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The goal of the LEAF Network is to connect people with the benefits of edible trees, and to connect edible trees with the stewardship of people.

Prepare and Preserve

Click Here for a PDF of Prepare and Preserve 

Enjoying the produce from your trees is the fun part! Native mesquite, palo verde and ironwood provide flowers, pods and/or seeds. These may be eaten fresh, sprouted, roasted, cooked in savory dishes, or dried and ground into flour for baked goods. The products of these and many other native trees and shrubs can be harvested, prepared and enjoyed in multiple ways. For detailed information, see resources at Desert Harvesters, including their cookbook, Eat Mesquite and More. 

The sweet fruits of citrus can be eaten fresh, juiced, zested, dried, or made into marmalades, butters or candied rinds. Stone fruits and berries can be eaten fresh; made into jams, jellies and chutneys; cooked into delicious pies and breads; frozen into sorbets and made into many other delectable dishes. Fruit such as dates can be dried, made into date syrup or fermented into vinegar. Nuts from pecan, almond, and walnut trees are rich in essential oils and protein and can be processed for eating and/or pressed for their oils. Olives can be pressed for their oil or cured, dry salted or otherwise seasoned to eat in the long tradition of their European origins.

Olives harvested from trees at the University of Arizona were pressed into oil and bottled. Each 5-gallon bucket of olives yielded about 20 ounces of olive oil.

Peaches canned for later eating and use in baked goods.

Ironwood seeds soaked and sprouted for use in salads.

CAUTION: Never eat anything that is not properly identified. It is your responsibility to ensure that all fruits, nuts, seeds, pods and other edible products of trees and shrubs are correctly identified and safe to eat before eating them or serving them to others.

Copyright 2023

LEAF is under the fiduciary stewardship of the Arizona Community Tree Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

70 S Val Vista Drive, Suite A3-186, Gilbert, AZ  85296


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