Mesquite Magic

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tree of Life: A mesquite is a tree or shrub that grows in desert regions around the world that are unsuitable for most agriculture. 25% of the mesquite species on our planet can be grown without any help from fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation or capitalization. This is not surprising, since the mesquite root system can grow more than 100 feet below in search of water, making it a hardy survivor in harsh climates. Like many members of the legume family, mesquite can restore nitrogen to the soil.

The mesquite tree, which produces bean-like pods of fruit in the fall, has long been a nutritious food source for humans, wildlife, and livestock. Mesquite pods do not open when they are mature. The pods of all 3 common mesquite species—Honey Mesquite, Screwbean Mesquite, and Velvet Mesquite—are edible, although Screwbean is not as tasty as the more common Honey Mesquite. Mesquite flowers are a favorite of bees and other insects and produce aromatic honey.

The mesquite is known as the tree of life because of its versatility – Native Americans in the Arizona and California deserts utilized all parts of the tree. Its bark is used in weaving, pottery, fabric, rope, and medicine. The trunk and branches are used to make bows, mortars, and furniture; because it burns slowly and smokelessly, the mesquite is an excellent firewood. The thorns are used in tattoos and sewing needles. The leaves are used to make tea, wash eyes, and treat headaches and stomach aches. Gum was used as sweet gum, pottery repair glue, top coat, pottery paint, and hair dye.

But it’s the mesquite pods and their nutritious, bittersweet pulp that provide desert peoples with the greatest benefit. The pods are picked in the fall, when they are russet and still hanging on the tree. They are dried in the sun and then stored in large baskets for future use. The beans (pods and seeds) are ground into a meal, then added to water, and turned into a cake without cooking. Some cultures removed the seeds from the pods and ground them into a flour called pinole, which was used to bake bread.

Mesquite as Food: Mesquite powder has a sweet, nutty flavor. This fragrant flour is used in baking or as a seasoning for food and beverages.

  • when used for bake, used in combination with other flours – the ratio is generally 1 part of mesquite flour to 2 to 3 cups of cup grain or rice flour. Since mesquite is sweet, you may need to reduce the sugar in your recipes. Try mesquite in pancakes, muffins, cakes, cornbread, or cookies.
  • as a spices, Mesquite is great for seasoning steak, chicken, pork and fish. Sprinkle mesquite over meat and vegetables before grilling; add it to breading for meat and fish. It can be added to vegetable stir-fries, scrambled eggs, crackers, bread, soups, and even ice cream.

For those of you who drink your morning smoothie or use a meal replacement drink, try adding a tablespoon of mesquite powder. Hunger does not return for 4 to 6 hours. Or make a cool summer drink or tea with mesquite!

  • Summer mesquite drink: Add 2 tablespoons of finely ground mesquite powder to 1 cup of cold water. Stir and let stand for a few minutes, then strain, season with honey and serve.
  • Mesquite tea: Place 1 lb. pods in 1 gallon of water. Bring the pods to a boil and boil for 30 minutes. Remove pods and strain. Cool the broth and serve over ice.

And healthy food! Mesquite flour is low in carbohydrates and fat, low in blood sugar, high in dietary fiber, and naturally sweet. Mesquite powder provides an amazing amount of nutrients – it’s rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, protein and lysine.

According to medical research, mesquite It is very effective in controlling blood sugar levels. in diabetic patients. The natural sweetness in the pods comes from fructose, which the body processes without insulin. Additionally, soluble fibers like galactomannin gum in the seeds and pods slow down the absorption of nutrients, which can lead to a flattening of the blood sugar curve. Gel-forming fiber allows food to be digested and absorbed slowly over 4 to 6 hours, rather than 1 or 2 hours (which causes a rapid spike in blood sugar).

Mistakes as a drug: Many indigenous tribes in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico have long utilized the medicinal properties of mesquite. It is most commonly used to treat eye conditions, open wounds, and skin conditions. As an antacid, it can also treat digestive problems. It is used as an antibiotic and has soothing, astringent and antiseptic properties.

Roots, bark and leaves are cold and dry. They are antifungal, antibacterial, astringent, antiseptic and antispasmodic. A powder or tea can be made from any of the above materials to treat athlete’s foot and fungal infections in general. Use this antiseptic lotion or powder on minor infections, stings, bites, sores, and abrasions.

The leaves and pods can be made into an eye wash for various inflammatory conditions, including pink eye. The leaves, roots, and bark provide relief from diarrhea, dysentery, stomach ulcers, indigestion, and most gastrointestinal inflammations. Apply the leaves into a paste and use it topically for headaches and even red ant stings! The ground and roasted twigs are used to dissolve kidney stones.

The white inner bark is used as an intestinal antispasmodic. The bark also helps stop heavy menstrual bleeding and reduce fever.

Mesquite gum or resin is the most commonly used ingredient of mesquite. It is used as an eye wash to treat infections and irritations. It has a variety of dermatological uses, including the treatment of sores, wounds, burns, chapped and raw hides, and sunburn. It is used as a recovery agent after episodes of dysentery, diarrhea, stomach/intestinal upset, and food poisoning. It is used as a soothing agent for stomach/intestinal pain, ulcers, colitis, and hemorrhoids. Mesquite gum is also used to treat lice, coughs, sore throats, mouth sores, laryngitis, fever reduction, and tooth and gum pain.

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