If you are new to mesquite flour, you’re probably thinking, “hmm, BBQ.” Don’t worry, everyone does at first. But what I’m talking about is Mesquite SEED PODS, not mesquite WOOD. It’s completely different, just like cherry wood doesn’t taste like cherries.
Mesquite flour isn’t smokey at all, but sweet and malty. Dried and ground, the seed pods make a wonderful addition to baked goods, smoothies, or anything else you can think of to put it in. Plus, Mesquite is really good for you! Check out these sites for more info on that:
If you live in the Sonoran desert, like I do, then you’re in luck because we have three native species of Mesquite: Honey, Screwbean, and Velvet Mesquite along with many others that are not native. Once you know what to look for, you’ll be on your way to making your own Mesquite flour in no time.
Mesquites are everywhere
The easiest trees to harvest from are low growing like the one I found at Paradise Valley Community Center. If the trees are very tall, you can lay sheets down below the branches and use a long pole to knock the pods off. Most Mesquite pods ripen June–September.
Scout out the Mesquite trees in your area. Taste each tree’s pods to see if they are sweet or bitter. You don’t want bitter flour.
Green and Dried Pods
Trees will often have both green and dried pods on them at the same time. You only want to harvest the dried pods. They should practically fall off when touched.
I use plastic grocery bags to collect them, and then leave the bags in my HOT car for a few days to make sure they are very dry and to kill any Bruchid Beetles that may be in them. (Small holes in the pods will indicate that the beetles have already left.)
Some people recommend not washing them to lessen the chances of moisture which can allow Aflotoxins to form, but others do wash them. Make sure that you dry them quickly if you do.
Use a coffee grinder or strong blender to pulverize the dried pods. Break up pods to fit in the coffee grinder. These batches don’t really take very long to grind, so don’t worry that you can’t fit a lot in.
Before sifting there are a lot of large, fibrous pieces, mainly from the interior seed coat. Just two siftings will produce a fine flour. For the first sifting I like to use a flour sifter.
Tea Strainers Work Well
A Tea strainer is great for the final sifting. It only takes a few seconds to do this.
Sift and Sift Again
What you end up with is fine Mesquite flour that’s ready to use. Not so hard, was it?
Mesquite flour nutrition info
Serving size equals 2 tablespoons:
- 2 g of protein
- 14 g of total carbohydrate
- 1 g of fat
- 6 g of fiber