If you don’t live in mesquite country, you may not realize it, but the mesquite tree produces seeds or beans in a large pod. For eons, indigenous peoples have collected these dried pods and ground them into flour or meal. Interestingly, for the modern American diet, mesquite flour is gluten-free, low-glycemic, and high in both protein and dietary fiber. Its flavor is somewhat strong and slightly sweet. Mesquite pancakes are a great way to begin experimenting with mesquite flour.
When you open the bag of flour and take a whiff you’ll be reminded of carob or cocoa. Because of its distinctive, strong flavor, few recipes recommend straight up replacement of mesquite flour for wheat flour to create gluten-free dishes. Most sources recommend a blend ranging from four parts wheat flour with one part mesquite flour to one part wheat flour with one part mesquite flour. Do your own experimenting in that range to see what suits your tastes.
Pancakes are a classic western camping dish and use of mesquite flour. Use this recipe as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment to find out how much of the mesquite flavor you like in your flapjacks. To be really authentic, seek out a supply of prickly pear syrup or agave nectar to replace the maple syrup you might reach for first.
- For dry mix:
- 2 cups mesquite flour
- 2 cups wheat flour (enriched, bleached, or buckwheat)
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- To add at camp:
- Brown sugar
- Cooking oil
- Milk (milk, buttermilk, or evaporated milk)
- Make up as much dry mix to these proportions as you want. Store in a jar with a tight light in a cool and dry place for later use.
- At camp, in a large mixing bowl stir or whisk together 1 egg, 2 Tbs. cooking oil, 1 ¾ cup milk, 1 Tbs. brown sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla.
- Add one cup of dry mix and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Stir in more water or dry mix as needed to get the right consistency for the batter.
- Heat cast iron skillet or griddle to medium-low temp.
- Oil well with additional vegetable oil or fry some bacon first.
- Spoon enough batter onto surface for a medium-size pancake.
- Check underside for the right color and watch for bubbles to just begin appearing on surface of pancake. (Work with lower temps and check often until you get used to cooking with mesquite flour.)
- Flip when it’s just right and cook until done. (Like all pancakes, consider the first a “test” batch.”)
- Serve with prickly pear syrup, agave nectar, or honey – or ladle on some fruit.
Gluten-Free Mesquite Pancakes
If you determine you like the flavor added by mesquite flour, there’s an easy way to make gluten-free pancakes with just the right amount of mesquite for your palate. Just buy some Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pancake mix and add some mesquite flour to it.
- 1 ½ cups Bob’s Red mill gluten free pancake mix
- 3 Tbs. mesquite flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs. cooking oil
- In large mixing bowl combine pancake mix, mesquite flour, milk, and beaten egg.
- Set aside until griddle or skillet is ready.
- When medium hot, add oil.
- Spoon pancakes on to surface.
- When bubbles appear, turn pancakes.
- Continue cooking until pancake comes easily away from surface and is light golden brown.
Need a place to get mesquite flour to give it a try? We bought a pound from www.nuts.com and were extremely pleased with their customer service. For other great recipes, besides mesquite pancakes, that include mesquite flour check out Hot Mesquite-O and Savory Mesquite Muffins also on 50 Campfires.