Australian bush foods show tremendous potential in many ways particularly in providing health benefits, so I think they could be superfoods. Testing at the CSIRO and comparing to Blueberry has revealed that plants such as Lemon Myrtle, Anise Myrtle and Mountain Pepper (these grow well in Victorian gardens) contain high levels of antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin B and lutein (keeps the macular in the eye healthy). These plants also contain very high levels of micronutrients such as Magnesium, Zinc and Calcium.
The best news is that these benefits are released with heat, so all you have to do is to put a few fresh leaves into a teapots, add hot water a brew yourself a pot of goodness. The fresh leaves can also be chopped up and put into any dish you fancy to add wonderful flavours.
I like to use Lemon Myrtle to replace lemongrass in curries, added to sweet muffins, or steeped in hot milk to make wonderful custards, pannacotta and ice cream. Lemon Myrtle is an essential ingredient to my Warrigal Greens Pesto recipe.
Mountain Pepper gives a lovely pepper/chilli kick to any dish, have a go yourself and experiment with these amazing flavours.
To grow Lemon Myrtle give it a little protection in the garden – to the south of a larger shrub, it prefers not to be hit with hot or cold winds, keep it watered for its first summer and also feed with fish and seaweed emulsion and mulch every 3 or so months.
Copyright © 2014 Julie Weatherhead, Peppermint Ridge Farm. All rights reserved.
At Peppermint Ridge Farm we are passionate about Australian native foods and spices. We run bush food cooking classes, tours of our Australian Spice Garden, and foodie events on site in Tynong North, Victoria. We are also available for private functions. Find us on our website: www.peppermintridgefarm.com.au.