Welcome To The Nopales Recipe Site!
This Nopales Recipe site is all about the Nopal recipes and the health benefits of Nopal Cactus consumption. That’s right, you can benefit from eating the nopal leaves of the nopal cactus as well as the fruit this abundant plant produces. The leaves of the nopal cactus are better known as nopales and the fruit of the cactus’s common name is the prickly pear or tuna. The prickly pear’s more scientific name is called Opuntia ficus-indica. There are plenty of health benefits that we will cover in this article about the nopal cactus as well.
Cactus leaves or nopales are commonly consumed among Mexican and Central American cultures. It is considered a staple food and can be found in hispanic grocery stores. Typically if you find these at the grocery store, they are usually covered with cactus spine or thorns. They are usually prepared for cooking by removing the spines using a knife, a brillo pad or even simply roasting the leaf lightly over an open flame and then removing the spines then. Next the edges of the nopales are trimmed off as it can be a little tough to eat.
Inside the nopales, we can see a gooey clear liquid similar to that found in the aloe vera plant or can even be compared to an okra when opened up. This gooey substance can be removed by either boiling the nopales in tamarind paste or simply frying it in a non stick skillet using water and vinegar.
Eating Nopales and Prickly Pears
There are many benefits to eating nopales as well as its fruit the prickly pear. In fact, there are a few companies who specialize in marketing the health benefits of the nopal cactus as their flag ship product. Both the leaves and the fruit have anti-oxidants properties and are rich in vitamin C.
The fruit called a tuna or prickly pear comes in two different types. One is reddish purple and the other is a greenish yellow fruit. Typically if bought from a mexican grocer, the spines are removed, however its not to say that you still won’t have these needles stick in your thumb if the fruit has not been de-spined properly. The prickly pear fruit is typically eaten for its bioflavanoids and is a rich resource of antioxidents.
Preperation of the prickly pear is simple. Simply cut both ends of the prickly pear. Then cut lengthwise deep enough to penetrate the outer layer of skin from top to bottom of the fruit. Then simply ping the edge of the cut and roll the fruit that’s found inside until it is free of the outer layer of skin.
From this point forth, most people simply run it through a food processor and pour it into a strainer that allows the prickly pear’s nectar to flow into a glass for a nice cool refreshing drink. Other people water down the juice with honey or agave nectar and store in the fridge until ready to drink.
It is a bit of a pain to prepare. However if you are interested in obtaining a commercial version of prickly pear that’s ready to drink, Nopalea is a very good resource and quite delicious. Many people are using it for medicinal purposes because of the healing properties of the bioflavanoids and antioxidents within the fruit.
We hope you enjoyed the brief summary of the wonderful world of nopales here at you Nopales Recipe site!