Cactus Recipes

Nopal: Prickly and slimy with a medicinal kick February 08 2016, 0 Comments

By Eun Jae Park

The nopal cactus is a staple food that has existed in the native Meso-American diet for more than 12,000 years, and it offers a nutritious supplement to many traditional Mexican dishes. Although there are over 200 edible varieties of the nopal cactus, the broad-leafed vegetable pads of the Opuntia ficus-indica species are most utilized in Mexican cuisine. Nopal cactus pads can be served raw, stir-fried, dried, or pickled and are commonly prepared as side dishes, salads, taco fillings, or omelets. Slimy, citrusy, and slightly sweet, nopal is a unique vegetable that can be an acquired taste.

Nopales

Farmers can grow nopal in harsh arid climates and at high-altitudes (Photo Credit: Stock.xchng)

In addition, nopal has been extensively studied for its potential health benefits. According to studies conducted by University of California, Los Angeles, nopal is effective in reducing LDL cholesterol—the “bad” cholesterol—and regulating blood sugar for diabetic patients. In addition, 15 percent of nopal’s weight is fiber, making it a great food to manage gastrointestinal tract movement.

Often referred to as “prickly pears” in the United States, nopal pads are being cultivated in Mexico and border-states such as California and Arizona for commercial export. Farmers, chefs, medical researchers, and consumers are recognizing the benefits of nopal and demand has tremendously increased in recent years. The cactus industry in Mexico alone is worth $150 million and employs 10,000 workers.
Read more about the health benefits of nopal cactus.


Prickly Pear Cactus and diabetes January 29 2016, 0 Comments

What is Prickly Pear Cactus?

Prickly pear cactus is a plant. The leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit are used for medicine.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Diabetes. Some forms of prickly pear cactus seem to lower blood sugar levels in people who have type 2 diabetes.
  • Hangover. Taking prickly pear cactus before drinking alcohol might reduce some symptoms of hangover the next day.

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/prickly_pear_cactus/vitamins-supplements.htm


Health Benefits of Cactus January 28 2016, 0 Comments

Health Benefits of Cactus

May. 17, 2011 - 2:33 - The Medicine Hunter and Dr. Manny visit Toloache in New York City to find out how eating cactus can boost your health and wellness.


Healthy Cactus Soup Recipe From Singapore January 27 2016, 1 Comment

Healthy Cactus Soup Recipe From Kin Yan Agrotech (仙人掌鸡汤)

healthy catcus chicken soup recipes
Wanna try Cactus Soup? My first reaction was, "Yucks!" Somehow, the staff at Kin Yan Agrotech managed to convince me to pour the mini cup-size soup into my mouth. The next thing I knew, I was totally intoxicated by the delicious soup!

I've seen prickly pear cactus promoted as a superfood. What's behind the hype? January 27 2016, 0 Comments

Prickly pear cactus, also called nopal, is promoted for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers. It is also touted for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/prickly-pear-cactus/faq-20057771


Nopal Cactus Stew January 26 2016, 0 Comments

cactusstew0709.jpg (58804 bytes)

Nopal Cactus stew
muey deliciosso!

John's Nopales Cactus Stew

Ingredients:
Stew meat... beef or pork or local favorite
1/2 to one pound of nopales cactus prepared and diced
sliced carrots
a can of sweet corn (or fresh if available)
two, three or four pickled or fresh jalapeno peppers (or to taste)
three cloves or more (to taste) of garlic
one to four medium onions
one half bunch of cilantro (or more is better) 
a tender squash or three
quarter cup of olive oil
couple dashes of salt and some ground black pepper will add flavor

Cooked and hot Rice or barley to serve the nopales over

Serves four

Brown the meat in olive or vegetable oil, you can add bacon strips if you like more fat...
Add some water and let the meat simmer covered for an hour,
then add one diced onion, and the sliced carrots and let simmer for another hour
Add in the corn, peppers, cilantro and other spices.... and simmer for half an hour....
add in the edible cactus and squash and let it simmer for thirty minutes,
then remove from the heat and serve hot over hot rice or barley.

 


Can Prickly Pear Cactus Juice Cure Diabetes? January 25 2016, 1 Comment

During clinical trials Nopal was found to have a positive effect on lowering cholesterol.

Prickly pear cactus juice benefits:

http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/prickly-pear-cactus-juice/#axzz3xiIkLHWx


Nopal Nutrition facts and Health benefits January 24 2016, 0 Comments

Nopal Nutrition facts and Health benefits
From Nutrition and You.com

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Nopales (Opuntia ficus-indica ), raw pads,
Nutrition value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 16 Kcal <1%
Carbohydrates 3.33 g 2.56%
Protein 1.32 g 2%
Total Fat 0.09 g <1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g 5.5%
Vitamins
Folates 3 µg <1%
Niacin 0.410 mg 2.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.167 mg 3%
Pyridoxine 0.070 mg 6%
Riboflavin 0.041 mg 3%
Thiamin 0.012 mg 1%
Vitamin C 9.3 mg 15.5%
Vitamin A 457 IU 15%
Vitamin E 0.00 mg 0%
Vitamin K 5.3 µg 4.4%
Electrolytes
Sodium 21 mg 1.5%
Potassium 257 mg 5.4%
Minerals
Calcium 164 mg 16%
Copper 0.052 mg 6%
Iron 0.59 mg 7%
Magnesium 52 mg 13%
Manganese 0.457 mg 20%
Phosphorus 16 mg 3%
Selenium 0.7 µg 1%
Zinc 0.21 mg 5%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß 250 µg
Carotene-a 48 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg

Fried Cactus January 24 2016, 0 Comments

Fried Cactus.
This is an easy way to enjoy fresh nopal cactus.
Fry some potatoes up whatever way you like. diced, sliced.... add some onions too.
When the potatoes are almost done add some cactus and stir it with the nearly cooked ingredients. Give it a couple of minutes. Our cactus does not need a lot of cooking if you even cook it at all. There's no need to cook our cactus until it becomes dark in color, eat it fresh and alive and bright green!
For another cactus treat you can add eggs to the 'water-cactus-onion mix and scramble them in. When the eggs are cooked spoon the mix into warm tortilla shells and have them as breakfast burritos.
Fried Cactus with Potatoes

Benefits of Cactus leaf in the diet January 24 2016, 10 Comments

Benefits of Cactus Leaf in the Diet

by Tracey Roizman, D.C., Demand Medi

 

Prickly pear cactus, a member of the genus Opuntia, also known as nopal cactus, grows in warm, arid parts of the world. It produces leaves -- actually flattened stems known as pads -- between four to 16 inches long. Prickly pear offers a variety of practical benefits. For example, the sap from the pads repels mosquitoes and is a remedy for minor cuts and burns, according to the University of California Cooperative Extension. Cactus leaf also offers certain nutritional and other health benefits, including:


Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Activity

Including cactus leaf in your diet may boost your antioxidant levels, according to a study published in the January 2006 "Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology." Researchers found that prickly pear cactus demonstrated strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

Cancer Prevention

Prickly pear cactus leaf offers potential anticancer benefits, according to a tissue-culture study published in the February 2013 issue of the journal "Food and Function." Antioxidants and other active components of prickly pear induced early cell death in human breast and colon cancer cells, with a more pronounced effect occurring in colon cancer cells. Prickly pear also showed robust anti-inflammatory activity that might prevent cell damage and contribute to its anticancer benefits.

Blood Sugar Control

Cactus leaf combined with exercise improved insulin sensitivity -- the appropriate response of cells to insulin -- in an animal study published in the March 2013 "International Journal of Molecular Science." Results showed that a group that ate diets supplemented with 5 percent prickly pear cactus by weight and participated in a swimming program had significantly lower blood sugar and fasting insulin levels compared to a group that ate a high-fat diet and did not exercise. Prickly pear also activated a gene that increases metabolic activity and fat burning.

 

Dietary Uses

To prepare fresh cactus leaf, scrape the spines off and peel back the skin to reveal the fleshy meat. Add fresh prickly pear cactus leaf, which has a flavor similar to that of green beans, to vegetable and fruit salads, soups or omelettes. You can also boil or fry cactus leaf.
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