Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Edible Desert

There are edible things in the desert southwest. I thought I'd share a few.

Prickly Pear: On our trek along Historic Route 66, my best friend and I found some great examples of the mix of flavors and ingredients of the Southwest. Prickly pear is one that not a lot of people are aware of. You can actually buy the syrup online and I highly recommend it to give a new twist to drinks and desserts.

Prickly pear is grown on a paddle cactus and often called a nopal or pad. The taste is somewhere between bubble gum and watermelon. It makes an amazing soda or margarita!

Its health benefits are vast and it's actually under investigation for its treatement of diabetes. It is high in fiber, low in calories, with tons of phytonutrients. I have found that a prickly pear margarita is the perfect balance to any southwestern meal.

Mesquite: Mesquite beans found inside the pods off the mesquite tree have been used by Native People for centuries. They are low on the glycemic scale and ideal for grinding into flour. They have been used as an alternative to sweeteners, as well. They are high in magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron. The taste is sweet and piney which teams up well with meats. The pods are roasted and ground and can have a nutty flavor.

More plants to consider - 

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