Wattleseed is the unsung hero of the Australian Bush Food industry. The Acacias with their enormous diversity of species and forms cover the length and breadth of the Australian continent. Although not all Acacias are suitable for human consumption, they have been a mainstay in the diet of our traditional people for thousands of years. The wattle flower is the well known emblem of Australia, and is represented in the green and gold worn by Australian athletes.
Several species of Acacias are more palatable and commercially viable; Ac victoriae – Prickly Acacia; Ac. sophorae – Coastal Wattle; Ac retinodes – Wirilda; Ac coriacea – Dogwood; Ac murrayana – Colony Wattle; and Ac aneura – Mulga. In their natural habitats these species are plentiful, and because of this, they have been mainly harvested in the wild. The most sought after wattleseed is the Ac retinodes – Wirilda, which is now being planted in large commercial plots for the bushfood industry.
The seeds of the Acacias have very hard husks, and when they fall to the ground, will last for up to 20 years in their natural environment, usually only germinating after bushfires. Because this hard outer casing also protects the seed during long periods of dormancy on the ground, Wattleseed has provided indigenous Australians with a rich source of protein and carbohydrate in times of drought. The seed was crushed into flour between flat grinding stones and cooked into cakes or damper. Even the green seeds of some species were eaten after baking in the hot coals.
Roasted ground Wattleseed has a diverse number of uses in the kitchen, from baking to thickening of sauces and casseroles, to ice cream. By dark-roasting Wattleseed, the most delightful aroma of nutty fresh roasted coffee is released and can be used as a beverage or as an addition to chocolate or desserts.
Roasted ground Wattleseed can be purchased at Taste Australia Bush Food Shop
Wattleseed Icecream Christmas Pudding
Place 4 tspns ground wattleseed into a cup and just cover with boiling water. This will swell the wattleseed and release the flavours. Allow to cool.
Slightly soften 2 litres vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Stir through the wattleseed slurry and then add 700gm Christmas pudding (crumbled), a handful of glace cherries and a good slosh of Quandong Liqueur (or Grand Marnier).
Grease a pudding basin with a little oil and line with clingfilm and then fill with the icecream mix.
Freeze. (make and hide it a week before the day)
To serve remove from freezer and unmould onto serving plate. Remove cling wrap. If you have trouble removing the pudding from mould gently warm sides with hot wet towel.
Garnish with glazed quandong (or fresh cherries).
Serve with pouring cream or custard.
Bush Tomato, Lemon Myrtle and Wattleseed muffins
2 ½ cups self-raising flour
1 cup castor sugar
1 ¼ cups milk
1 cup ground bush tomatoes
1/2 cup whole bush tomatoes
½ cup ground wattleseed
1 tbspn ground lemon myrtle
Sift flour into large bowl and rub in butter. Stir in sugar, milk and eggs being careful not to over mix.
Add bush tomatoes, wattleseed and lemon myrtle leaving a little of each to sprinkle on top.
Spoon mixture into muffin trays lined with muffin patty pans.
Place two or three bush tomatoes on top of each muffin and dust with wattleseed and lemon myrtle.
Bake 180C for 20 minutes
Wattleseed & Wild Peach Muffins
350gm plain flour
1 Tbspn Baking Powder
1 Tbspn Ground Wattleseed
2 Tbspn Wild Peach Drink Mix
225ml low fat milk
55gm unsalted butter (melted)
1 free range egg
Blend flour, baking powder, wattleseed and sugar.
Add butter, egg, milk and Wild Peach Mix.
Two thirds fill lightly greased muffin trays.
Bake 190C for 25-30 mins.
2 cups self raising flour
1 Tbspn Ground Wattleseed
1 tspn Ground Lemon Myrtle
1 tspn Ground Mountain Pepper
250ml well shaken buttermilk
1 Tbspn Macadamia Nut Oil
Milk for brushing
Preheat oven to 180C
Sift the flour and seasonings into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the buttermilk and oil and pour into the well. Mix quickly and lightly to a soft dough. Turn onto a floured board and knead until smooth. Shape into a round (or whatever shape you like) and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Brush with milk. Bake for 40-50 minutes (it will sound hollow when tapped).
Serve with Macadamia Nut Dukkah
Easy Wattleseed Icecream.
For each litre of premium vanilla ice cream use 2 teaspoons of roasted ground wattleseed.
Put the wattleseed into a cup and just cover with boiling water. This will swell the wattleseed and release the flavours. Allow to cool.
Slightly soften the vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Stir through the wattleseed slurry. Return the ice cream to the tub and refreeze.
Serve with Desert Passion Syrup or Quandong Dessert Sauce.
Wattleseed Bread (or scones)
Bread is just so much a part of our every day that I forget to mention the wonderful variations you can make with your Breadmaker.
Here we have Macadamia Nut & Wattleseed.
All you do is add a teaspoon of Wattleseed and a teaspoon of Macadamia Nut Oil to your bread mix in the Breadmaker and cook as usual.
The warm nutty aroma of the bake will melt even the hardened heart!
Variations include Native Thyme and Olive