Bush Tucker Crackers — Saltbush and Mountain Pepperberry Crackers
In honour of the Traditional Owners of this land and with respect for the Elders — past, present and emerging — and the cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we hope to learn more about bush tucker ingredients and explore their unique and exciting flavours and properties through some simple recipes that everyone can try.
Bush tucker, or bush food, is an important part of the cultural heritage of Indigenous Australian peoples. This Saltbush and Mountain Pepperberry Cracker bush tucker inspired recipe features two ingredients that have been used for thousands of years.
Easy Recipe with Bush Tucker Ingredients – Saltbush and Mountain Pepperberry Crackers
You Will Need:
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for on top)
- 100 ml water
- 1 tsp coarsely ground mountain pepperberry
- 2 tsp ground dried saltbush (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
- 1/4 tsp salt
How to Make Saltbush and Mountain Pepperberry Crackers
Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Line one large or two smaller baking trays with a silicone baking sheet or baking paper.
Mix the flour, mountain pepperberry, saltbush and salt together in a bowl.
Add the oil, then slowly add the water while mixing. You may need to slightly adjust the amount of water to make sure the dough is not too dry or too sticky.
Roll the dough out as thinly as possible and place on the lined tray. Drizzle over some olive oil then spread it over the dough. Sprinkle with extra saltbush.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until nicely firm and browned.
Leave to cool. Then break into shards and serve.
These crackers are great served with cheese and bush tomato relish. They are also a great accompaniment for soups and curries.
Bush Tucker Ingredients
‘Old Man Saltbush’ is an edible plant with grey-blue leaves that grows in the dry areas of inland Australia. It has been used as bush tucker in Australia since prehistoric times. Rich in Vitamin E and with a unique salty taste, this plant is a great Australian herb and can be used as a substitute for salt. The fresh leaves are great in salads or cooked with meat or fish. The dried leaves are great to add flavour to marinades, sauces, breads and chutneys.
The mountain pepperberry comes from the mountain pepper tree that grows on cold, high ground. It has been used traditionally by Indigenous Australian peoples for both cooking and medicinal purposes. The pepperberries have a beautiful, deep purple colour. The taste combines the peppery heat of black pepper, with a more herby, even lemony, flavour. With three times the antioxidants of blueberries, this little native berry is a true Australian superfood! The pepperberry leaves can also be eaten, and are great to use in place of bay leaves.
Where to Find Saltbush and Mountain Pepperberry
Since saltbush and mountain pepperberry do not usually grow around Brisbane, the easiest place to buy them is online. A simple google will reveal many online suppliers of native foods, just be sure to look for one that supports ethical and sustainable practices, Indigenous Australian communities and regional and remote farmers.
Growing mountain pepperberry trees at home requires space as you need both male and female trees. It would also be more suitable in cooler areas like Sydney and Tasmania than Brisbane. Similarly, saltbush is not suited to be grown in tropical or coastal areas.
More Bush Tucker
For another great bush tucker inspired recipe, why not try these super easy Wild Rosella Shortbread Biscuits?
Learn about bush tucker in Brisbane and how to grow your own here. You can also visit the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha to see an awesome example of a fully stocked bush tucker garden, or walk the bush tucker trail and Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate.
You will also find bush tucker plants at some of the community gardens in Brisbane. Find out more here.