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Old 05-03-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Ava, Mo
774 posts, read 866,415 times
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Default Prickly Pear Cactus

I recently saw a show on PBS in which a guy made juice from the fruit of a prickly pear cactus and made it into Marqueritas.
Has anyone ever made anything from the prickly pear cactus fruit or even the green blades?
If you have: How do you use it.
Any recipes?
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Old 05-03-2008, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Floribama
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I peel and eat the fruit sometimes, but I have never eaten the green pads. The fruit tastes kinda like a bland strawberry.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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YES !! I had one (ok 3 or 4) on the riverwalk in San Antonio just last year. VERY tasty and a very happy mood maker.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:49 PM
Status: "Chin up things can only get better" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: South Bay Native
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We have tons of them prickly pears here in CA - the green flat pieces I believe might be nopales which you can buy already cleaned and ready to eat at the grocery store.

I would love someone with experience to share their tips on cleaning the pears though - removing the pricks has proved to be too daunting a task for me to bother with this. It's a shame, because there are so many in the yards around here.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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if we are thinking of the same fruit--and i think we are-they are all over sicily. you slice off the ends,slice down one side of the skin and then just pull the whole skin away--it will look like you are throwing a lot of the fruit away--but that is how it is-the smaller portion inside is what you eat.
its very good and you eat all the seeds with it--just dont eat too much of the fruit at once--causes constipation...and dont bit down too hard on the seeds--kind of swallow them
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Floribama
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Watch the juice, it's blood red and will stain anything it touches!
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Ava, Mo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
Watch the juice, it's blood red and will stain anything it touches!

The show I watched actually said that the juice can be used as a dye for cloth. I bet it would be a beautiful color.

Might have to try it this year when the fruits are ripe.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: In a little valley under the Rim
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We have a ton of prickly pear at our house--we are renting and just moved to AZ in February. I was so excited to try nopalatos as one of my cookbooks talk a little in depth about them. In there, they said to slice into strips (after removing the spines) and boil. It was okay, but a bit slimey (like okra). However, the book also mentioned searing them. It was definitely our preferred method. They taste like really fresh, clean green bean.

I just harvested a bunch of fruit today. I cut prickles all over! I tried wearing leather gloves (worked well for harvesting the pads), but they went through. Ended up using some tongs, but if you shake the fruit at all, the hairs come sprinkling down.

I have read that you are suppose to roast the prickly hairs off, then proceed to process the fruit. I'm going to roast them tomorrow, hopefully, and then make jam and/or jelly on Monday. I also found a recipe for prickly pear pie. I might have to try adding a little juice in my next margarita, though!

Wish me luck! If all goes well, I might have a pantry full of jam! (my son calls it our prickly pear orchard)
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:20 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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My mother used to make cactus jelly out of the prickly pear fruit...I'll have to see if I can get the recipe from her. It is pretty good stuff. I've also had cactus candy made out of it. I preferred the jelly over the candy.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: In a little valley under the Rim
2,191 posts, read 3,608,979 times
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I got a jelly recipe from an old Mother Earth News article (from 1976!), but I would love any additional jelly recipes--or any other recipes using prickly pear. I see a lot of prickly pear salsas on menus around here, so I may go looking for one of those recipes, too.
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