What is mesquite?

When I posted my recipe for cocoa mesquite energy balls a couple weeks back, I got a lot of comments along the lines of “What is mesquite?”, “I’ve never heard of it”, “Is it spicy?”, “Why are you adding powdered wood chips to your energy balls?”, etc (okay, I’m not serious about the last one).

Mesquite powder

Well… truth be told, I didn’t really know. I knew it had something to do with trees, and Mexico, and superfoods. But that’s about it. So being the nerd that I am, I set out to research it.

And what I found is that mesquite actually dates many many many years back – as far back as 6500 BC where it was actually a staple food for the native people of Central and South America. They used to just chew the pods, but eventually they started processing them through drying and grinding them to make a flour, which they used to make bread and cakes and even hot drinks (1,2,3).

So why eat mesquite? Well it’s low on the glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar as much as other sweeteners after eating it (3). Also it’s high in fibre, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and calcium (3,4). Not to mention protein – just 2 tbsp has 6 g!

It’s really hard to describe its flavour. It’s been said to have a cinnamon mocha aroma (2), but I think it also tastes a caramely and even a bit woody. That sounds weird, but I promise it’s not like eating a tree.

My favourite ways to use it is in energy balls (check out my cocoa mesquite energy balls) and smoothies. It pairs really well with vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, caramel and banana flavours if you want to experiment. Or just make it simple for yourself and try this smoothie:

Vanilla banana mesquite smoothie

Vanilla banana mesquite smoothie
Serves 1

1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp mesquite powder
1 scoop Sprout Living vanilla lucuma protein powder (or another vanilla protein powder)
1 tsp almond butter
3 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk as needed.

Vanilla banana mesquite smoothie

More recipes to check out:
Apple nut mesquite muffins
Mesquite flour tortillas
Raspberry, cocoa nib, and mesquite cookies
Chocolate walnut mesquite cookies
Raw fudgey truffles with caramel filling
Mesquite almond flour cookies
Mesquite sweet potato chips

1. Guilherme AA et al (2009). Journal of Food Process Engineering.
2. Felker, P (2005). Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture.
3. Felker P, Takeoka G, Dao L (2013). Food Reviews International.
4. Da Silva CGM, Filho ABD, Pires EF, Stamford TLM (2007). Ciencia E Tecnologia de Alimentos.

What’s your favourite nutrition booster to add to smoothies?

18 Comments

Filed under nutrition, smoothie, vegan

18 Responses to What is mesquite?

  1. Interesting, but it does sound delicious! I love that smoky flavor in things, and I am sure it pairs well with the sweetness in vanilla! Thanks for the knowledge, and taking the time to research :)

  2. I love when you do these kinds of posts! It really shows your passion for nutrition and learning and I get to learn something new! The smoothie looks awesome girl!

  3. Hmm I’ve never heard of this but now I am intrigued.

  4. Well I was one of those people so thank you for being nerdy and researching :) definitely intrigued! Thanks for the great info.

  5. I was one of the people that asked, so thank you for clearing that up! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it now, I’m intrigued.

  6. ok i need to check this out now!!

  7. Sometimes I like to add maca or matcha powder for a little energy boost. Need to get my hands on some mesquite powder!

  8. Cinnamon mocha flavor? You have me sold! Thanks for doing the research and letting us all know about mesquite. My curious soul is now happy ;)

  9. I used to love playing around with all those superfood powders, but they’re so pricey that I kind of gave up on them. That and I just ran out of ways to use them. But put in a smoothie along with vanilla? Sounds all sorts of amazing.

  10. I am so glad you posted this information about mesquite! I love trying out new things and I am definitely adding this to my list of things to try. It definitely sounds like it would be delicious in that smoothie.

  11. I always get questions when I use all my fun superfood powders in recipes, thanks for giving everyone the down low on this one. :-)

  12. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never had mesquite but excited to try it out now!

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  14. This was a very nice article and thanks for citing us. What brand of mesquite do you use and where do you buy it?

    Peter_Felker@hotmail.com

  15. Thank you SO much for explaining this, Chelsea! I’ve been curious for a while about mesquite, but haven’t gotten around to researching it on my own! I didn’t even realize it could be used as a sweetener OR that it had protein in it…now I’m totally sold! Much find some…without having to sell a kidney! Lol

  16. So I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what Mesquite was… glad your cleared up my confusion. Can’t wait to purchase some in the near near future so that I can try all your yummy recipes!

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