Wattleseed is Australia's ancient superfood grain. Wattleseed is not only a nutritional ingredient but these plants are great for our environment being climate adaptable and in abundance as a food source for humans and native wildlife.
Rich in crude protein, dietary fibre, potassium, calcium and iron. Rich in oils, gluten free and a low GI carbohydrate makes it suitable for people with Diabetes, gluten intolerance and Coeliacs. Mixed with other non-gluten or gluten flours, this makes it a complete source of protein.
The protein found in wattleseed is comparable to Soy Beans, providing essential amino-acids. When mixed with flour (25%) you get a balanced essential amino acid profile.
Foods high in fibre (like wattleseed) can be good for gut health so adding them to foods is a good way to get the recommended daily intake for fibre.
Wattleseeds contain the healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids (34% of the seed - Linoleic acid), which may help to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that wattleseed iron levels were higher than other legumes, which is great for people with iron deficiencies.
Antioxidant rich foods are essential in a healthy balanced diet and wattleseeds have an abundance of succinc and gallic acids which have strong antioxidant capacity making it a functional ingredient. Some species contain bioactive lipophilic compounds like tocopherols and phytosterols, similar to olive and peanut oils which are also known to provide health benefits. Roasting is used to eliminate any anti-nutrient compounds and to increase their unique aromas and flavour compounds.
Wattleseed was planted and eaten in African states to prevent famine back in the 1980's and 1990's. This indicates that wattleseed has a worldly market and suitable for a variety of value-added products.
Wattleseed is more of a legume than a seed. A slow, short roasting time brings out the flavours and aromas but also retains nutrients. So doing this makes it more suitable for superfood blends, health products and protein supplements.
The food industry and chefs are currently only using about 10 varieties so we have a long way to go in taking advantage of the other varieties and their suitability for different applications.
With current weather events globally, Wattleseed stands up to the environment going forward for feeding the world and supplying nutritious sources of plant protein, fibre and carbohydrates.
With over 100 species of wattleseed know to have been used for food and offering a unique culinary experience, we better watch this space and get educated on this incredible resource right here in Australia.
Wattleseed is not only a food but also a spice, used to flavour any sweet or savoury dish or beverage, sauce or condiment. Flavours can be nutty, chocolate, coffee, sweet, bitter and chicory like, but species can bring different flavours and suitability for applications.
Traditional practices have seen wattleseeds being steamed or roasted and ground for making damper/bread and flat cakes.
With the native food industry slowly moving away from wild harvest, plantations are a more sustainable option for the wattleseed, except for Traditional owners who continue to practice their food culture with wild harvest.
Native Wattleseed varieties can be found all over Australia where they have naturally adapted in the wild and to the climate and soil types. Keep a look out for them on your next road trip or in your local neighbourhood.