Star and I decide to try some of these marvelous galactomannan-bearing seed pods while we build a canoe from the tree's branches.
Step 1: Galactomannan and Other Soluble Fiber Gums - the Research
Plasma glucose and insulin responses to traditional Pima Indian meals. JC Brand, BJ Snow, GP Nabhan and AS Truswell says:
"Mesquite (P ve/utina), the Pimas most important wild food, contains a viscous galactomannan in its seeds and pods, which has been shown to lower glycemic responses (25)." See the table below.
Sara K. Swanston-Flatt, Peter R. Flatt, Caroline Day and Clifford J Bailey (1991). Traditional dietary adjuncts for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 50 , p 643
"The bridge between traditional treatment, dietary supplement and pharmaceutical entity is illustrated by guar gum, a galactomannan fibre extracted from the seeds of the Indian cluster bean,
Cyamopsis tetragonolobus. The seeds and the pods of this plant are used as a traditional
treatment for diabetes in Asia (Pillai et al. 1980)."
Follow the citations of those papers to find the rest of the research on galactomannan and diabetes.
Step 2: Mesquite = Kiawe
These are Kiawe pods. These are behind Kite Beach Maui. And at most other beaches on Maui. And up most of the hillsides. Along with those thorny dead branches that cause pain when they perforate you.
Star and I tried eating some pods after surfing. Very good. They're a little bit sweet. They taste a bit like dates.
Some parts of the pod are too hard to chew up. Spit those out.
We got in the habit of nibbling some pods whenever we came across them.
Step 3: How the Kiawe Got to Hawaii
Plants and Animals of Hawaii By Susan Scott, 1997 has this to say about how they got here and spread so far:
"A priest brought the first kiawe seeds to Hawaii in 1828, planting them in the Catholic Mission grounds on Fort Street in Honolulu. (...) The wood is good for charcoal, bees use the flowers to make honey, and the pods are nutritious cattle food. Early in the century, people supplemented their income by gathering kiawe pods. Ranchers paid 15 cents for a 35-pound bag, using the pods to feed horses, pigs, mules and cattle. Since the hard kiawe seeds pass through the animals' digestive systems unharmed, the tree spread quickly throughout the islands."
Step 4: I'll Grind Your Bones to Make My Bread
Step 5: Not Dry Enough
We needed to dry them more before further grinding.
Step 6: Dry in Oven
Step 7: Coffee Grinder Test
We put the dry pods in the blender. The blender worked great.
Step 8: Coffee Grinder Fails
Notice the hard seed casings in the remaining meal.
I used to have a collection of flour grinders. I wish I could test them on this stuff.
The best one was a Mormon product called the "whisper mill". I think the name was an inside joke. It sounded like a jet engine.
Step 9: Sifting
They are sweet but too hard to chew.
Step 10: Health Meal
Step 11: Syrup
We cooked some eggs-with-coconut and put the syrup on top.
It was delicious!