When it comes to Australian superfoods, there’s no denying that we’re spoiled for choice. From our star superfood performer, Kakadu Plum, to our protein-rich Wattleseed, Australia is home to some of the most potent and nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Most Australians have never even tasted bush foods yet to the Indigenous people of Australia, native fruits and seeds have served as a source of food and medicine for over 50,000 years, sustaining them through harsh, unpredictable Australian weather. In fact, the foods themselves had to adapt to survive. These adaptations have resulted in extraordinary, highly concentrated, nutritional compositions.
This powerful group of fruits and seeds is so rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, that it surpasses the past superfood master, the blueberry, and sets new global standards for nutrition and taste.
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Modern Australia has been slow to adopt these foods despite their unique flavours and exceptional nutritional value but this is all changing! Australians and the rest of the world are beginning to hear about our native superfoods, and are embracing them as part of their diets. Hayley Blieden, Dietitian and founder of The Australian Superfood Co. shares what Australian superfoods you need to be eating right now.
Commonly referred to as “medicine berries” by Indigenous Australians, riberries provide essential vitamins and minerals to fight against colds and keep the immune system healthy and strong. Rich, spicy, and cranberry-like in flavour; riberry has three times the folate of a blueberry, is a concentrated source of essential minerals and is useful in aiding the immune system.
The mature finger lime is a truly spectacular fruit. It comes in a wide range of colours, such as green, yellow, purple, pink and bright red. When sliced open, it reveals ‘caviar like’ pearls, which are filled with lemon-lime juice. However, there’s more to the finger lime than just good looks! Three times the Vitamin C found in a mandarin, a substantial source of folate, potassium and Vitamin E. It also contains considerable antiseptic properties. Zesty and citrusy, it goes down a treat in dressings, sauces and jams or as a garnish.
The unsung hero of Australian native foods, Wattleseed is known for providing a very rich source of protein and is even grown in Africa to provide protein to drought-affected populations. With exceptionally tough husks, when wattleseeds fall from their branch they survive Australia’s harsh natural climate for up to 20 years. Accordingly, the seed’s nutritional value mirrors these powerful properties, being a rich source of protein and carbohydrate and concentrated with potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and fibre. Compatible with chocolate and desserts, it’s also ground into flour or roasted to produce a nutty, coffee aroma. Try swapping your coffee beans for Roasted and Ground Wattleseed and enjoy a DIY Wattleseed Latte as a caffeine-free alternative.
The undisputed number one Australian superfood, our very own Kakadu Plum. The native Australian fruit boasts the highest recorded levels of Vitamin C of any fruit in the world, measuring up to 100 times the Vitamin C content found in an orange! It also exhibits outstanding antioxidant capacity, being 5.2 times more potent than the blueberry.
Due to its extreme potency, you only need a small amount to reap the benefits. We recommend adding a teaspoon to your smoothie or smoothie bowl in the morning – it provides a tart taste with a delightful aroma of stewed apples and pears, with some cooked citrus, pickled and floral musk essence.
Fun to say, and oh so yummy. Raw or dried, Aboriginals would use Quandong as a substitute for meat. 25% protein, 70% complex oils and high in vitamin C, it’s also highly valued for its medical properties. With a salty and sour flavour, it is commonly used in jams, chutneys, desserts and pies.
An antioxidant powerhouse, this strikingly sumptuous, deep, dark purple fruit with blood-red flesh, boasts a soft juicy pulp and is one of the most nutritionally powerful native Australian fruits. Davidson Plum provides an excellent source of potassium which plays a vital role in every single heartbeat. It helps our muscles move, our nerves work and our kidneys filter out toxins. It also provides a good source of Vitamin E and zinc; two nutrients required for glowing, youthful looking skin! For our vegan friends, this fruit also provides a unique dairy-free source of calcium. Davidson plum has a delightful balance of tart and sweet and can be a useful ingredient in beverages, sauces, dry red wine, desserts or simply as a natural food colourant.
Can we tempt you with something intoxicating and refreshing? Lemon Myrtle, the queen of lemon herbs, is a powerful antioxidant and antiseptic, a vegan source of calcium, high in folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin E, and is the most concentrated source of plant citral in the world. It can be consumed in beverages such as tea or added to your sweet or savoury dishes for some extra zest. Use it sparingly though – a little bit of flavour goes a long way!
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