Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Mad About Mesquite!

2010 has been a glorious year of discovery for me. From astragalus root to holy basil and from chia seed to maca powder, my kitchen is now filled with the most amazing plant-based wonders. So I could not have been more excited when my package of goodies from Foods Alive arrived!

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 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!


Anonymous said...

Except for the barbecue seasoning, I've never heard of mesquite. I love caramel apples, and this sounds so good! I cannot wait to get my hands on some mesquite powder.

Kristina @ spabettie said...

I LOVE mesquite!! it's one of my favorites to play with... I've made some great raw "bites" with it, and I've baked with it too!

Vegiegail said...

Hi Randy! You will love this stuff! Hi Kristina! Adding mesquite to raw "bites" and baking with it are both wonderful ideas! Thank you for sharing them!

The Vegan said...

You do come across some of the most wonderful products and this looks like another winner. I will definitely be trying it out. Thanks for the heads up. Oh and btw the caramel looks yummy!!!!

The Vegan said...

Also the Carob-Mesquite Dream looks really yummy too. But hey, anything made with So Delicious, is well, so delicious!!!

Vegiegail said...

@TheVegan Thank you for your sweet comments. The smoothie is sensational, and I agree with you about So Delicious! Wait until you try it with carob or cacao and mesquite powder! It will knock your socks off!

Justine said...

All of these ingredients really do sound nutritious. I cannot wait to try mesquite powder. You make it sound so enticing! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I never heard of astralagus root, maca, or mesquite. You've piqued my curiosity, and I am looking forward to trying them all. That smoothie sounds incredible.

VeganMarr said...

Oooo, caramel!!!! My fave! And the smoothies sound yum! Shows people vegan food is never boring!!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try mesquite powder. It sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

I love mesquite! I can't wait to try your smoothie. Hot cacao is also a great idea. Thanks!

Matt Alvord said...

Thanks for the review Gail,the pictures do look delicious! I love making the caramel apples snack for my kids (and myself), in fact I have a video on our website if anyone wants to learn more.

Vegiegail said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, Matt, and for making such truly wonderful products! The link you left didn't work, but this one does:

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered mesquite and I'm in love with it! I think Foods Alive sells the best, and I don't mind having to order online to get it. It's so worth it!