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prickly pear recipes?  RSS feed

 
Leah Sattler
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lots of this cactus on my new property. any good recipes?

my "has to learn the hard way" nephew was offhandely informed that the prickly pear cactus was edible. so later he picked a section and tried to take a bite. then complains because he has a spine stuck in his lip. his new name is "cactus lips" .
 
Gwen Lynn
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Ol' cactus lips! That's great! When dh needs a shave, I call him Cactus Dan! 
 
Dave Boehnlein
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Location: Orcas Island, WA
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I don't personally have any recipes, but I suspect you'll find recipes for the pads by searching for "nopal" or "nopales" (that's how it is said in Spanish). In Spanish the fruit is referred to as "tuna".

Also, the plant breeder Luther Burbank (who gave us the Burbank russet potato, the boysenberry, & shasta daisy) felt that the most important work of his life was the work he did with prickly pear cactus. He developed a variety that is known as "Burbank spineless". It is good for human food, animal forage, and has good fruit. I think you can get organically grown plants at http://rivenrock.com/. They sell them for eating, but to propagate them you just toss them on top of sandy soil and keep it moist until they root.

If I had land where these varieties would grow I would plant a heap of them! If you've never had prickly pear jam before, you have to try it. Also, keep in mind that they fit very well into a permaculture system as a relatively fireproof plant (put them in your fire sector).

Cheers!

Dave
 
Leah Sattler
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thanks dave! I haven't tried the jelly/jam yet that was the only recipe I knew of. Iwas sure there was more ways to use it.

I watched one of my goats pick one prickly's and all and chew and chomp it down. wasn't expecting that
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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I get them from the store in a jar and they are great fried with eggs and onions inside a flour tortilla. 
 
                                    
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Ooo, lucky you !  To have these growing on your place !  I'm jealous !

Nopales take a little work, but they are so worth it.  Start with heavy work gloves, of course.  Pick however many  of the flat pads you'll think you'll need.  I'd start with 5  medium sized ones to start with...till you get the hang of cleaning them.    I start by using a vegatable peeler and peeling the spines off the side of the pads, then take the pointed end of the peeler and dig out the spines AND EYES from the flat sides of the pads. 

When that's done; wash the pads, by now they'll be a little slick.  Now slice them into pieces about 1/4 inch wide and 3-4 inches long.    I take some bulk sausage and make small balls of it; or you could chunk up some sausage slices...and once the frying sausage starts to release some of it's fat; toss the nopales into the pan and fry them together until they're tender. 

If you like fried okra (no breading; you'll love these )
 
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