Born and raised an Arizonian Native, I’ve always been exposed to cactus recipes that have virtually changed my life. The Natives here in the southwest call it, “Opuntia.” But I still know and call it the Prickly Pear Cactus. As a young boy I always remember my dad telling me that this cactus was what you would want to find in the desert if you were ever stranded or lost for long periods of time. He said the the fruit and the pads of the cactus contained water and nutrients that a persons body would need to help prevent dehydration from the sun if ever caught in that sort of predicament.
Just recently I’ve noticed a lot of reports coming from scientist’s and researcher’s in regards to this cactus. One company based out of Scottsdale, Arizona called “TriVita”, have taken this a step further than the competition and began harvesting the cactus fruit and created a product called, “Nopalea.” They are finding that this juice that is coming from the fruit of this type of cactus is helping the body assist itself on a cellular level to help rid of inflammation build-up that may be causing pain in the joints and body, with the help of an amino acid called a, “Betalain.”
So I figured I see everyone using the fruits, so why not do something with the pads. I’ve heard of restaurants cooking with them but personally I haven’t seen it done. I decided after a few searches on the internet to whip together a quick salad that was made from the pads itself that you can get in the local grocery store and I was able to do it for under five dollars.
What you’ll need for this Nopale Cactus Salad.
Serving Size 1-2 people
3 Cups of chopped Nopales (Dethroned and Washed)
1/4 cup diced White Onion
1 cup chopped Roma Tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Fresh lime juice
Chopped Cilantro and Salt to taste
2 Leaves Romain Lettuce
Instructions and Prep: Make sure your Lettuce and Cactus Pads are completely washed and cleaned. Chop the Lettuce or line the bottom of your plate or bowl with the lettuce leaves. Take your chopped Tomatoes, Onions Nopales and Lime Juice and mix it together in another bowl. Place over your lettuce and add cilantro and salt to your liking to balance out the taste.
It can also be used as a very yummy pico de gallo, add chips and you have a dip ready for a southwestern party.
To purchase any of my TriVta products please go here!