Mesquite Candy Balls

Mesquite Candy Balls

The mesquite tree has been part of the Texas landscape for at least seven thousand years. The technique for making the candy balls is the same grinding of mesquite that Cabeza de Vaca chronicles in his 1542 journal about Texas, where he describes our Texas Indian ancestors grinding mesquite flour (Cabeza de Vaca, 1542). I’m amazed when I realize that my long-ago ancestors ground the mesquite pod, sweetening and eating it, just like me, here in Texas. I love that connection.

Mesquite Bean Pod
Mesquite Bean Pod. Grind the dried pods to make mesquite flour.

These no-bake treats are fun for kids to make and to share. The culinary experience is also what’s called a teachable moment, an opportunity for kids to learn about the history of food and its close connection to culture.
The recipe is from my cookbook, Don’t Count The Tortillas: The Art of Texas Mexican Cooking


100 recipes from appetizers to salads to tacos and soufflés! A History and Cookbook published by Texas Tech University Press

Recipe for Mesquite Candy Balls

Ingredients  (makes 2 dozen)
1 cup mesquite powder (flour)
5 tablespoons raw agave nectar
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1. In a skillet, toast the sesame seeds for about 2 minutes, stirring so that they don’t burn. When they acquire a slight golden color, transfer them to a plate to cool.
2. Mix together the mesquite powder and agave nectar to form a firm dough. With a teaspoon, shape the dough into 24 balls; then roll the balls in the sesame seeds, pressing to completely cover the entire surface of each ball. Serve these at the end of any meal, or enjoy any time you get a craving for sweets.
NOTE: If you found my article helpful, I invite you to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, or subscribe below for updates (I'll email you new essays when I publish them).

1 thought on “Mesquite Candy Balls”

  • On Sundays , As a child, I the late 1960s my dad Sabino Gonzalez would load all 4 of us in his bright cherry Red 1959 Chevrolet pick up…Mike was 5 , Sandy was 7, I was 9, Dan was 14…we girls would ride in front with Daddy, the boys would ride in back…no seat belts…daddy would wear his white V neck tee shirts and his high waisted khakis…we were dressed like the Brady bunch kids and looked like them too…we would drive from Erskine and Gary Street in the barrio of Lubbock and head across the Tracks to the Canyon…at the time this area was not developed or discovered. We would drive up and down the hills through the mesquite trees and the cactus brush… the boys would try to shoot small stones at Jack rabbits with the home made sling shots daddy made for them… I remember stopping to rest under the shade of the mesquites and we would pick the seed pods…Daddy would peel one and show us the beans and tell us you could eat them. We have always loves those trees! We will definitely try these candies!!! Thank you for sharing your story and bringing us our beautiful culture to life!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *