Cactus Recipes

ladybugs on the nopal edible cactus March 21 2016, 0 Comments

Ladybugs help the cactus

When strolling through the garden
If you should chance to see
A ladybug out walking,
Please say "hi" for me!
For ladybugs are good bugs,
They help the garden grow
They will bring you good luck,
So always say "hello"

~Author Unknown~

ladybugs on the nopal edible cactus


Nopales and grass March 20 2016, 0 Comments

Yes, there is a lot of edible nopal cactus in the grass.
This is the time and the season to cut the grasses, opening the cactus plants up to the warmth of the sun and stimulating the springtime growth, just in time for Cinco de Mayo sales that will start in a month.
We can see the older more mature nopal plants much further down the hill reach above the grasses, and largely inhibit nearby grass growth once they have a good size to them. This is through an action called 'allelopathy' whereby the cactus exude substances through their roots that inhibit germination or growth of many other plants nearby, excluding them from the cactus patch.

nopal cactus hillside growing area


Picking Nopales, making nopalitos March 15 2016, 0 Comments

I was picking and packing nopal cactus today and had the urge to take pictures of the nopales pads.
We have here Grade-D (juicing Grade) cactus and Grade -C Gourmet grade nopal cactus pads in these pics.
This is the quality we've got being harvested right now.

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Yo estaba recogiendo y embalaje nopal cactus hoy y tenía ganas de tomar fotos de los nopales pastillas. Aquí tenemos la categoría D (zumo de grado) y cactus -C GRADO grado Gourmet nopal cactus pads en estas fotos. Esta es la calidad que tenemos está cosechando ahora.

nopales cactus pads

 

Above we have Grade-C nopales cactus. This is the grade we recommend for most culinary uses. This is an easy-to prepare nopal cactus that needs just a wiping under running water to clean off. They are excellent raw in salsa or a cool refreshing cactus salad. They can also be mixed with other foods as another ingredient in a healthy diet. Add some nopalitos diced-fine to your meatloaf and see how much moister the loaf is. Fry nopales in with other vegetables in a stir fry. Fry some potatoes and scramble eggs in, as the eggs are almost done toss your chopped cactus in, stir and spoon them into tortillas to make breakfast burritos.

 

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Arriba tenemos la categoría C cactus nopales. Este es el grado que recomendamos para la mayoría de los usos culinarios. Esta es una forma fácil de preparar nopal cactus que sólo necesita un barrido bajo un chorro de agua para limpiar. Son excelentes materias en salsa o un cactus refrescantes ensaladas. También pueden ser mezcladas con otros alimentos como otro ingrediente en una dieta saludable. Agregar unos trocitos finos de nopalitos a su pastel de carne y ver cuánto más mojado el pan. Freir nopales con otras verduras en un salteado. Freír las patatas y los huevos revueltos, como los huevos son casi hecho balancearse en sus cactus en picado, agitar y cuchara de ellos en las tortillas, burritos de desayuno.

 

nopales cactus pads (cladodes)

This photo shows the Grade D 'Juicing Grade' nopalea cactus we're harvesting right now. The quality and looks changes through the year, it is a plant that grows outdoors after all. These Grade-D Juicing-grade cactus are thicker skinned with more weight per nopal pad. These are the leaves that grew over the winter. They've seen a few storms, but they are full of life. This is the grade people who are going to juice them might want to use. They have a lot more fiber than the younger leaves. 

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Esta foto muestra el grado D 'exprimir' cactus nopalea grado estamos cosechando ahora. La calidad y analiza los cambios a través del año, es una planta que crece en el exterior después de todo. Estos Grado D exprimir cactus grado son más gruesas de piel con más peso por nopal pad. Estas son las hojas que crecieron durante el invierno. Ellos han visto pocas tormentas, pero están llenos de vida. Esta es la clase de personas que van a ellos el jugo que desee utilizar. Tienen mucha más fibra que las hojas más jóvenes.

 

 

 


Cactus Tacos ~ Tacos de Nopales March 14 2016, 0 Comments

From http://www.cookbooks365.com/

Cactus Tacos ~ Tacos de Nopales

Tacos de Nopales

While not strictly vegetarians (not even loosely vegetarians, in fact), we’re always looking for ways to extend Meatless Mondays well into the week. Vegetarian tacos are usually a pretty easy way to do that, though for us, that generally means tofu or fish. In fact, cactus might not have occurred to if not for Jason Wyrick‘s entirely enticing dish in Vegan Tacos. We’re always looking for a reason to go to our favorite Mexican market, and the hunt for nopales is just the one we’ve been waiting for.

 

“Nopales are prickly pear cactus pads,” says Wyrick, a chef who used a vegan lifestyle to reverse his diabetes and change the way he ate and lived. “They take some care to work with properly, but when you do, they are amazing. They have just a little tang and a nice bright flavor. I usually find the fresh ones at a Mexican market. You can make these either in a pan or on the grill.”

Between this dish and the Wyrick’s many other variations on the vegan-taco theme, our Meatless Mondays (and Tuesdays, and Wednesdays…) are looking a lot more interesting.

Vegan Tacos

Vegan Tacos
Authentic and Inspired Recipes for Mexico’s Favorite Street Food
by Jason Wyrick

Vegan Heritage Press

 

Read the entire article on: Cactus Tacos ~ Tacos de Nopales


Springtime Nopales cactus growth report March 14 2016, 0 Comments

The rain did the nopal cactus and the grasses real good!
The grass is rich and deep green, full of nutrients and holding the soil together. Many of the grasses are a meter tall and more.
Right now the grasses are shading the cactus and delaying awakening from the winter dormancy. In the coming weeks the seeds on the grasses will ripen and we'll cut the grass and use the stems as mulch to shade the soil. Once the nopal plants are opened to the warm sun they will take off well and continue growing through the summer.
We expect to be on a roll by Cinco de Mayo.
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La lluvia hizo el nopal cactus y las gramíneas bien real! La hierba es rica y el verde oscuro, lleno de nutrientes y manteniendo el suelo juntos. Muchas de las gramíneas son de un metro de altura y más.
Ahora el sombreado de las gramíneas son cactus y retrasar el despertar de la dormancia invernal. En las próximas semanas las semillas de las gramíneas madure y vamos a cortar el pasto y el uso de los tallos como mantillo a la sombra de la tierra. Una vez que las plantas de nopal se abrió al calor del sol que saldrá bien y seguir creciendo durante el verano.
Esperamos estar en un rodillo por el Cinco de Mayo.
spring nopal growthnopales cactus

Southwestern Cactus Salad March 14 2016, 0 Comments

From Allrecipes.com:

Southwestern Cactus Salad

"A delicious spicy salad, made from tender cactus, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lemons. This is hot and spicy, so beware!"
Southwestern Cactus Salad

Nopales con Huevos (Cactus w/ Eggs) March 13 2016, 0 Comments

This lady has a nice cactus recipe....

our cactus are easier to clean than hers...

and ours don't really need cooking.

 

 

 

 


The Nutrition of Cactus Juice March 12 2016, 1 Comment

From the article:

Cactus juice, also known as nopales, nopalitos or prickly pear juice, is a popular beverage in Mexico, South America, India, the Middle East and parts of Europe. This beverage has recently caught on in popularity in the United States.

The fleshy oval leaves of the cactus plant have a sticky liquid that is similar to asparagus, green beans or green peppers. The nectar of this plant is composed of water, sugar and minerals.

fleshy oval pads of nopal cactus

 

The Nutritional Value of Cactus Juice

Cactus juice provides you with beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium and numerous other minerals and vitamins. Additionally, this fruit is rich in amino acids, specifically taurine. Taurine has antioxidants and flavonoids, both of which are beneficial to the body.

 

Health Benefits of Cactus Juice

Cactus juice has shown to help to prevent inflammation in the muscles, arteries, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular region.

Cactus juice has a laxative effect and has shown to effectively treat constipation. In addition to easing constipation, cactus juice can reduce inflammation in the urethra and bladder.

Cactus juice is a good source of photochemicals, which can help strengthen the body's immune system.

Additionally, the nopal cactus has high levels of betalins, which are antioxidants.

The American Heart Association has conducted research examining the benefits of cactus juice in reducing cholesterol levels.

Cactus juice has shown to be an effective remedy for non-insulin diabetes. Research shows that cactus juice can help decrease and stabilize blood glucose and insulin levels

Enjoy 1 to 2 tbsp of cactus juice up to three times a day to benefit from the numerous benefits provided by this fruit.

Read the entire article about the Nutrition Value of Cactus Juice

 


Nopal, From Wikipedia March 12 2016, 0 Comments

Nopal

From Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia

Here's a nopal salad. Photo from Wikipedia.

Nopal comes from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the plant. Nopal is a common name in Mexican Spanish for Opuntia cacti (commonly referred to in English as prickly pear), as well as for its pads. 

The Wiki article talks of how nopal pads can be eaten raw or cooked, used in marmalades, soups stews and salads, as well as being used for traditional medicine or as fodder for animals. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica or Opuntia joconostle although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible. The other part of the nopal cactus that is edible is the fruit called the tuna in Spanish, and the "prickly pear" in English.

Nopales are generally sold fresh in Mexico, cleaned of spines, and sliced to the customer's desire on the spot, they can also be found canned or bottled, and less often dried, especially for export. Cut into slices or diced into cubes, nopales have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous (squishy) texture. In most recipes, the mucilaginous liquid they contain is sometimes included in the cooking. They are at their most tender and juicy in the spring.

Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales (eggs with nopal), carne con nopales (meat with nopal), tacos de nopales, in salads with tomato, onion, and queso panela (panela cheese), or simply on their own as a side vegetable. Nopales have also grown to be an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine[3] and in Tejano culture (Texas).

Read the entire Wikipedia article on Nopal:


edible cactus ready to harvest March 08 2016, 0 Comments

We are getting a nice growth of edible cactus on our upper terraces.

The upper terraces get more sunshine in the winter, and they don't get as cold at night as the cold air drains downhill to the older cactus plants. These plants are just now starting to put out a good harvest for the first time since they were planted four years ago. Our overall cactus harvest of summer should be double any other year.

Organic edible cactus pads, gourmet quality

These are the fresh leaves at the beginning of the 'Grade-C' grade. 

We are very happy when we're able to switch to the fresh leaves each spring.

Gourmet Grade-A edible Cactus pads

These are a good look at the quality we demand for the Grade-A gourmet edible cactus. They must be blemish-free, as even and unbent as possible. The care given to them post-harvest is important also, to preserve as much of the natural quality as possible through what may be thousands of miles of travel. So each layer of grade-A edible cactus is packed with  a layer of tissue paper between to reduce damage the tender plants might cause one another.

 

edible cactus in spring growth

Here is how nicely the plants are now growing out. These cladodes (pads, leaves, nopal) will be fully mature and ready for 'Cinco de Mayo' celebrations as Grade C edible cactus, the grade we most recommend for home and chef use.

edible cactus, nopal plants in the field

Here is a view of some of the rows of edible cactus, their new pads ready to harvest within weeks.