4 Native Australian Nutrition Bombs
Macadamia nuts are far from the wackiest vegan edibles native to Australia.
“It’s up there, astronauts are sucking it out of a tube (…) This is what’s happening to this fruit.”
This giant continent grows 10kg pinecones on prehistoric trees. There are fruits here that are filled with gem-like capsules. There’s even a plum species that’s made it to space. How’s that for export?
Within the Earth’s atmosphere, native Australian ‘bush tucker’ is now popular internationally for its high nutrient content and unique flavours. Think nutritional yeast is the bomb? There’s a whole other world for you to explore.
Yes, Hogwarts’ Professor Sprout would adore Australia.
Oh, wait, she does.
Here are four of more than 6500 edible Australian plant species.
It’s marketed as ‘citrus caviar’, but ‘sack of jewels’ would also be apt for this fruit. Emeralds or rubies spill out of its leathery skin when opened. They explode in your mouth.
Finger limes are bursting with Vitamins C, E, and potassium.
These fruits are shipped around the world where they’re used in fine cuisine and cocktails.
Fun fact: green ‘Emerald’ finger limes tend to be used in savoury dishes. The red ‘Sunrise’ varieties go better with desserts.
Every three years Australians avoid standing under Bunya trees. The prehistoric Bunya Pine can live for more than 1000 years, and the pine cones can weigh up to 10kg (22 pounds).
Australian Aborigines roasted the giant nuts inside the fallen pine cones. They also ate them raw, boiled, or ground them into flour.
Bunya gnocchi came much later. Chef Clayton Donovan serves it with saffron sauce.
The tree outside my house once had pink berries on it.
Then my mum realised lilly pilly berries were edible and spent two hours pitting them in front of The Last Dance. The chutney is delicious.
You might also find Lilly Pilly in your hair or skincare products. It’s full of — yes — Vitamin C, and a whole list of other vitamins, nutrients, and beneficial thingamajigs that make it an Australian superfood.
Kakadu Plum (aka ‘gubinge’)
“This plant is one of the ones that were given to the Western world to play around with. So it’s ended up on women’s faces as cosmetics. It’s up there, astronauts are sucking it out of a tube… This is what’s happening to this fruit,” says Neville of the Fitzroy River.
That poor little gubinge!
Indigenous Australians ate the Kakadu plum for strong immune systems during the change from the wet season into winter. No wonder: each plum has 100 times the Vitamin C of an orange.
That’s the highest Vitamin C content of any known food.
That’s why it’s a popular export. Half a teaspoon of freeze-dried Kakadu Plum powder will super-charge a smoothie anywhere in the world (or off it).
It also makes a nice jam.
“Most of my medicine is food.”
Now you have a hint of a taste of Australia’s botanical bounty. I leave you with Neville and his personal supermarket.
Neville’s indigenous Australian. He has some fascinating native foods to share.