How to Make Mesquite Flour at Home

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If you are new to mesquite flour, you’re probably thinking 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 rather 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!

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.





Mesquite Trees are Everywhere

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.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

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. If the trees nearest to you are past harvesting, try just a little further north.

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.

Harvesting the Mesquite 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.)

Do not wash your Mesquite pods and do not pick them if it has rained once they are ripe, especially if they have fallen on the ground. The reason for this is that mature Mesquite pods can have a fungus called Aspergillis flavus. In the right conditions, this fungus produces aflatoxin as it digests the carbohydrates in the pods. This aflatoxin can be very harmful to humans and animals, causing liver cancer and other symptoms of aflatoxicosis. Dry pods on the tree have safe levels of Aflatoxin, but once it has rained, those levels go up to unsafe levels.

In my research, I have found that aflatoxin is common on many agricultural crops like corn, peanuts and grains. Proper harvesting and storage, however can make all the difference in the amounts of aflatoxin present. I couldn’t find any cases of aflatoxicosis pertaining to mesquite, but there is definitely research and concern over the prevalence of the Aspergillus fungus on mesquite pods.

Practice Safe Harvesting and Storage

  1. Always pick dry, mature seed pods.
  2. Never pick mature mesquite pods if they have been exposed to rain once dry.
  3. Only pick mesquite pods from the tree or when freshly fallen.
  4. Always completely dry mesquite pods before storage in airtight containers.
mesquite pods in coffee grinder

Grind Time

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.

grinding mesquite pods

This Needs Sifting

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 like THIS.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Tea Strainers Work Great!

A fine-mesh tea strainer is great for the final sifting since the coffee grinder isn’t large capacity. It only takes a few seconds to do this. This strainer is the one I use to strain kefir. It fits perfectly on a wide mouth jar.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Here is what the three siftings look like. It really doesn’t take long at all to achieve a fine, useable flour. What you end up with is fine Mesquite flour that’s ready to use. Not so hard, was it?

You grind your pods all at once and store the flour, or store the pods and grind as you need it. To retain the most nutrition it is better to store the pods and grind as needed. If you do grind it all, storing it in a vacuum-sealed bag or container is your best option.

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

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