My most favorite discovery of the year is mesquite powder, a nutritious treat made from the bean pods of the algorroba tree (Prosopis juliflora), native to the Southwest, Northern Mexico, and desert areas of South America.
Mesquite is a nutritional powerhouse—high in protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, fiber, and the amino acid, lysine. Its flavor is a bit hard to describe: Think malty, smoky, nutty, sweet, and sultry. It's not quite like molasses or maple, but has undertones of both. From the moment I opened my first bag of Foods Alive Raw Organic Mesquite Powder and got a whiff of its hypnotic aroma, I fell in love. While most mesquite powders on the market are coarse and grainy, I prefer the finely-ground texture of Foods Alive Mesquite Powder. This is what I call a spoonful of golden bliss:
I first went in search of mesquite powder when I came across a recipe for raw caramel apples on rawbeets.com. It looked so simple and sounded intriguing—I couldn't wait to get my hands on some mesquite powder so I could try it. I searched all over town but had no luck finding any mesquite powder in Eugene. (They must be hiding it in a big warehouse somewhere in Springfield along with all the raw pistachios!) Foods Alive shipped out a box of goodies to me right away (why not stock up on other essentials?), and as soon as it arrived, the first thing I did was make some of that caramel! It was soooo good, I started eating this every day!
It's very simple to make. Just soak half a dozen or so nice, big, fat medjool dates in water for several hours (don't forget to remove the pits) in a jar that will fit onto your blender base, add two tablespoons of mesquite powder, and blend until smooth and creamy!
One day after making a batch of caramel I was really naughty and stuck a caramel-covered spoon in some raw cashew butter—it was pure decadence!
It's been so cold here that Mark and I have been drinking hot cocoa every night after our post-dinner walks. It suddenly occurred to me that some mesquite powder might be a nice way to spice up my cocoa. I've been enjoying hot cocoa chai and Mexican hot chocolate, but adding a tablespoon of mesquite powder gave me a delicious new recipe to add into the rotation.
This morning I woke up and found myself craving mesquite, so I made myself an incredible smoothie. I call it my Carob-Mesquite Dream. It was so dreamy-creamy good that I drank it all before I remembered to take a photo of it! (Sorry!)
It's loaded with nutritious ingredients and tastes like heaven in a glass. Here's some of what you'll be getting:
•So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage is fortified with calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, B12, and D, and is a great source of heart-healthy medium-chain fatty acids.
• Carob Powder is rich in copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and selenium, and is especially rich in calcium and iron, and it contains vitamins A, B2, B3, B6 and D.
• Maca Powder contains B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron, and trace minerals zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, manganese and silica.
• Mesquite Powder because it is ground from the entire pod, including the seed, it is high in protein (11–17%). It is also rich in, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, fiber, and the amino acid, lysine.
• Chia Seed—One ounce contains as much omega-3 as eight ounces of salmon, as much calcium as a cup of milk, as much fiber as 1/3 cup of bran, as much iron as 1/3 cup of spinach leaves, as much vitamin C as 2 oranges, as much potassium as half a banana, and 20% protein, 2-3 times more than most other seeds and grains.
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage (If you want a completely raw beverage, coconut water or freshly squeezed orange juice would work deliciously, too.
1 medjool date, pit removed
2 frozen bananas
2 Tbs (you could use Foods Alive Raw Carob Powder cacao powder, too)
1 tsp Foods Alive Maca Powder (don't worry, you won't even taste it!)
1 Tbs Foods Alive Mesquite Powder
1 Tbs Foods Alive Chia Seed
1 Tbs raw cashew butter
Blend all together, pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!
I'm enjoying the superb quality of all of the wonderful products from Foods Alive. Owner Matt Alvord is a joy to do business with, and I highly encourage you to check out their website, order some mesquite powder, and discover for yourself the sheer joy of this delicious superfood. Shipping is a flat rate of only $4.95, so take advantage of the opportunity to stock up!