Acai, maca, spirulina, baobab -- for the past few years we've been loving adding these superfood powder to smoothies and breakfast bowls (sometimes begrudgingly -- we’re looking at you, spirulina). But in all this time we’ve been forgetting Australia’s very own superfood: Kakadu plum powder.
Kakadu plum (also known as gubinge, billygoat plum or murunga) is an Australian native bush fruit that grows in northern Australia and the Kimberley Region.
What’s special about Kakadu plum is its rich history and connection to Indigenous peoples -- the Kakadu plum is considered a gift of the Dreamtime by Indigenous culture and has been used as an important bush food and medicine for thousands of years.
Kakadu plum has a sour flavour and a stewed apple and citrus aroma. It can be eaten fresh and is also added to jams, preserves, sauces, beauty products and, more recently, made into powder.
“Our Kakadu plum powder is made from the whole fruit dehydrated at 40 degrees which is then milled into a powder -- that’s it!” Tahlia Mandie, founder and director of Kakadu Plum Co., told The Huffington Post Australia.
“It is Australia’s whole fruit superfood and is still considered a ‘raw’ ingredient, as well.”
If you’re wondering how you can include Kakadu plum powder in your everyday meals and snacks, the answer is any way you like.
“The quickest and easiest way to enjoy Kakadu plum powder is in your morning smoothies, juices or breakfast bowls,” Mandie said. “You can sprinkle it onto fruit salads, yoghurt and fresh salads.
“You can also include it in protein balls, granola and dressings. My kids currently love it sprinkled on top of their sweet potato fries.
“You are only limited by your creativity.”
Kakadu plum also has great health benefits. It contains up to 100 times more vitamin C than oranges and is packed with antioxidants.
"The Kakadu plum has one of the highest -- if not the highest -- quantity of vitamin C of any fruit," accredited practising dietitian Chloe McLeod told HuffPost Australia.
"It's also is a good source of folic acid and iron."
Research at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia has also shown that Kakadu plum could provide a protective ability against Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it’s not only the health benefits that make kakadu plum powder a great Australian native food.
“We are currently connected to a number of different communities in the Kimberley Region where our mission is to support the Indigenous people who are not only growing the plum, but the larger communities as a whole,” Mandie told HuffPost Australia.
“A purchase of our Kakadu Plum Powder contributes back to the communities, which aids employment, financial stability and social cohesion, especially during the harvest and picking season.”
Buying a native Australian food like Kakadu plum also means you’re supporting the local food industry.
“The trend to date has been buying and importing international superfoods from countries such as Japan, South America and the Amazon, and yet, we have some of the most amazing, natural and unprocessed foods the world could offer,” Mandie said.
“The crazy thing is, we are more accustomed to be buying and using exotic foods instead of our own homegrown varieties.
“Our aim is to not only support the Kakadu plum Industry, but also the Australian native food industry as a whole, which is so beautiful and needs all the support it can get to continue to grow.”