Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mesquite Gathering, Mesquite Eating!

Anyone who has known me for long, knows that I talk big about gardening and even make attempts every few years with sub-par to abysmal results.  I'm at it again, trying to get the soil prepared for a fall garden because hope springs eternal that I'll banish the black thumb someday.

In the meantime, I finally decided to pursue something else that has piqued my curiosity for several years - foraging.  For years I've had this itch to make something with the abundance of mesquite seed pods that we find each summer...

This week I finally stopped daydreaming about it and decided to give it a whirl.

The boys helped me collect mesquite pods.  We carefully inspected them for signs of insect holes and brought them home, washed them up and then set them in a still warm oven to sit overnight.

We remembered back to our adventures 2.5 years ago when we learned about the Tohono O'Odham indians here in Arizona and how they would grind mesquite pods.  We knew we weren't that ambitious, so I pulled up the internet to search for a better way to make mesquite flour.  I came across this insightful post written by Frugally Sustainable, a fellow Arizona blogger! 

This morning we set to work breaking up pieces and placing them in our Blendtec!  The kids were so intrigued at the thought of having mesquite pancakes!  It put them all in a goofy mood.  I've had an off-kilter day or two and their silly antics worked wonders in helping me to lighten up!  How can you not smile at faces like this?

Mesquite pancakes were our first order of business.  Cooking time was much higher than regular pancakes, but they were well worth the wait.  Even my hubby, who is {understandably} leary of some of my experiments declared them tasty!

Inspired by my brunch success, we tackled mesquite flour tortillas for dinner!!! The unique flavor of the mesquite and the zip from the cayenne I added to the dough were well, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!!!!

We inhaled our southwest meal and all of us looked around longingly for more.   Which meant quickly departing for our nightly walk to forage some more! 

* The mesquite pods ended up chipping the walls of my blender a bit.  So I'm not sure if we'll be pursuing that avenue of getting mesquite flour again.
* This site provides a lot of info and they even have community events in Phoenix and Tucson every October and November where you can grind your mesquite pods into flour with their heavy-duty mill.
*These recipes for pancakes and tortillas inspired me.  I replaced the dairy and eggs in the pancakes and upped the mesquite flour and switched in 1/2 c mazo (corn flour).
*Greta had a rough weekend and it turns out that her poor little tummy can't handle the mesquite, so we are on a definite break from this yummy flour for a while.


  1. Did you grind the entire pod or just the seeds? Interesting...might have to try this with my boys. BTW can't wait for your classes at the AFHE convention the year!


  2. We had mesquite chocolate chip cookies! YUMMY!

  3. Heather, did you use all mesquite flour for the pancakes and tortillas? I'd love the recipes. We are gluten free now. I will try to harvest some pods soon!

  4. Danna, I ground the ENTIRE pod. There ended up being some parts that just wouldn't grind down. And I have to add that the pods are VERY strong. In fact, they ended up pitting my blender a little bit. :( I've read that grinding mesquite pods has burned out cheaper blenders as well.

    Christine, ooooooooooh, cookies are on my list of things to try next - that is if I can figure out how to grind more w/out ruining my blender.

    Katie, The recipes I found only used a portion of mesquite flour. I'm going to continue to play around with the recipe and go for a bit more. With the pancakes, I would just take your favorite gluten-free pancake mix and supplement a 3rd of the flour with the mesquite flour. It has a very distinct taste, so I'm not sure how it would taste if you did all mesquite flour. As with any gluten-free baking, you'll need to make modifications since this is a bean flour and doesn't behave quite like wheat in recipes.

    For the tortilla's, I'm still playing around with the recipe. I'll email you when I have it figured out. I'm planning on doing mostly mesquite and corn flours with a little wheat mixed in since my family can handle the wheat.

  5. Wow! I love that you gathered your own mesquite to make the flour. I'm jealous! Sounds like such a fun project. Thanks for sharing!

  6. after I told my neighbor of this she brought me quite of bit of mesquite from her front yard... now I just need to give it a try I guess! (=

  7. Very interesting and adventurous of you! I've never heard of mesquite pods before, what are they? Thanks for linking up to the Outdoor Play Party!