Hey, all you superfood foodies!* Are you in a superfood rut? Tired of the same old, same old of blueberry-spinach smoothies for breakfast, quinoa-spinach-walnut salads for dinner, and a handful of goji berries for good measure?

Mesquite powder may be just the thing to perk up your otherwise perfect diet. No, I’m not talking about mesquite wood chips, which can be used to flavor food while barbecuing, though mesquite powder does come from the same plant. Mesquite powder is made from the leguminous seed pods of the drought-tolerant mesquite plant, also known as algarrobo. It can be used as a flour or a sweetener, and it has a sort of caramel-y, nutty flavor. Yum, right? I KNOW.

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“The health benefits! Tell us about the health benefits!” I hear you. Mesquite powder is high in fiber and protein, low on the glycemic index, and digests slowly. You know what this means: it helps you feel full for longer and enjoy more stable levels of energy. More? Okay, get ready for it. Mesquite powder is a great source of calcium, iron, lysine, manganese, zinc, and potassium. More? You want MORE? Okay, you superfood supergeek, you can continue geeking out here, otherwise, continue on for the deets on how to get this sweet stuff into your belly.

1. Smoothies and Shakes

Liven up that smoothie! Add a few teaspoons of mesquite powder before you blend to get that certain je ne sais quoi.

2. Oatmeal, Granola, and Cereal

Sprinkle mesquite powder on top of your breakfast cereal or grain or add a few tablespoons to your next batch of homemade granola.

3. Raw Desserts or Treats

Mesquite powder does not need to be cooked, so, unlike wheat and some other flours, it’s okay to use it in raw desserts and treats. With a flavor profile that complements chocolate well, these Cacao Mesquite Superfood Balls really hit the spot.

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4. Breads, Cookies, and Cakes

In general, mesquite powder can replace one-quarter to one-half of the white flour called for in recipes. For some tried and true recipes, check out these Vanilla Agave Cupcakes with Chocolate Mesquite Frosting or this Triple Velvet Mousse Cake with Mesquite Spiced Crust. These sweet treats are prime candidates for some good, old-fashioned, vegan baketivism! More on baketivism here.

5. Coffee and Tea

Stir it in as a sweetener that packs a nutritional punch. KA-POW!

*Remember that there’s no quick fix for a poor diet and that superfoods cannot serve as a substitute for a balanced diet or an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle. Be careful not to get swept up in all the excitement surrounding exotic and obscure ingredients and forget about those everyday fruits and veggies; in fact, we think they can be pretty super, too. A word to the wise: eat a variety of whole foods and exercise regularly!

Image source: Cacao Mesquite Superfood Balls

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