Food & Drinks

Forget the supermarket, you can find these tasty Australian native foods in your back yard

Sustainable eating never tasted so good.

By Alex Lilly
While we all love Vegemite and lamingtons, there's another side to Australian food that we often don't talk about, let alone eat on a day-to-day basis.
Supermarket shelves are stacked with all sorts of imported ingredients, but there are so many native ingredients that are just as delicious.
In this era of sustainable living and eating locally sourced food, we thought we'd examine some of the surprising yet delicious herbs and veggies that could be growing in your own backyard.
WATCH BELOW: Herbs and flowers to use in your desserts. Post continues after video

Sea parsley, coastal watercress and coastal rosemary

For those of you living by the beach, there are some common herbs growing that will provide the perfect garnish.
Sea parsley, coastal watercress and coastal rosemary grow in cracks in large rocks and cliffs along the eastern coast and that sea spray provides a slightly salty taste.
Try incorporating them into your next salad or vegetable dish for a salty kick.

Lemon myrtle and cinnamon myrtle.

Chefs have been raving about lemon myrtle for years, and we reckon it's seriously underrated.
Most commercial lemon myrtle is grown in Queensland and the north coast of NSW, but Sydneysiders can find over 50 large trees on Blair Street in North Bondi if they feel like foraging.
The plant grows in large shrubs or eventually trees and the leaves can be used fresh in sauces or curries or dried and used as a seasoning or dry rub for meat dishes.
Whether it's on a spice rub for meat and fish or in a salad, native herbs can be used in a variety of dishes. (Image: Supplied)

Bush lime, Lilly Pilli and bush cherry

These sharp and tart fruits are great to amp up drinks and desserts and can even be made into marmalade.
Bush limes (also known as finger limes) are sought after by top restaurants around the world but you probably walk past these plants more often than you realise as they often grow down the sides of houses and are used as an evergreen screening tree.

Warrigal greens and sun-rose

Forget those bags in the supermarket, Warrigal greens or native spinach is easy to grow and has a fresh, grassy flavour with a slightly bitter finish.
The leaves should be blanched, grilled or steamed before eating and you can either grow it easily at home or find it in coastal areas, where permitted.
Sun Rose meanwhile is easy to grow and when the sun shines they blossom a small pink edible flower, hence the name sun rose. You can eat the flowers or leaves in salads or as an apple alternative as a raw garnish.
Warrigal greens are also known as New Zealand spinach. (Image: Getty Images)

Kelp, sea lettuce and nuptunes necklace

Next time you're by your local tidal rock pool, keep an eye out for some tasty seaweeds.
Once washed well, they have so many uses, but are most commonly used raw, pickled or dried with many other seaweed varieties. Plus, once they're dried or pickled they last for ages.

Wild fennel, nasturtium, wild rocket.

Add a local twist on a classic salad with these flavoursome greens.
Wild fennel plants grow over two metres tall and you can use dry the seeds and pollen to make a spice rub with an anise-like taste.
Hunter & Barrel loves celebrating local ingredients in their menu and the herb mixture changes on a daily basis depending on what the chef's forage and have available. Check out their menu here.
Nasturtium flowers aren't just pretty, but they're pretty tasty too! (Image: Instagram @the.wastefree.chef)