Wattleseed is a seed from the Acacia tree native to Australia. The plant was initially believed to be wholly poisonous by some, and although this is true for some varieties of the acacia plant, there are a whopping 47 varieties that are not.
Wattleseed has been consumed for over 6,000 years by indigenous Aborigine people before Europeans arrived in Australia.
It remains popular today both as an ingredient in desserts and other sweets such as creme brulee or ice cream or in savoury sauces to offer some depth of flavour.
What Does Wattleseed Taste Like?
The taste of wattleseed is a mildly sweet and bitter tone that is mixed with similar flavours to chocolate. It has a combination of savoury, nutty, and biscuit-like flavours.
In its raw form, it’s made up of tiny brown seeds about the size of a small marble that resembles little pods. It turns into a darker shade of brown when you cook it and deepens the flavour profile.
How to Use Wattleseed
Wattleseed has a very earthy, smoky taste and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Here are some ways you can use wattleseed:
These days, wattleseed is dried and roasted in the same way coffee beans are. Afterwards, it can be ground or crushed to create a powder that is used in cooking.
Try adding roasted wattleseed to cookies, brownies, or other desserts for a nutty, earthy flavour. It can be used as a replacement for cocoa powder in cakes and other baked goods.
It will change the flavour but this can be for the better, especially if you like experimenting in the kitchen.
Roasted wattleseed can also be added to smoothies or oatmeal for a rich, earthy flavour and to give a boost of energy.
Adding wattleseed to your breakfast smoothie or oatmeal can give your breakfast a different depth of flavour and sweetness without adding any extra additives from sugar or sweeteners.
If you’re used to using chia seeds as a topping or ingredient then wattleseed can be used in much the same way.
Hot or Cold Drink Flavouring
It can be added to water or hot tea for a flavourful, healthy drink with added benefits.
When you add wattleseed to cold drinks, such as tonic water, let them infuse before straining the wattleseed out to enjoy dark, flavoured water.
It can be sprinkled on top of dinners and meals to increase the flavour and nutrition of your food whilst seasoning it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with wattleseed to discover new ways to enjoy its unique flavour. Try adding a pinch into salad dressing, mix a spoonful into your next dry rub or even try it as a seasoning for a perfectly grilled steak.
How to Store Wattleseed
Storing wattleseed is not exactly rocket science, but it requires a few tips and tricks. These can make a big difference in how your seeds will last.
To ensure your seeds last as long as possible, you need to be as diligent as possible with your storage. Make sure you follow these steps:
Dry The Seeds
One of the most common mistakes people make when storing wattleseed is allowing it to get damp. If you dampen the seeds, they’ll rot faster and lose efficiency.
To avoid this, you can dry your seeds out completely. Once your seeds have dried out completely, store them in an airtight container. Make sure the container is airtight, especially if you’re going to store them for a long time.
Grind The Seeds
Once you have dried your seeds, you can treat them much like you would coffee, so grinding them into a coarse powder will improve their shelf life as long as they are kept away from harsh light and moisture.
Keep Your Seeds Cool
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of storing seeds cool. But you don’t need to go overboard. Generally, you want your seeds to be between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius.
This is a safe range for most seeds and can be achieved in most kitchen cupboards where you would store most spices.
When you’re saving your seeds for the long term, it’s a good idea to freeze some of them. You can freeze wattleseed in an ice cube tray or bag. Once they’re frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container. This is good for keeping your seeds fresh for longer.
Substitutes for Wattleseed
The closest you’ll come to the wattleseed flavour is to just use ground coffee beans in the same amount in a recipe.
Unfortunately, no other ingredients can come even close to Wattleseed to use as a substitute.
Where to Buy Wattleseed
Wattleseed isn’t something you’ll just stumble across in your local supermarket. If you want to use it then you’ll need to actively search for it. Here are a few places to try:
Buying wattleseed online is a good idea since you will find it difficult to see them in mainstream stores in places where they are not native.
You are more likely to find wattleseed in the areas of the world where it has been used for many years, such as Australia.
Spice Markets and Spice Shops
Wattleseed may be found at specialty markets and spice merchants, where you would find a specialist in rare spices. Unfortunately, spice markets are also rare in the western world unless you’re in a major city.
Health Food Stores
You may find wattleseed in a health food outlet or in the specialty aisle of the supermarket. Still, it may also be found at your local health food store, as it has remarkable benefits to your health.
If you’ve got other specific questions about wattleseed and how to use them, then these might help:
Wattleseed grows across Australia but those that are consumed tend to be grown in the drier, hotter areas.
Roasting wattleseed is incredibly simple. Place the wattleseed into a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat and wait for the wattleseed to begin popping before shaking the pan regularly.
Got more questions about wattleseed? Then ask away in the comments section at the bottom of this page and we’ll help out as much as possible!
Stacy is a UK Based lifestyle writer who writes in the food and nutrition niches, as well as within the health and wellness sectors. She is a mum of 4 and married to a musician, so sustainability and a pinch of humour are absolutely essential to get over every one of life’s obstacles!