Native Cultures: Mesquite Flour

Native Cultures: Mesquite Flour

Tree of Life Nursery: in San Juan Capistrano

Featured New Product: Mesquite Flour
From the Seri People of the Sonoran Desert
Mesquite Flour ($9.50 for 8 oz bag)
(Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana)

Collected, fire roasted, and milled by the Seri People
of Sonora, Mexico.  Purchased directly from the Seri.

Indigenous food.  High in protein and gluten free.
Can be mixed with other flours for baking and cooking
to add delicious sweet flavor and increase health benefits.
Suggested use: 1/4 cup Mesquite Flour + 3/4 cup Flour of
your choice to substitute for 1 cup Wheat Flour.

Slow Food Foundation Information about Seri Fire Roasted Mesquite Flour

Recipes from Arizona Mesquite Company

Reconnecting to Our Food Traditions in America
Article by Colin Dunleavy, Tree of Life Nursery Intern, Fall 2011

Native people sustained themselves for centuries by eating the pods of mesquite trees (Prosopis glandulosa). The pods of the mesquite tree were simply ground into a flour or meal. Mesquite flour is not only nourishing for our every day diet but is also a sustainable source of food found in our local ecosystem. By incorporating native plants into our agricultural and landscaping practices we can encourage conservation and better protect the health of our environment.

The mesquite tree grows among desert regions in southwest America and Mexico in conditions unsuitable for most agriculture. It takes little cultivation and prospers without supplemental irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers. The Seri people of the desert regions continue to support themselves by sustainably harvesting and consuming the pods of the mesquite tree. These people are known for their ability to survive and prosper among harsh conditions while maintaining harmony with the land. Their survival can be credited to the connection they have to their natural resources and sustainable methods. They produce their mesquite flour by integrating traditional knowledge with ecological practices. Seri mesquite flour is made from sustainably harvested mesquite pods, fire roasted and milled in Sonora, Mexico.

Mesquite flour has a rich, caramel and nutty flavor and can be used in baking or as a seasoning. It is high in soluble fiber and has more protein than most grain flours. Mesquite is also a good source of minerals including magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and potassium. It is low in carbohydrates and is naturally gluten free. Although mesquite has a subtle sweetness, its natural sugar comes in the form of fructose, which does not require insulin for it to be metabolized. It has been reported to be effective in balancing blood sugar. Thus, it can be an important addition to low-glycemic or diabetic diets, since it can help maintain steady blood sugar levels that are disrupted by processed flours. When you first begin using mesquite flour, for every cup of flour needed, use ¼ cup mesquite and ¾ cup of any desired flour. This is a general guideline to use as you adjust to its rich flavor. It is also a great addition to smoothies and any amount can be used according to the flavor or nutrients you want to obtain.

Websites used in the compilation of this article:

The Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University
Mesquite Flour: The Rediscovered Food Phenomenon

HubPages Entry: Using Mesquite Flour to Prevent Diabetes

12 thoughts on “Native Cultures: Mesquite Flour”

  1. Hi Deborah-
    This is Harry [artist across from the Seri booth at Autry 2013]. Interesting blog- in fact I am going to try baking with some mesquite flour- in a bread I make- this weekend. I’m very excited to see how it works. Do you or anyone know the proper percentage to mix/substitute into a bread- I’m reading 1/4 to 1/3 ratio. Any real world experience would be appreciated!


  2. Have been using mesquite flour now for over a year, both purchased from the tohono o’odam and home processed. i freeze the pods to kill the bugs and grind whole in small batches just before use in power blender, then sift into flour. this is all quite quick. i make a very tasty pancake using only water, ground flax seed, oat, buckwheat, and mesquite flours. there is enough protein to not need eggs!


  3. Made mesquite cookies this past weekend for a
    group of adults; w/o telling them what it was they ate & enjoyed it! They were surprised when
    I told them what it was! Awesome! Easy to make! Now looking to purchase more mesquite
    Meal/flour! Need to purchase a good grinder to do my own flour; hopefully kitchen aid grinder will do the job!


  4. The mesquite tree is rampant in West Texas, where I lived for several years. In fact, there’s a neat little delicatessan called “The Mesquite Bean,” although I’m willing to bet everything I own on their ignorance to the historic context of the bean being used as sustinence.

    All the best


  5. The mesquite flour is great–I cannot make my own but I have to buy it since I am so far away from where the plant grows.

    I have one question–not on this flour. I loved the Ethnobotany calendar from 2010–is there one available for this year?



  6. Pingback: Mesquite Meal 1kg

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