Cactus pear fruit comes from the prickly pear cactus. Opuntia, is the plant’s given name. Horticulturalists and botanists have carefully studied the origins of cacti for many years.
There are over five to seven different species of cacti plants seen all year round throughout the state of Arizona. Some cacti are edible and others may not be suitable to consume.
Depending on the time of year, most prickly pear cacti will have green to violet purple pears on their leaves.The purple pears are sweet and the green prickly pears taste more like kiwi and cucumber combined (source: eating techniques).
Major health benefits:
Centuries ago, Native Americans have used prickly pears and pomegranates to heal wounds, settle stomach pains and cure minor illnesses.
Health professionals today believe prickly pears may lower blood glucose levels in diabetics, naturally cleanse the arteries supporting heart function, deter certain cancer strains and act as an anti-aging regime.
Prickly pear seed oil is one anti-aging solution currently on the market worldwide.Visit Oleador.com for more information.
Cactus pear and pomegranate juice:
Cactus pear and pomegranate juice is a delicious combination.The drink is best cold over ice. Feel free to use this recipe for margaritas, add to tequila, rum or enjoy plain for a quick energy boost.
Locals in Arizona usually pick their own prickly pear fruit. However, cleaning prickly pear fruit without piercing hands or fingers can be risky. It is important to wear working gloves when handling this type of fruit.
Fry’s and Whole Foods market sell cactus fruit in the produce section.The fruits are clean and prepared for use right away.
4 clean green or purple cactus pears (peeled and sliced)
1/2 cup of lime juice
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 3/4 cup of pomegranate juice (freshly squeezed or bottled)
1/2 cup of Truvia natural sweetener
1 cup of ice
Put sliced cactus pears in a blender. Blend the fruit until it becomes a liquid. Pour the liquid contents into a strainer over a bowl to separate the seeds. (Note: Repeat the same process when preparing pomegranate fruit).
Rinse the pitcher attached to the blender for reuse. Add lime juice, lemon juice, natural sweetener, pomegranate juice and cactus juice.
Blend contents for two minutes. Fill three eight ounce glasses with ice, pour juice contents into each glass and serve.