It’s blasting HOT outside! Dry mesquite pods are rattling and falling off the trees! It’s mesquite harvest time–so gather them quick before they take on any monsoon moisture.
Even in this heat my sweetie wants a dessert and can’t stand store-bought stuff. OK, I got the solar oven out preheating in the sun. I’ll bake some old time peanut butter cookies this time with a Southwestern twist–with mesquite! (And, we’ll keep the heat out of the kitchen.)
Tia Marta here to share a quick and easy mesquite cookie recipe. No problem–If you don’t mill your own mesquite pods you can find fresh LOCAL mesquite meal at the NativeSeedsSEARCH store .
MUFF’S MESQUITE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE:
Preheat solar oven (or indoor oven) to 375 degreesF.
Beat until creamy: 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup local honey, and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Beat in: 1 egg, 1/2 – 3/4 cup chunky organic peanut butter,1 tsp vanilla
Sift together: 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4-1/2 cup mesquite meal (optional–substitute 1/4 cup amaranth flour for 1/4 cup of other flour), 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir dry ingredients into moist ingredients for dough. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Put on cookie sheet and press with fork. (see photo–Who knows where these traditional patterns come from? Different cultures have different patterns for peanut butter. Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking shows a linear pattern from her German tradition.)
Bake: about 12minutes in conventional oven OR about 20 minutes in solar oven–until done.
Now here’s another quickie cool and refreshing mesquite treat, if you don’t have time to bake, but using similar ingredients. It’s a Mesquite Peanut Butter Malted Milkshake— ready in a jiffy:
Muff’s Mesquite Peanut Butter Milkshake RECIPE:
In blender mix:
2 cups 1% organic milk (or optional rice, almond or soy milk OR frozen RiceDream)
1 Tbsp. mesquite meal
1/4 cup organic agave “nectar” or syrup
1/2 cup organic chunky peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 Tbsp Mexican vanilla)
1 Tbsp Carnation dry malted milk (optional)
a few chunks of ice
Blender the mix until frothy and serve in chilled glass. Enjoy the rich nutrition and sweet refreshment of this mesquite meal-in-a-glass!
Carob powder is ground from the pods of a Near-Eastern bean tree, like an Eastern “sister” of mesquite with many similar nutritional components. For a super-tasty cool shake that satisfies all the food groups (except chocolate!) and helps chill a summer day, add 1/4 cup carob powder to your blender mix.
Check out the Iskashitaa Refugee Network to see if they have carob available currently. And find wonderful local mesquite flour ready for cooking at NativeSeedsSEARCH, (3061 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson; 520-622-5561), along with great mesquite recipe books by DesertHarvesters.org. Find Freddie Terry, the Singing Beekeeper, with superior local honey at the Rillito Park Farmers Market Sundays. To order your own Solar Oven, check out www.flordemayoarts.com or contact 520-907-9471 to locate good used solar ovens.
Let’s adapt to heat with these low-tech tools, desert foods, and recipes. Enjoy the monsoons and happy eating with local mesquite!