Monday, July 20, 2015

Making our own Mesquite Flour {from our Mesquite tree, and it's Gluten Free!}

When we got home from our vacation I noticed a bunch of beautiful mesquite pods in our front yard,  I told the girls to collect them and we would make flour.  They were seriously excited.  I had no idea what I was getting into but I googled DIY mesquite flour and found a basic recipe here and decided to try it out!

I had the girls help add them to the baking sheet.
We gathered a baking sheet's worth of pods and since they were mostly but not all the way dry I put them in the oven at our lowest setting of 170*f and they baked for about 5 hours.  
I didn't even wait for it warm up I just put everything in and left it for a few hours, and then turned the oven off and left them in there until the next morning, just in case.
Then, we broke them up into smaller pieces so the food processor would have an easier time grinding them down.
The girls loved this part.
we love crushing things.
perfect for toddler texture activity.
I put them all into the processor and let Sonja turn it on {it was abnormally loud and may or may not have scared Vera, but we powered though}
I noticed they were sticky, so maybe I didn't get all the moisture out or maybe that's just the composition of the flour as it gets heated from grinding, but they seemed to turn out fine in the end.
After a decent round of food processing, I poured it into a strainer/sifter and separated the larger pieces from the powder.
I wasn't sure if it was grinding down enough, but when I picked it up it was flour texture.
 I repeated about 6-7 times until I was down to the tiniest of pod seeds that didn't want to grind, I saved them for a future mesquite milk recipe or for another batch of flour and if I get really lazy  I might just compost them.
As you can see, it turned out perfect, and now I'm going to have to bake a cake or something.   From my experience the taste varies slightly from wheat, but you can substitute equal parts so 1 cup mesquite flour for 1 cup traditional.  If you're not gluten free I suggest doing half and half, because it can affect baking and you won't know until you try a specific recipe, but mixing half and half has kept recipes working for me in the past.
TaDa! So, if you're in the Phoenix area and wondering what all those little crunchy pods are, pick one up compare it to the internet, then go back the next day and pull all of them off the nearest tree!

Happy DIY Mesquite Flouring!

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