Muntrie berries. Recently this spicy Apple has come into use
in a big way commercially, is amazingly versatile and great to cook with.
Muntrie Berries Health Benefits
Today’s amazing Australian is the Muntrie. Also known as emu apples, native cranberries, or if we want to get all technical about it, the Kunzea pomifera. This ground covering plant is found mostly on the SE coast of Australia. It has dense glossy circular leaves and produces a few delightful natural treats. In the spring, the Muntrie plant produces white fluffy flowers, decorating the coast with natural beauty. After the beautiful flower display has passed the Muntrie plant produces its berries.
Muntrie Berries Uses
The muntrie berries grow to over a centimetre in diameter and are green until ripe, they gain a tinge of colour ranging from red to purple. This natural bush foods flavour is described as a spicy apple with a crunchy texture. Not only does this berry have a unique flavour, it also contains up to 4 times more antioxidants than blueberries and the natural waxes also provide excellent skin nourishment.
Traditionally consumed and utilized by the Aboriginal people, they found the berries may be eaten raw, dried or formed into a paste. The drying of the berries meant they could be eaten and traded all year round. Aboriginal people from different areas would trade with each other, a great way to offer more variety to their own clans by acquiring unique flavours from other regions.
Recently this spicy Apple has come into use in a big way commercially, being amazingly versatile, it can be used in jams, chutney, pies & salads, just to name a few. In the home kitchen, they are just as versatile, and it is said they may be used as an alternative or add in, to anything that apples or sultanas may be used for. Only losing their colour but not their flavour when cooked.
A tasty recipe to try is the Spicy Banana & Muntrie Cake.
3 medium-sized ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups of ripe Muntrie berries
1 Tsp. lemon juice
15 g; 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar of Glucose equivalent
75 g butter
2 cups self-raising flour or Gluten-free equivalent
Heat oven to 190 degrees Oil or line with baking paper an 18cm baking dish. Mash 2 bananas in a small bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and a heaped teaspoon of brown sugar or glucose equivalent. Mix together and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash 1 cup of Muntrie berries and set aside. Gently heat the remaining sugar or glucose and the butter in a small saucepan until the butter has just melted. Pour into a small bowl then allow to cool slightly. Sift the flour or equivalent into a large bowl making a well in the centre.
Beat the eggs into the sweetened butter mixture. Pour into the flour well and mix thoroughly. Gently stir in fruit mixtures. Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin. Place the remaining fruit sliced on the cake mixture. Cover with the remaining cake mixture. Bake in the oven for 50 – 55 minutes or until well risen and brown. Allow cooling in the tin for 5 minutes before taking out. Serve hot or cold. A few optional extras to this would also be 50 grams of chopped nuts, or a teaspoon of cinnamon. Give it a try you will be pleasantly surprised. The Muntrie plant, another example of how amazing and beautiful the natural world really is. All, right here, in our very own uniquely wild backyard. © Ange Marxsen