You actually don’t have to look too much further than your own doorstep to find superfoods to take your diet to next-level nourishment.
Thanks to a few Aussie farmers and chefs showing us what the indigenous population have known for centuries, there’s a new crop of superfoods hitting our restaurants and health food stores, and they’re all native Australian plants, fruits and berries.
What is it? The Finger Lime is a tart citrus fruit borne of rare trees in the Australian rainforests.
Why you should eat it – Super rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B, folate and potassium, the Finger Lime can boost your immunity against disease and even act as an antiseptic when applied topically. If you love the tartness of lemon or lime juice, you’ll love the taste of a Finger Lime.
How to get it in your diet – Try some freeze-dried finger lime added to your dukkah or sprinkled on your smoothie bowl for a zesty kick.
What is it? Did you know that Aussie sports people wear green and gold to represent the humble yet hardy wattle flower? True story. Traditionally, the seeds from these native Acacia plants with their hard protective husks have been ground to form a flour-like powder to add to cakes and damper or to thicken sauces and casseroles.
Why you should eat it – The Wattleseed is a low GI, high protein superfood boasting high concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. They’re also a good source of fibre. So many benefits, no wonder it’s our national flowering plant.
How to get it in your diet – When it’s ground and roasted, the wattleseed releases a rich nutty coffee-like aroma and flavour, so it goes particularly well with chocolate! Yes! Add some to chocolate cake or cookies and boost the nutritional value of your favourite treat
What is it? The riberry is the small magenta berry from the lilly pilly plant, discovered in 1770 by Captain Cook and his European settlers but long used by indigenous Australians beforehand.
Why you should eat it – Super rich in folate (so if you’re expecting, grab some of these now) and an excellent anti-oxidant, the riberry is also a great source of manganese and calcium.
How to get it in your diet – Eat them raw, make a beautiful sauce to accompany meats or even yummier, add them to your apple crumble or pop some in your vodka for an instant sweet spicy (cinnamon/clove) cocktail!
What is it? The lemon myrtle plant is found in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, with a fluffy yellowy cream coloured flower during the Autumnal months.
Why you should eat it – A powerful antioxidant, the lemon myrtle is a delicious way to ward off illnesses, help sooth coughs and colds and relieve stress.
How to get it in your diet – Use it dry for a great antioxidant-rich herbal tea or add to all sorts of cooking and roasting (just don’t cook it for too long or it’s lemony deliciousness can turn a tad bitter) – it’s well-known to enhance the flavour of chicken and fish, and is even delicious in sweet dishes like sorbet.
What is it? The blue-grey Saltbush is found in dry parts of Australia, and its leaves are taking the culinary world by storm.
Why you should eat it – The leaves of the saltbush plant are high (20%) in protein, with good doses of magnesium, calcium, iron and antioxidants. Saltbush is the new kale!
How to get it in your diet – Tempura the leaves and serve with a favourite dipping sauce, add the leaves to a salad or use the super Saltbush leaves to wrap your lamb fillet in before throwing on the barbie.
What is it? With its dark purple skin and deep red flesh, the Davidson Plum is a tart acidic fruit.
Why you should eat it – Why shouldn’t you eat it?! This little plum is rich in potassium, calcium, vitamin E and zinc. High in anti-oxidants and with more lutein than an avocado, the Davidson Plum has a lot going for it.
How to get it in your diet – Stew it with spice, sugar, red wine and water to make a rich plum sauce or make a delicious chutney.
What is it? This amazing plum is found in Northern Australia and has been used by indigenous Australians for its medicinal and healing properties for thousands and thousands of years.
Why you should eat it – The Kakadu Plum has super high levels of iron, folate, zinc and Vitamin E and its anti-oxidant levels are through the roof (more than 5 times that of the popular blueberry). Plus, this little plum has more Vitamin C than any other fruit, up to 100 times more than an orange! Enough said, right?
How to get it in your diet – It’s a seasonal fruit, so grab some when it’s harvested between March and June and make some yummy kakadu plum jam to mix through some greek yoghurt or spread on your toast.
Look out for these Aussie superfoods on your local health food shelves, or order online and add them to your cooking. There’s no better way to boost your nutrition and buy local at the same time. Go you good thing.