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Mesquite Flour Explained [split from Boston]

PinchOfSalt Dec 10, 2008 09:24 AM

Okay, you learn something new every day. What the heck is mesquite flour? I thought mesquite was a tree whose wood was used for fuel or chips when grilling. I have never heard of mesquite flour even though I am a fairly adventurous baker. Is this something new to me or perhaps are you really looking for something else?

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    bella_sarda RE: PinchOfSalt Dec 10, 2008 09:32 AM

    it's the ground up mesquite pods, so it's not technically a "flour", but people call it that. It's also called mesquite powder. It's used as a flour substitute in gluten-free baking. Supposedly it lends a really cool flavor to baked goods, but you only substitute a portion of regular flour for mesquite or the flavor would be too strong. I found out about it in a cookbook by Heidi Swanson called "Supernatural Foods".

    9 Replies
    1. re: bella_sarda
      PinchOfSalt RE: bella_sarda Dec 10, 2008 12:15 PM

      Wow! You really can learn something new every day. Thanks for the info!

      1. re: PinchOfSalt
        goodhealthgourmet RE: PinchOfSalt Dec 10, 2008 04:31 PM

        i love the flavor of mesquite flour/powder, it's really unique. earthy, fruity, & slightly sweet, with hints of cinnamon, coffee & chocolate. in addition to being a great gluten-free flour alternative, it also has a very low glycemic index so it's terrific for diabetic-friendly baked goods.

        FYI, the maximum recommended substitution for mesquite is 25% of the total flour in the recipe.

        a tip for working with it - definitely sift BEFORE measuring, because it has a tendency to be very lumpy.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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          foodacious RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 18, 2008 08:02 AM

          Thanks for this info. Do you have a preferred source for the powder?

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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            tinymango RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 19, 2008 07:51 PM

            wow, great thread, i had otherwise not even heard of such a product. can someone give examples of recipe sthat this would be ideal for? recipes yall have used it in? the feeling i get from this is that it is of more use in savoury goods.

            1. re: tinymango
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              bella_sarda RE: tinymango Dec 21, 2008 09:43 AM

              Well, that intuition would be misguided, tinymango, because so far I have only used mesquite flour in baked goods. The recipe that I just made (my first use of mesquite flour) was mesquite chocolate chip cookies, by Heidi Swanson, in her cookbook "Super Natural Cooking". They're made with a mix of whole wheat pastry flour and mesquite flour, but are otherwise similar to a classic chocolate chip cookie. She also adds rolled oats along with the chocolate chips. The mesquite flour gives the cookies a rich maltiness, almost a chocolaty essence, and the warm, delicious aroma will fill your house. They do not taste at all like a health-food or whole-grain cookie.

              Here is the recipe:

              2.5 c. whole wheat pastry flour
              1 cup mesquite flour, sifted if clumpy
              1 t. baking soda
              1 t. aluminum-free baking powder
              3/4 t. fine-grain sea salt
              1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.
              2 cups natural cane sugar
              3 large eggs
              1 T. vanilla extract
              2 c. rolled oats.
              2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

              preheat oven to 375, position racks in upper half of oven, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

              Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in bowl, set aside.

              In large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter until light, then beat in sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, incorporating each fully before adding the next. Stir in vanilla until evenly incorporated. Add dry ingredients in 3 increments. Dough will be stiff but moist and uniformly brown. Stir in oats and chips by hand, mixing only until evenly distributed.

              Drop 2 tablespoons of dough for each coookie onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden on top and bottom but not completely dry (they will dry out more and stiffen as they cool). Don't overbake---if anything underbake. Cool on wire racks. Makes 2-3 dozen large cookies.

              My notes: I made smaller cookies and the dough made about 5 or 6 dozen medium-size cookies. If you like really big bakery-style cookies, do as directed. Since they are chewy and rich, I prefer using about 1 tablespoon or a bit more.

              These are great with milk, of course!

              1. re: bella_sarda
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                PeterFelker RE: bella_sarda Dec 21, 2008 08:20 PM

                Hello. Charles Perry, Food columnist of the Los Angeles Times did quite a few things with mesquite besides baking as you can see in this link

                http://www.latimes.com/features/print...

                Peter

                1. re: PeterFelker
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                  bella_sarda RE: PeterFelker Dec 22, 2008 08:13 AM

                  Cool. Those ideas look great. I don't see the actual recipes attached to the article. Is it possible to link to them?

                  P.S. I ordered my mesquite from nutsonline.com. The order ships overnight.

                  1. re: bella_sarda
                    p
                    PeterFelker RE: bella_sarda Dec 22, 2008 08:05 PM

                    Hello when I clicked on the recipes they opened up. Here is one of the links
                    http://www.latimes.com/features/print...

                    1. re: bella_sarda
                      goodhealthgourmet RE: bella_sarda Dec 25, 2008 04:51 PM

                      for some reason, the article only contains hyperlinks to the savory recipes. here are links to the recipes that go along with the photos of the apple muffins & mesquite pancakes pictured below the spareribs...

                      http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/...
                      http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/...

        2. p
          PeterFelker RE: PinchOfSalt Dec 22, 2008 08:07 PM

          Just curious are there any stores that have it in stock. If you get a bunch of people together you can buy a 22 lb box for $3.25 per pound by calling casa de fruta

          1. d
            Dalton RE: PinchOfSalt Dec 23, 2008 10:33 AM

            Here's a supplier for those interested in ordering mesquite flour (they call it meal): http://kokopelliskitchen.com/

            I have several mesquite trees in my front yard from which I collect massive amounts of the pods. The trees produce a new "harvest", which I call yard work, about four or five times a year. I have actually made a syrup from them and added it as an adjunct to a batch of home brew (that would get me in trouble in Germany). The result was, odd, leaving a sulfery aftertaste so I won't repeat it. Making the syrup was a long process involving twelve hours in a crock pot, cheese cloth, and several more hours on the stove cooking down for thickness.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dalton
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              PeterFelker RE: Dalton Dec 25, 2008 04:01 PM

              Something very simple to make with the Argentine mesquite on a cold wintries night is to add about 2 teaspoons to either soy or cow milk, blend well and put in the microwave for a minute like hot chocolate. The mesquite has alot of non soluble fiber(which will stay at the bottom of the cup) but the flavor and aroma is really very pleasant.

              Mesquite flour is nice with many dairy products. For example mixed with whipped cream until you get a light tan color or even beaten in with dulce de leche ice cream.

              1. re: PeterFelker
                opinionatedchef RE: PeterFelker Feb 21, 2011 01:34 PM

                wow, peter, you and ghg are such interesting bakers. it's a world where so few people do such creative exploration. much appreciate all the sharing!

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