Edible and Useful Plants of the El Paso/Juarez Region
Ever thought about foraging for food here in the El Paso desert? You can find tea for colds and plants for other internal and external maladies (including sunburn). It turns out that mesquite flour is very nutritious.
Southwest University Professor, Dr. Eric Kappus, is giving a presentation tomorrow morning, June 1st, to the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club at 10AM at 3105 Grant. The title: “Edible and Useful Plants of the El Paso/Juarez Region.” He will talk about dozens of edible and useful plants that can be found in the Paso del Norte. This includes native and introduced plants.
You can find a number of recipes for the mesquite bean online. Here is one for mesquite bread from Carolyn Neithammer’s book, American Indian Cooking: Recipes from the Southwest:
1 cup finely ground and sifted mesquite meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup water
Combine dry ingredients. Add oil and water and mix until dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. (Because mesquite beans and meal have a tendency to pick up any moisture from the atmosphere, the amount of wter needed will vary with the weather.) Lightly grease a cookie sheet or flat pan. Form the dough into a half-sphere loaf on the pan. Bake for 30 minuetes at 350°.
That easy. This year I don’t think I’ll just rake up the mesquite beans in my yard. I’ll gather them and make flour.