Category Archives: Australian Native Food

Finger Limes…. are they REALLY a native food?

There is nothing like a Finger Lime!  The casing is just bursting with zesty lime pearls.

Add them to sparkling water, add them to Raita (Natural yoghurt dip), squeeze them over oysters, toss them in a salad.

And yes they are a bush food

 

Wild Lime Syrup

Place a cup of water and 1 1/4 cups sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Add 1/4 cup finger limes and bring to the boil.
Lower heat and simmer gently until the volume is reduced by a third (about an hour).
Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve.
Transfer to sterile jars or bottles. It will keep for approx 12 months.

Note: The longer the syrup is reduced, the darker it will become and the flavour will intensify.
Different batches can be reduced to different strengths and are delicious served together.

 

strawberry gum leaf

Sensational Strawberry Gum

Found in secluded pockets along the east coast of Australia
Used to enhance the flavour of cooked fruit dishes, desserts, spiced jams as well as in herbal teas  and syrups

Strawberry Gum Syrup Recipe HERE

Delectable Davidsons Plum

A native fruit that’s intense and packed with anti-oxidants.

While it’s too tart for most of us to eat as a fresh fruit, in cooking it is one of my favourite bush fruits. A little Davidson plum goes a long way to colour and flavour ice cream, mousse and sweet sauces. It makes a sensational fruity savoury sauce and gives kangaroo goulash a rich fruity tang.

We stock both frozen fruit and powder.  The powder is an excellent addition to biscuits, muffins and icecream.

Davidsons Plum Freezer Jam (no cooking required)

davidsonsplumfreezerjam

De-seed 30 Davidsons Plums and puree. Combine one cup and 1 Tablespoon of sugar plus 4 Tablespoons Balls RealFruit Instant Pectin and stir until blended then add plum puree and stir for 3 minutes.  Ladle jam into plastic freezer jars ensuring you leave a cm head space .  Adjust caps.  Let jams stand for 30 minutes to thicken.  Label.  Freeze or refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

The Curious Cook

What do you give the cook in your life?

Taste Australia Bush Food Shop has 3 different box sets of native food ingredients.

A Cook’s Delight

  • 13 dried and ground leaves
  • Aniseed Myrtle, Australian Holy Basil, Cinnamon Myrtle, Lemon Myrtle, Mountain Pepperleaf, Native Basil, Native Sage, Native Thyme, Peppermint Gum, River Mint, Saltbush, Sea Parsley, Strawberry Gum
  • 9 dried and ground berries, nuts and fruit
  • Davidsons Plum, Finger Lime, Kakadu Plum, Illawarra Plum, Riberry, Sandalwood, Lemon Aspen, Pepperberry, Wattleseed, Desert Lime, Native Blood Lime or Bush Tomato
  • Box set presentation, perfect for the cook in your life!

A Taste of Australia

  • Contains 15 different ground or leaf bush herbs:
  • Aniseed Myrtle, Australian Holy Basil, Cinnamon Myrtle, Mountain Pepperleaf, Lemon Myrtle, Mountain Pepperberry, Native Basil, Native Sage, Native Thyme, Peppermint Gum, River Mint, Saltbush, Sea Parsley, Strawberry Gum, Wattleseed.

Introduction to Australian Native Bush Food

  • 10 different bushfood herbs –
  • Aniseed Myrtle, Mountain Pepperleaf, Lemon Myrtle, Native Basil, Native Thyme, River Mint, Saltbush, Sea Parsley, Strawberry Gum, Wattleseed
  • plus 5 bush food seasonings – Desert Flakes, Munducklin Curry Powder, Bush Tomato Seasoning, Seafood Sprinkle, Swagmans Salt, Pepperberry Salt, or Tanami Fire.

Maggie Beer’s delicious Constitution Cake could be your new New Year tradition

Maggie Beer’s Constitution Cake (photo from her website) is a firm favourite amongst our customers to serve at Christmas and features Quandong, Davidsons Plum, Muntries and Macadamias which are all available in the Taste Australia Bush Food Shop

Ingredients

  1. 150g quandong dried
  2. 1 1/2 cup Verjuice
  3. 50g caster sugar
  4. 120g dried currants
  5. 60g almond whole
  6. 180g unsalted butter chopped
  7. 150g brown sugar
  8. 4 free range eggs
  9. 180g self raising flour
  10. 1/2 tspn cinnamon ground
  11. 1/2 tspn nutmeg ground
  12. 180g davidson’s plums Defrosted, sliced and seed removed
  13. 120g muntries defrosted
  14. 1 lemon zest finely grated
  15. 120g candied mixed peel
  16. 120gm Dry Roasted Macadamias
  17. 100gm icing sugar
  18. 1 egg yolk
  19. 60gm dry roasted almonds

Reconstitute dried quandongs by soaking in 375 millilitres of Maggie Beer’s Verjuice and 50 grams caster sugar for 30 minutes, then boil for 5 minutes. Turn off, add currants, leave to soften for 1 hour. Drain and reserve syrup.

Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease and line a 20 cm round spring-form cake tin with baking paper.

To make the nut paste, blend 120gm roasted macadamias in a food processor, then add 100gm icing sugar and 1 egg yolk and pulse to form a stiff paste. Set aside.

In the cake mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour if the mixture curdles. Fold in the flour, spices, currants, quandongs, sliced davidson’s plums (seed removed), whole muntries, almonds and candied peel. Stir in the grated lemon zest and the reserved syrup, to give a soft batter.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared tin, then spread the nut paste over the mixture and top it with the remaining batter. Bake for 2.5 hours (or until a fine skewer comes out clean). If the top colours too quickly, cover with foil for the last hour. Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin before turning it out.

Maggie Beer>>

Illawarra Plum: one of the best bush foods

Illawarra Plum Chutney

Reconstitute air dried Illawarra Plums (200gm) in water overnight, strain and set juice aside (can be made into a jelly).
Fry 2 large sliced onions and 3 garlic cloves (minced) in Macadamia Oil until slightly caramelised,  then add 2  fresh thinly sliced red chillies.
Add the Illawarra Plums plus 300ml apple cider vinegar.
Simmer on low heat for an hour before spooning into sterlised jars.

Perfect with kangaroo or with a cheese platter

Illawarra plums make a smooth, rich jam which is  delicious on your favourite bread, especially combined with macadamia paste, and as a gourmet addition to yoghurt, ice cream, desserts and cakes.

Air dried sliced Illawarra Plums available in store

Aniseed Myrtle :Traditionally used for weight loss, lactation & stomach complaints.

Aniseed Myrtle has strong aniseed scented and flavoured leaves which are often used for flavouring desserts, sweet sauces and preserves. It also is popular as a scented savoury sauce or marinade for meats and sets a deep fragrant flavour to salad dressings.

Made from the crushed leaves of Aniseed Myrtle it has a subtle sweet liquorice flavour. Great with fish or pork, steamed rice, seafood, biscuits, ice-cream or tea. Health wise it is touted for its superior antioxidant capacity.

Aniseed Myrtle Shortbreadaniseed_shortbread

Ingredients:
125gm butter
40gm sugar
25gm icing sugar
250gm plain flour
1 desertspoon Aniseed Myrtle
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Orange Juice

Cream the butter and sugar. Add icing sugar. Blend. Sift flour with Aniseed Myrtle and salt and then slowly add to the mixture alternating with orange juice until a smooth dough is formed.

Divide dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Shape into bars about 1cm thick. Place on ungreased sheet. Bake 150C for 15 to 20 minutes until pale golden (not brown).

Leave to cool and then transfer to wire rack.

Kale & Parsley Pesto
Blend 2 tspns coriander, 1 tspn lemon myrtle, 1/2 tspn aniseed myrtle, 1 tspn mountain pepperleaf, 1 tspn bush tomato and 100gm macadamias with handful fresh kale, handful parsley, 50gm grated parmesan, 2 garlic cloves, tbspn honey and macadamia oil

Spread on toast, use as a dip, stir through pasta, stuff chicken fillets

kale-parsley-pesto

BUY Australian Native Ingredients HERE

The odd but fabulous finger lime

Thorny and very unfriendly, the Native Finger Lime is not the most beautiful tree in the world but produces a finger shape fruit whose flesh consists of tiny balls that look like caviar are bursting with zesty lime.  Truly a treat with zing.

Before settlement Finger Lime trees lined Sydney’s Parramatta River.  Today they thrive under cultivation in the northern rivers district of New South Wales.  The tree takes more cold weather than most of the citruses and they’re native to Australia. The fruit is 5-10cm long and 1-2cm diameter, and skins can be green, red, purple, yellow or black.

When you cut them open, the fruit of translucent spheres resembles caviar, the colour of the pearls can vary from pink to limey-green or palest champagne, depending on the variety and the climate in which they are grown. Each one of the little flavour bombs has the most intense and wonderful lime flavour, great for garnishing hors d’oeuvres, Asian salads, cooking with fish, desserts etc.

A simple yet stunning hors d’oeuvre to make is to top a cracker biscuit with coriander, smoked salmon, a little bit of dill then top with some Finger Lime flesh –  watch your guests face as the tiny  balls of lime explode.

The Worlds Richest Source of Vitamin C is an Aussie native

The Kakadu Plum grows across the wilds of the Top End of Northern Australia. The fruit has been a traditional source of bush tucker, antiseptic and a healing remedy for its Indigenous inhabitants for thousands of years. The fruit usually ripen at the start of the dry season in May each year, has been identified world wide as the single natural food source with the highest vitamin C content on the planet. It contains 3000mg of vitamin C per 100g of fruit – over 50 times the concentration found in oranges.

The demand for Kakadu plum is strong, with the industry constantly receiving enquiries and orders from overseas companies. However, the inconsistency of supply from remote areas has long been the industry’s biggest challenge to meeting that demand.

Unsurprisingly the ingredient has found its way into Skin & Hair Care Products, Vitamin Supplements, beverages, capsules and powders. It’s used in Pharmacological products, Bio Chemical products and naturally in juice, icecream, chutney, jam and pickles. Kakadu plum extract is also added to pre-prepared meals, to improve their shelf-life and nutritional value.

Regular users say kakadu plum powder tightens their skin (they stir it through face cream) and improves their memory (added to juice). The Australian aboriginal people pound the fruit and use it as an antiseptic and a soothing balm for aching limbs.

Unless you are in the Top End during the three month harvest you will not come across fresh fruit. It deteriorates quickly in the tropics so therefore is either frozen or dried and ground before making the 4000km journey out of the region (some 8 hours driving non stop through harsh desert conditions).

You will find kakadu plum powder and frozen whole fruit in the Taste Australia Bush Food Shop
POWDER>>
FROZEN FRUIT>>

Sea Parsley: mild parsley/celery taste, a little bitter and salty.

Sea Parsley thrives in harsh conditions along Australia’s Southern Ocean coastline on sand dunes and between cracks in rocks just above the high tide line, right on the beach.

Sea Parsley, also know as Sea Celery can be used in salads and soups.It is best used as a flavouring in the same way as regular parsley is used. Captain Cook made use of this plant to prevent scurvy when “The Endeavour” visited the east coast of Australia and New Zealand in 1770 and it was subsequently used by early settlers as a source of greens.  In fact, colonists in Albany W.A. were the first to cultivate it.

Chicken Ragu Fettucine

Ingredients
1 x 1.8kg Free Range Chicken
100ml Macadamia Nut Oil or Light Olive Oil
1 dspn dried Sea Parsley
1 tspn dried Native Thyme
1/2 tspn dried Native Sage
1 tspn dried Lemon Myrtle
1 tspn dried Mountain Pepperleaf
100ml Tomato Puree
3 x 400gm cans diced tomato
1 1/2 cans of water
10gm Bush Tomato seasoning
1 stick celery (cubed)
1 carrot (cubed)
1 onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
3 rashers of bacon (diced)

Mix 80ml of oil with Sea Parsley, Native Thyme, Native Sage, Lemon Myrtle and Mountain Pepperleaf. Massage on and in the chicken and place on baking tray. Into the oven at 180C for about 80 minutes, turning every 20 minutes.

Meanwhile into a pot place the rest of the oil, bacon, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes before adding, the puree, tomatoes, bush tomato seasoning and water. Cook for 20 minutes and then turn off and allow to rest.

When the chicken is cooked and is cool enough to handle pull the flesh off the bone and place into the tomato sauce.

Tip: This recipe is best made in advance to allow the flavours to infuse.

Cook pasta as per packet instructions. Mix through the sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese and fresh green salad.