Friday, September 5, 2014

MESQUITE BEAN PODS ARE RIPENING

Recently, I blogged HERE about the mesquite trees being in bloom.  Now, as nature does, those flowers are turning into seed pods.



This is what they look like after the flowers become 'beans'.  Did you know that mesquite is part of the "legume family"?  I had no idea but it makes sense.  Anyway, these are green and not ready yet.




They hang in these clusters and start turning from green to a yellowish brown...




...and then they become more reddish brown.  As you can see though, they mature and different rates even in the same bunch.

I plucked a few off the tree to bring them back into town and do some research on them.  Seems like, from everything I've read, they aren't quite ripe yet.  There shouldn't be any green on them.  I must confess, I did bite into one and it was surprising sweet and nutty in taste.  This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago (I forgot last weekend to harvest some) so they should be ready now.  I will be taking the ubiquitous 5 gallon bucket and see what we can come up with as a mesquite bean harvest.

What do you do with them you might ask?  They are dried and then ground into mesquite meal/flour and used in cookies, breads, etc.  They can also be roasted and made into a coffee-like drink.  I've even read about mesquite jelly made by steeping beans, straining and using the liquid.

Hopefully we can try several of these ideas.  

Mesquite flour, image from wikicommons.com

14 comments:

michelle hamer said...

That's fascinating, I had never heard of mesquite being used for anything other than making charcoal. Have fun with it!

Anonymous said...

Like Michelle said, I had no idea. Very neat, I can't wait to see how it comes out. You going to harvest them this weekend?

Texas Rose said...

This is so interesting. I'm looking forward to hearing how it turns out - and how it tastes.
I read that the Native Americans called the mesquite the "Tree of Life" because almost every part of the mesquite tree has a use.

1st Man said...

Isn't it? We hadn't really heard much about it either until I decided to read more about it. I think it has even more uses we haven't tried yet, ha. Thanks!

1st Man said...

Yes, the plan is to harvest maybe a 5 gallon bucket full just to see how it goes. We have lots of future seasons to figure it out, ha. Stay tuned!

1st Man said...

You'll read it here (good or bad, ha). I have read that too. I need to do some more research and learn more.

Daphne Gould said...

I've heard of mesquite flour, but never knew anyone that had used it. You will have to tell us what you do with it.

1st Man said...

Yep, we'll see what we can come up with. You can't use it entirely in place of regular flour but I think it's a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio. Speaking of, I better get a move on, I'm typing this in town and should leave for the farm, ha. Have a great weekend!

Thomas Generazio said...

I'm really jealous! A few years ago, I bought a bag of mesquite flour online in order to make tortillas. Mesquite flour tortillas are supposed to be incredibly delicious. Unfortunately, I got an email the day after I received the flour from the merchant saying that I should throw the flour away because it was adulterated. I was so very disappointed.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

steakandeggs said...

I have heard of it being used for a coffee, but never flour. My sister had a cow once that loved to eat the beans, and I have heard of other cows eating the beans. When my dad had bees he would get a lot of Mesquite honey. I like it better than the clover honey. When you get your bees your honey will probably have a lot of Mesquite in it. You will have to let us know how you like it.

1st Man said...

I understand it's kind of pricey too huh? Adulterated? I wonder what it was mixed with? That's too bad. I hope they gave you a refund, ha.

We harvested some yesterday, now I nave to read up on the next steps. :-)

Stay tuned!

1st Man said...

That's funny, I had heard of mesquite flour but never coffee, LOL! From what I've read, a lot of animals like eating them, they are sweet and crunchy. Livestock candy, ha!!

Oh my gosh, I've heard about mesquite honey and how good it's supposed to be. That's something I've been hoping, that ours will be more mesquite based than anything else. Definitely will let you know. Fingers crossed!

THE RIG THEATER, WINK, TEXAS said...

Please let me know the price on your honey if you can ship it. That stuff is great for allergy relief especially if it's local, I'm in Wink, TX and mesquite is everywhere. Gonna make the jelly this year, we call it 'Poor Man's Honey'. Thanks, Walter

1st Man said...

Well hello, thank you for asking. We have yet to harvest our honey but should this season. We won't have much though. But we hope to have one of these days. I'll keep you in mind.

And if you had a jelly recipe for mesquite jell we'd love to know how to do it. Our mesquite pods got wet and mildewed. Will have to try again this year.

Thanks!!!!