If you’ve gathered your mesquite pods and put them aside to dry until grinding in the fall, you might be anxious to try a little something with mesquite now. This luscious drink that I call a Gila Monster is easy to make. First boil some mesquite pods in plenty of water until soft. After everything has cooled down, plunge your hands in and wring and tear the pods until all the sweet goodness goes into the water. This is a great activity for kids. Strain off the broth which I admit is going to look a bit like dirty dishwater. Discard the seeds and fiber.
Now you can use this sweet broth for drinks or pudding. For adults, make a mixture of coffee, milk, and mesquite broth. Top with whipped cream. A shot of Kahlua or hazelnut liqueur is a delicious addition. For kids, you will probably want to omit the coffee or cut it back to a tablespoon or two.
It isn’t hard to invent ways to use mesquite broth. For inspiration and other recipes using mesquite broth, take a look at my cookbook Cooking the Wild Southwest: Delicious Recipes for Desert Plants.