Cactus Recipes

Nopales con Cebolla Caramelizada, Chile Guajillo y Queso Fresco February 15 2016, 0 Comments

Chef Rick Bayless is a world renowned specialist in Mexican cuisine. Here is one of his phenomenal recipes using cactus....

Nopal Cactus With Caramelized Onion, Guajillo Chile And Fresh Cheese

Nopales con Cebolla Caramelizada, Chile Guajillo y Queso Fresco
From Season 8,  Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 10to 12 tacos

INGREDIENTS

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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.


Edible Cactus Reviews January 28 2016, 0 Comments


Nopal (Prickly Pear Cactus) for Type II Diabetes January 28 2016, 0 Comments

When 85 g of nopal was added to typical Mexican breakfasts, it reduced glucose levels for several hours and favorably altered the glycemic index of 3 different test breakfasts among 36 patients with type 2 diabetes.

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/724058


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.


Benefits of Cactus Leaf in the Diet January 28 2016, 0 Comments

Benefits of Cactus Leaf in the Diet

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Benefits of Cactus Leaf in the Diet
Benefits of Cactus Leaf in the Diet Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Cactus leaf, known also as nopal, prickly pear cactus or its scientific name, Opuntia, has been a food staple in Latin America for centuries. It is a common vegetable served in eggs, salads, chili and stir-fry dishes. Although the thought of eating cactus leaf may make you shiver, you may reconsider once you look at all of its health benefits.

Lowers Blood Sugar

Lowers Cholesterol

Nutritional Benefits


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 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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