Incorporating bush food in your daily life

If native foods are to become mainstream, we need to use them in our home cooking. Many plants are known by their traditional or botanic origins. In some cases it is difficult to understand what they are or what you are supposed to do with them……..grind it and use it as a sauce; cook as a thick spinach; boil and serve as a root vegetable; eat as a fresh fruit or preserve as a jam?


Sustainable supply of paperbark

Indigenous Australians have used paperbark to provide shelter, in artwork and to cook with for thousands of years but not many know how much and how often you can harvest a tree without killing it.

Up until a couple of years ago there was such a man but ill health forced him to stop and he was not able to persuade his children to take over.

But now an Aboriginal owned and worked property in the far north of Australia has begun to harvest 100 year old trees on the property to supply the market.

It will take 2 years for the thick bark to grow back and be ready again for harvesting.

Taste Australia Bush Food Shop has secured sheets of paperbark to sell and they will be available HERE once they make the long long trip from the remotest corner of the country.

Jess tells: “How much product should you use”

Hi Jess,
My hair is 3a-3b — straighter/wavy and frizz-prone on top layer and curlier underneath. My hair is about medium thickness.  When dry, my length varies from mid-neck and mid-ear level.

I have been using about 4-5 quarter-size puddles of the CCSS with RR lately. I usually put RR on to cover all of my hair (4-5 quarter size puddles of RR, too), to the point that it feels smooth when wet. Perhaps I need to cut back on the CCSS? It distributes easier than it looks like it will, so maybe I have been using too much…?

Answer: Yep, it sounds to me like you’re using WAY too much of both RR and CCSS. I would cut back to 3 puddles of RR and 2 puddles of CCSS – and even THAT might be too much for your length – you might only need one puddle of CCSS. You’ll need to try it both ways and see.

For perspective, here’s how much I use. I make a mixture of CCSS and RR – about 3/4 RR and 1/4 CCSS. I use about 3 puddles of that in total, plus an additional quarter sized amount of CCSS. My hair sounds longer than yours and my hair is also VERY coarse and VERY thick.

So you have some experimenting to do. 😉 I’d suggest that tomorrow you try it with 3 puddles of RR and 2 puddles of CCSS. The next day try 2 puddles of RR and 1 puddle of CCSS, just to compare the differences.

NB An American quarter is bigger than an Aussie 10 cent but smaller than an Aussie 20 cent.

Easy and delicious.

Our Munducklin Curry Powder combines all the ingredients of a great curry with authentic native ingredients for a flavoursome meal.


The recipe for 2

  1. Preheat oven 160C
  2. Peel and finely slice 1 large red onion, 2 cloves garlic,  5cm ginger.
  3. Splash of olive oil in a pan. Add Tbspn Munducklin Curry Powder, teaspoon Tropical Pepperberry Sea Salt, half each of a red, green and yellow capsicum sliced.
  4. Cook until soft and golden (about 15 mins).
  1. Transfer to baking dish and add 1 can coconut milk, 1 Tbspn Finger Lime Caviar, 1 Tbspn lime juice.
  2. Mix well and then add 14 prawns (peeled and deveined) and lower 2 Atlantic Salmon fillets into mixture. Ensure all seafood is immersed.
  3. Bake 20 mins.
  4. Serve with steamed rice.

Summer may be over but dont forget to nurture your curls this winter

Drinking water is great for your curls as well as your skin and nails.

Let’s face it we struggle with dryness all year long but come winter our hair is exposed to sudden changes of temperature, frequent drying wind and cold.Wash a little less but style a little more.

Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo and Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Creamhave few chemicals and harmful ingredients which means they will not rinse out natural hair oils that give it moisture.

Apply Jessicurl Too Shea!, Jessicurl Aloeba or Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment conditioner and keep in for as long as possible.

Use oils

Jessicurl Oil Blend (Avocado, Jojoba and Coconut) after washing helps retain moisture whilst making your curls soft and silky.

Finally, add your favourite styling product – Jessicurl Confident Coils, Jessicurl Gelebration Spray, Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets and/or Jessicurl Spiralicious

Cover hair

Wind and cold play havoc whenever you go out, so wear a hat or cover your hair with a scarf. Curly hair is easily damaged so first, cover your hair with a silk scarf and then put on a cap or hat.

Smart Sleep

Sleep can affect the health of your curls.  Wrap your hair in silk or  buy a silk pillowcase. knows you want the right product for your curls yesterday so all orders completed by 11am week days are  posted that day.

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.


The long and short of great curls

For long hair – Curly looks best when it’s shoulder length or longer and with a few layers cut in to keep it from looking bottom-heavy or boxy….. you know, the helmet head look!   Ask for layers that start at your chin and angle down, all around your head.

But if you like short hair then the most flattering cut is 50 to 75mm of length all over and always make sure to have it cut to mimic the shape of your head.  A big fat NO to razor cuts as they can rough up the cuticle and exacerbate frizz.

Shampoo as infrequently as possible: every other day if your hair is very fine  (Jessicurl Gentle Lather works well for fine hair); once a week if it’s superthick (Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream is great for thick as well as coloured hair)

Give your curls a fighting chance against frizz by loading up on conditioner—twice.  Jessicurl Too Shea! in the shower and then Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment as a leave in when you get out.

For curl definition choose from Jessicurl Styling products – Confident Coils, Rockin Ringlets, Spiralicious and/or Gelebration Spray.

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

Best advice for curlies

What piece of advice would you give to a wavy who’s just starting out in their curly hair journey and feels frustrated?

PATIENCE. My hair did not look like this overnight. It took almost a decade to reach this length and bounce. I’ve had friends who would go out and buy a brand’s entire line, get excited, and then give up after a month of trying. It doesn’t work like that. It’s like fitness – you don’t expect to reach your body goals after one session at the gym. It takes time and dedication.

Ayesha’s hair care routine  can be viewed 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)


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.