Plant Life Balance

Wattleseed and Saltbush Damper with Lilly Pilly Jam

We’ve been harassing Narelle Happ for her Lilly Pilly jam recipe ever since she casually dropped it in one of our first meetings.

We’re also grateful she shared her prized Wattleseed and Saltbush Damper recipe so we don’t just pig-out on the jam straight from the jar!

Narelle also told us that cooking with native bush foods is easy once you start, and often ingredients can be incorporated into any recipe – so keep an open mind about what else you can do with this.

Lilly Pilly Jam

Late Summer is the best time to make this with Lilly Pillies fruiting prolifically. Make a big enough batch and you will have Lilly Pilly jam all year! If using larger Lilly Pilly berries, deseed them, or if the smaller variety, they can be strained and even used to make jelly.


Lilly Pilly berries
Jars – sterilised, boiling water is fine


  1. Depending on your berry size, deseed and blanch large berries or boil smaller berries until they lose their colour, then strain through muslin.
  2. Once again, depending on your berry size, weigh your berries or weigh the juice you have strained through muslin.
  3. Combine with an equal amount of sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Leave it at a rolling boil until the jam thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Seal in jars. Store in a cool dry place.

Wattleseed and Saltbush Damper

Damper is an underrated Aussie food and you can make it just about anywhere. You can also make it with gluten-free flour and dairy-free butter to cater for allergies.


3 cups self-raising flour
1 tbsp. ground Wattleseed
1 tbsp. ground Saltbush
75g butter
180ml water


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C
  2. Combine flour, ¾ of the Wattleseed and ½ of the Saltbush in a food processor. Pulse for ½ minute to combine.
  3. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the processor. Pulse until resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Add water while the processor is running
  5. Turn mixture onto a floured board and knead lightly
  6. Once smooth, pat down to 5cm in height and place on a floured tray
  7.  Score the top several times, lightly dust with flour and remaining Wattleseed and Saltbush.
  8. Cook for 25 minutes. You know it’s cooked by giving it a tap on the bottom and hearing a hollow sound.

Want more native edibles? Get the new Bush Tucker Trail look and plant list in the Plant Life Balance app. Download it for free from the App Store or Google Play.

And keep an eye out for recipes and more native edibles content on the Journal!