• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • r ranson
  • Nancy Reading
  • Anne Miller
  • Jay Angler
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
gardeners:
  • Matt McSpadden
  • Rachel Lindsay
  • Jeremy VanGelder

prickly pear recipes?

 
Posts: 2603
59
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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" .
 
Posts: 736
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ol' cactus lips! That's great! When dh needs a shave, I call him Cactus Dan! 
 
Posts: 299
Location: Orcas Island, WA
10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Posts: 2603
59
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
 
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I get them from the store in a jar and they are great fried with eggs and onions inside a flour tortilla. 
 
                                    
Posts: 28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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 )
 
author & steward
Posts: 4754
Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
2768
5
goat cat forest garden foraging food preservation fiber arts medical herbs writing solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are some to try.











 
Posts: 672
Location: cache county idaho
99
4
duck forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation bee woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
two different ideas.

My moms family were among the first anglo settlers in Arizona.  My grandma would make fried cactus from nopals in the spring.  She used spineless prick.ly pear cactus she grew for that purpose.  She would harvest the pads, peel the pads and steam them to remove as much of the slime as possible.  Then she would fry them in bacon grease and salt and pepper them.  she may have floured them prior to frying, I don't know.  It was similar to fried okra, but way better (what okra wants to taste like when it grows up).

When I was a little kid we visited relatives in eastern arizona and they made a delicious salad with prickly pears (deseeded). I was a little kid and don't know the particulars.  The next morning I walked out and saw a prickly pear cactus with ripe looking pears.  Being a little kid and remembering how good it tasted, I walked up and tried to pick the pear.  Everyone thought I was kind of a dumb kid not to realize the pears had those fine hair spines.  My mom told me afteward you had to pick them carefully with tongs and a knife and then burn off the spines.
 
Posts: 21
2
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To remove the spines from the pads.  

One way: https://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/removing-spines-cactus-pads/

Another way: I have put on google for safety and used tongs tp hold them and scraped them with a serrated knife.
( I didn't want it to pop  a spine into my eyes.  You probably wouldn't have it happen
but I wanted to be careful.)
If you scrap carefully to remove the spines by  getting under spines  into the skin of the cactus,
you can get the spines off.

The pads are acid and mucilaginous.  I wouldn't eat solo.  Texture is good like green beans, but the mucilage
is thick and dense around the pieces.  

The nopales (catcus pads)  sold in Spanish/ Mexican grocery stores have been found to have higher levels of pesticides.  I only use
what I can harvest myself.

 
Posts: 12
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Prickly pear and nopale cactus are not the same plant although most uses and recipes can be the same for both.  I have glochid-free nopales that I chop up in almost every soup and stew and Mexican dishes.  I use them raw in smoothies and fresh salsas.  Don't use too much in salsa, though, as it's slightly mucilaginous.
 
Carol Taylor
Posts: 12
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would love to have a spineless prickly pear. I don't grow them because I don't want to deal with the spines.  I have a friend that required surgery after getting a spine in his knee.
gift
 
Willie Smits: Village Based Permaculture Approaches in Indonesia (video)
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic