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I Was Just Thinking blog blog header

I Was Just Thinking...


Making Mesquite bean jelly




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Lois Wauson is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

July 7, 2011 | 3,411 views | 2 comments

I walked earlier today. It was 6:45 AM when I left the house. The sun was just coming up and it looked blood red. It caused the sky to be a brilliant red. But when I took a picture it appears yellow, and the sky is red. Maybe I need a filter on my camera? I hope the red sky means rain for South Texas.

When I came by the young mesquite tree in the fence line, I saw it had hundreds of mesquite beans on it. It isn't a tree yet!

It got me to thinking about the two big mesquite trees we had on Yucca Tr, in Hurst. Eddie hated those trees. They were loaded with beans and finally dropped in the grass and the driveway. He cussed those things when he had to sweep or rake them up. I think Bill took a sack home occasionally for smoking barbecue. Eddie was so happy when one of them died. He had Derek cut it down. I was so mad. Because I wanted him to leave the trunk and the big limbs on it, because I would hang flower baskets on those limbs and my yard looked beautiful. I came home from visiting Kristi and Bill on the ranch in East Texas, and discovered Eddie had had that tree cut down. Talk about crying. I did that.

I got home this morning and researched the internet, what mesquites were good for. Especially the beans. Wow. I think maybe I will start a business. If I were 50 years younger maybe I would.

This is what I found out: The common Mesquite grows in dry areas almost everywhere on earth, thanks to humans who treasure the food and wood it provides. Every part of a Mesquite is useful. Today as in the past we use the wood in great quantities for smoking meats. Mesquite wood is an excellent fuel and was sought after by all Native American groups and Europeans as well.

Mesquite beans were a major, if not the primary food source for the desert Apache, Pima, Cahuilla, Maricopa, Yuma, Yavapai, Mohave, Walapi, and Hopi tribes.Most Mesquite beans are sweet, typically containing about 30 percent sucrose; they produce sweet flour that can be baked into breads, mixed in water to make coffees and teas, and added as an ingredient to many other foods!
Mesquite is essential to the survival of wildlife in the desert. The survival of over 200 plants and animals is tied to the part the mesquite plays in the ecosystem of the desert. Mesquite is considered a “nurse plant” because of its ability to provide protection and nutrients.

Mesquite Beans placed on the grill release that same flavor as the mesquite charcoal or mesquite wood chips. In fact because the flavor is concentrated in the beans some people believe that the smoke of the beans is more intense then mesquite charcoal or chips.

Mesquite bean syrup

Made from extracting the juice from the mesquite bean pods. Slice a baking apple, pour Mesquite Bean Syrup on top and bake until soft. Also, serve over ice cream and pancakes!

Mesquite bean jelly

This amber colored jelly has a sweet apple and allspice flavor. It is a great compliment to any apple dish, on ham or pork entrees. This is made from the pods of the mesquite trees.

Mesquite flour

Mesquite is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Heidi Swanson who wrote a cookbook, described mesquite flour as "absolutely delicious, with a scent that is both warm and comforting but with much less edge than a cinnamon or even canela. When heated it permeates the kitchen with a mellow sweet fragrance that is unlike anything else"

Does anyone know how to make mesquite bean jelly? Think I will try that!

I will let you know how it turns out!
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Ms. S. V.  
Floresville  
July 19, 2011 6:29pm
 
We have LOTS of mesquite beans ... they must thrive in this drought!

 
Lois Wauson  
Floresville, TX  
July 9, 2011 11:12am
 
I went on the internet go get recipes for Mesquite Bean Jelly. The beans have to have an amber color so I have to wait awhile. Then you have to boil about 1/2 bushel of beans to make the juice, throw away the beans and use the ... More ›

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