protein. Plus they are rich in antioxidants, calcium, iron and magnesium.
Samphire: Also called sea asparagus, samphire is a crunchy native succulent that grows wild along the coast of southern Australia and is said to be rich in vitamins A, B and C. It’s also delicious served raw in salads or lightly blanched and tossed with olive oil.
Wattle seeds: Traditionally, Aboriginal women would roast wattle seeds over the fire, grind them into flour and then mix with water to make into dough that was then baked in coals. The nutty tasting seeds are also low-glycaemic and high in protein, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. Use in a powdered form for baking and even for thickening sauces and smoothies.
Source: Jody Scott - Vogue Australia
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