What is Mesquite?
Also known as Prosopis juliflora, mesquite trees are part of the leguminous (legume) family. Indigenous to dry climates in parts of South America and the southwestern U.S., these draught-tolerant trees have a long taproot to access water from underground sources. For this reason, mesquite is sustainably cultivated because it requires no irrigation, chemicals, or fertilizers.
Mesquite trees produce pods, which are ground whole to make mesquite powder. Also referred to as mesquite flour, mesquite meal or algarroba, these pods (including the protein rich seeds) have high nutritional value. The taste is often described as mild, slightly sweet and nutty with subtle hints of caramel and molasses.
Reaping the Benefits of Mesquite
Mesquite has the ability to balance blood sugar, making it a great option for diabetics. The sugar present in mesquite is fructose, which does not require insulin for metabolism. This helps maintain a steady blood sugar level for a sustained period of time. The glycemic index of mesquite is 25 (much lower than regular sugar) with a high percentage of dietary fiber. These factors allow it to digest much slower than many grains, preventing drastic spikes and dips in blood sugar.
Mesquite is also high in:
- Dietary fiber
Baking with Mesquite?
Mesquite can be a nutritious substitution for your favorite baked goods.
- Substitute mesquite powder for up to half of the regular flour in recipes, reducing (or eliminating) other sweeteners in the recipe based on personal preference. Starting out with a ratio of 25-30% mesquite flour is recommended.
Mesquite can also be used in sauces and beverages in the same manner. It’s excellent in stews and soups, or to sweeten tea, coffee and smoothies. Perfect for raw food recipes as well.
Raw Fudge Brownies
Enjoy this heavenly raw fudge brownie recipe (with mesquite powder!)
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup dates or prunes
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 Tbs mesquite powder (optional)
1/4 cup hemp seed
2 Tbs flax seed
2 Tbs chia seeds
1/3 cup cashews (preferably soaked)
1/3 cup cocoa/cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
D I R E C T I O N S
Put dates in a bowl of water. Set aside.
Blend 1 cup of the oats in the blender until it becomes oat flour. Then in a food processor, process dates/prunes (with about 1/4 cup of the water) with all the other wet ingredients until smooth.
Now add all the dry ingredients, including the remaining 1/2 cup of whole oats and oat flour. Good consistency? It should be thick, but very moist. Press it into a pan lined with tin foil or plastic wrap and set in the fridge for a little bit so the coconut oil can stiffen them up.
Then cut 'em up and serve! Make a chocolate sauce for them, or have it with fruit and nut butter!
*You can make these even simpler by just blending dates, cashews, coconut oil, and cacao. But I always like to add a bunch of stuff for more flavors. I cannot help it. It's up to you!