Mesquite is a superfood native to South America and the Southwestern United States that could have nutritional and medicinal powers worth your time.
Being native to our lands, it could be readily available to those living in this side of the Atlantic, which is great news if you’re interested in getting more local foods.
But why should you care?
The benefits of mesquite powder for health and weight management may make you want to add this super yummy food to your table!
Though it doesn't come from an exotic location and may even be growing in your neighborhood, mesquite is a true superfood that has been used for centuries. You may know it from barbeque mixes, but it could do so much more.
What is mesquite? Why is it good for you? Where can you find it? How do you use it?
All great questions. I'm glad you've asked. Let's dig deeper and learn more about mesquite, mesquite powder benefits, and how to get them in your diet -stat.
What Is Mesquite?
Mesquite is a plant whose trees are native to the Southwest U.S. and South America, which can also be found in drier areas of Australia, Africa, and Asia.
They are slow-growing trees that need little water to live. They’re also an optimal source of nitrogen, which helps other plants growing around it - in case you’d like to add them to your garden!
There are approximately 45 different species of Prosopis, the scientific name of mesquite, and although we mostly use the sweet kind today, they range from bitter to syrupy. Even the plant’s wood smells sweet, and that’s why it is often used to smoke meat.
However, before it was hitting the grill at your local BBQ spot, it was used for its nutritional content and medicinal powers. Nowadays, it is becoming a popular superfood to use as an alternative to sugar that you may find in the list of ingredients at a trendy juice bar.
Mesquite has been used by Native Americans as flour and sweetener. Many described it as a natural sweet caramel-like flavor.
Later, Mesquite powder was used to make home-made remedies to fight athlete’s foot, create a natural disinfectant powder for various animal stings and bites, dissolved it in water to improve bowel movements, and more.
As you’ll soon find out, aside from being a deliciously sweet addition to baked goods, coffee, tea, barbecues, and warming dishes, mesquite has some remarkable health benefits that may help you feel your best.
Why Should I Use Mesquite Powder?
The Mesquite powder benefits come from its high fiber content, low glycemic index, high mineral content, potential anti-fungal properties, immune-boosting abilities and high protein percentage.
Learning about all these health benefits, we had no doubt that mesquite had to become an important ingredient in your superfood arsenal.
Check out all the mesquite powder benefits and why it may be just what you need in your life.
The Health Benefits of Mesquite Powder:
#1 Mesquite Powder Is High In Fiber
Mesquite powder benefits could include better digestion and healthy gut flora, given that it is abundant in soluble fiber that is absolutely essential for the gut microbiome. A fiber-efficient diet may also boost your immune system as healthy bacteria grow and thrive.
#2 Mesquite May Help Lower Blood Sugar
Even though mesquite powder is an excellent natural sweetener, it ranks very low in the glycemic index because of all the fiber it has, which slows down its absorption rate. As it does not typically cause blood sugar spikes and may not require insulin to be broken down, it could be the ideal natural sweetener for people with diabetes or blood sugar issues.
Of course, it’s always recommended to check with your primary health care physician, but it’s a good option to be aware of!
#3 Mesquite Powder Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Mesquite powder benefits those who are mostly on a plant-based diet, along with anyone else that is not getting enough Omega 3.
It is a great source of Omega-3s, which may lower inflammation and support cardiovascular health.
#4 Mesquite Could Have Antifungal Properties
Mesquite powder might have antifungal properties that could prevent or help eliminate fungal infections in the body.
#5 May Boost The Immune System
Mesquite powder benefits also come from its high zinc content, which research shows is important for boosting immunity and helping with recovery from illness.
#6 Could Help You Meet Your Protein Goals
Mesquite powder is an excellent source of lysine, a protein that is not easily found in other plant sources. It has up to 30% protein and could be a nice addition to your smoothies.
#7 Mesquite Is High In Minerals
Mesquite powder benefits could include sturdier bone health, easier relaxation, and better muscle recovery since it contains calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron.
Different Forms Of Mesquite
Mesquite flour is the same as mesquite powder. It is made by grinding the plant's seeds, contained in the pods. You can find mesquite flour in health food stores and online. It can be used in baking recipes, coffee, tea, pancakes, stews, marinades, and other recipes.
The pulp or pith between the brittle outside and the hard seed of mesquite are edible. You can grind them and use them in baking recipes. If you can find them in your area, you can harvest them from the trees.
Recipes to Use Mesquite Powder
There are many ways to use mesquite powder. You can add it to your baking recipes, pancakes, stews, coffee, or tea. To experience the versatile magic of mesquite, try these recipes.
Makes 10 Falafel
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp Organifi Green Juice powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup mesquite
- Grind your seeds in a food processor.
- Mix them with the cauliflower, tahini, and spices. Pulse until you get a thick paste.
- Roll them into 10 2-inch balls and bake them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Mesquite Cocoa Balls
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder or Gold with turmeric, and Reishi mushrooms!
- 1/4 cup mesquite powder
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- Soak and soften your goji berries for 5-10 minutes.
- Process the nuts in a food processor.
- Add your other ingredients. Pulse until it's all blended well.
- Roll them into 12 - 15 small balls.
- Keep them covered in the fridge or freeze.
Mesquite Grill Seasoning
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp dried onion flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp mesquite powder
- Optional: 1 tsp of either or both of these dried mushroom superfood powders: Reishi and/or Cordyceps
- Mix all ingredients well together.
- Keep it in a glass jar and use it for marinades, soups, and dressings and when baking potatoes, vegetables, meat or fish as a seasoning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is mesquite powder okay for the candida diet?
A. Mesquite is a low sugar natural sweetener that doesn't mess with your blood sugar and internal balance. If you have concerns, talk to your healthcare professional.
Q. Is mesquite powder paleo?
A. Though the paleo diet generally forbids legumes, mesquite comes from the pulpy part of the pod wall, not the seed and it's low in GI and easy to digest. Generally speaking, mesquite works with the paleo diet.
Q. Is mesquite powder safe during pregnancy?
A. There is no evidence or research showing either way. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare professional to see if it works for your individual situation.
Q. Is mesquite powder gluten-free?
Q.Does mesquite powder have side effects?
A. In some people, mesquite may lead to temporary detoxification symptoms, including chills, sweating, mild headaches, nausea, fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, dizziness, weakness, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. No long-term side effects are known.
Q. What is the fructose content of mesquite powder?
A. Mesquite doesn't contain fructose.
Q. How many calories are in mesquite powder?
A. One teaspoon of mesquite powder includes 20 calories.
The Bottom Line
Mesquite is a sweet superfood that is known for its high fiber content, low glycemic index, high mineral content, anti-fungal properties, immune-boosting abilities and high protein percentage.
You can enjoy mesquite powder benefits in baked goods, marinades, stews, baked dishes, and warming meals, or as a part of our a superfood mix of your choice. It is also delicious in smoothies, shakes, coffee, baked goods, and raw desserts.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.