Dating back to the days of the dinosaurs, bunya nuts are found within an edible pinecone, weighing up to 10 kg. Native to subtropical parts of Queensland and Northern NSW, the trees can grow up to 35-45 metres high and live for 600 years. As well as being a staple food for Indigenous Australians for thousands of years, harvesting of the bunya trees – which occurs from January to March – was associated with ceremonial gatherings and festivals where Aboriginal tribes from other parts of the country would travel to share in the ceremonies. Traditionally, bunya pine seeds were roasted on an open fire and eaten, like a very large nut, however due to its low glycaemic index and being gluten free, it is an ideal substitute for flour in its ground form. Studies indicate that bunya nut extract exhibits antibacterial properties that can be of use as antibiotic or anti-microbial agent.
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