GUEST BLOG, NATIVE, RECIPES, EAT TO LIVE

Weedy Wednesdays with Karlie Eat to Live - Native Berry Jam

Homemade jam of Lilly Pilly and Illawarra Plum

Homemade jam of Lilly Pilly and Illawarra Plum

This is indigenous berry jam, made with wild foraged Lilly Pilly berries and Illawarra Plums, both of which grow in abundance across Sydney and the east coast of Australia.  

I had been told that Lilly Pilly berries and Illawarra Plums were traditionally used to make jam in colonial times. Both are currently in season, so jam 'em while they're hot folks!

Lilly Pillies (Syzygium smithii and Syzygium oleosum) are indigenous to New South Wales. They make a great hedge and the berries are juicy, crunchy and refreshing, tasting somewhere between an apple and a watermelon. Slightly sour and very zesty.

Why do I love to forage? Because you strike up unexpected conversations with people, like this lovely man who was waiting on the footpath to be picked up by his disability carer. He got chatting and tasting with me!

Why do I love to forage? Because you strike up unexpected conversations with people, like this lovely man who was waiting on the footpath to be picked up by his disability carer. He got chatting and tasting with me!

 Plum Pine/Illawarra Plum (podacarpus elatus) is a medium to large evergreen tree native to the east coast of Australia. Seed cones are dark blue-purple and berry-like, with a fleshy base (the 'plum'). The fleshy fruit is edible and can be used in condiments such as jam.

Illawarra Plums growing outside Hambeldon Cottage, Parramatta

Illawarra Plums growing outside Hambeldon Cottage, Parramatta

I used this Lilly Pilly jam recipe and added the Illawarra Plums to it: http://pinkyhiggs.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/lilly-pilly-jam.html I substituted refined white sugar for nutritious coconut sugar and even made my own pectin  (nerd alert) using wild foraged feijoas from trees growing on my street to thicken the jam. Full homemade pectin recipe here: http://urbanschmurban.com/2012/10/08/in-season-quince-making-your-own-pectin/ I substituted the quinces in this recipe for my unripened feijoas, as unripe fruit contains more pectin than ripe fruit. You can also make pectin out of crab apples, unripe granny smiths and citrus fruits. If you can’t get feijoas or quinces, try this granny smith pectin recipe: http://www.cooksinfo.com/pectin

Pitting lilly pilly berries ain't so bad when you're watching Jon Snow... I mean, Game of Thrones. Ahem.

Pitting lilly pilly berries ain't so bad when you're watching Jon Snow... I mean, Game of Thrones. Ahem.

Boiling down the native berries during jam making

Boiling down the native berries during jam making

Making wild foraged feijoa pectin

Making wild foraged feijoa pectin

I call this creation "Nut butter cups and JAM it in your face."

"Nut butter cups and JAM it in your face"

"Nut butter cups and JAM it in your face"

"Nut butter cups and JAM it in your face" recipe:

TOP LAYER: Homemade activated nut butter mixed with enough coconut oil to solidify when refrigerated. I make TWO INGREDIENT ONLY NUT BUTTERS in 2 minutes using my Vitamix - blitz activated nuts and dash of macadamia oil for smoothness. Better than the crap they sell in the supermarket.

JAM STUFFING: Homemade native berry jam (recipe above).

BOTTOM LAYER: Super easy healthy homemade chocolate (use this recipe as the base for any homemade chocolate creations):

 Melt-

  • 1 part cold pressed organic xv coconut oil with

  • 1 part organic raw cacao butter (buy cacao butter in health stores - if you can't find it, you can substitute this part with grass fed butter or just go with 2 parts coconut oil)

  1. Cool melted mixture to room temp. Thoroughly mix in 1 part organic raw cacao powder. If desired, sweeten to taste with raw honey or melted coconut sugar.

  2. Pour into moulds/add nuts/dried fruit/bee pollen/cacao nibs/shredded coconut/blitzed dates/a drop of vanilla extract/etc.

  3. Refrigerate to solidify or freeze to solidify faster if you are making layers.

  4. Done.

"Nut butter cups and JAM it in your face"

"Nut butter cups and JAM it in your face"

 Native berry jam is also great on homemade scones with plenty of whipped cream.

Homemade scones with plenty of native berry jam and whipped cream

Homemade scones with plenty of native berry jam and whipped cream

lillypillyillawarralum.jpg