Sunday, September 11, 2016

Juicing Cactus Fruit For Delicious Nutrition

Freshly Juiced Limes, Cactus Fruit, Coconut and Pineapple

Iced down and Ice Cold fruit juices are so refreshing during the hot summer months. Try this combination with a sprig of freshly picked pineapple sage or your favorite mint for garnish. This combination makes great frozen popsicles too!

Peel 6 to 8 nice juicy limes and place in bowl to be juiced. I use a juicer that is an attachment to my food processor.

Next is preparing the Prickly Pear Fruit, also known as Nopalea Cactus. If you have never had cactus fruit you will be in for a real treat! They are so sweet and juicy and taste like watermelons.

They are abundant right now in Texas and I've been fortunate to score them at the local market at 5 for $1. Needless to say that while they are in season is the best time to stock up.

I've cultivated about 25 prickly pears throughout specific places in the garden where caution can be taken in dealing with their long spines.

Not only do they make wonderful drinks, but jams and jellies as well. They even make superb salad dressings.

Prickly Pear Fruit

Just look how wonderfully red and juicy the Prickly Pear fruits are inside. I first cut them in half and then again into wedges. Just slip your finger up and under the skin and slip it off. I used 3 fruits for making this drink. Place them in the bowl to be juiced with the limes.

Add several chunks of fresh pineapple or you can use 1 cup of organic canned pineapple juice. If using fresh chunks go ahead and place them in the bowl to be juiced as well. Otherwise, save the cup of canned juice to add to your pitcher in the end.

For the coconut you can choose to shred or grate your own or you can do like I do and simply purchase some nice and moist organic coconut already shredded for you. I used 1 cup for this drink.

The key to this is after you run the other fruit through the juicer, begin adding the coconut. Take all the pulp from the juicer and run it back through the juicer 2 or 3 times. You will be so surprised at how much more juice comes through and gives the coconut optimum squeezing time. 

Next, add the concentrate (which is all the juice you just made) to your two quart size pitcher. Fill the pitcher half full of ice. Then simply top it off with cold water and stir vigorously.

You may add 1/2 to 1 cup of honey to the drink and stir in as well for some extra sweetness. The fruit all on its own however is quite refreshing all by itself.

Health Benefits

Prickly Pear Fruit is Beaming with health benefits! If you are a juicer, you will not want to miss out on something new to add to your diet.

The fruit is said to compare to the nutritional value of beets and red Swiss chard. 
Prickly pear cactus contains a relatively rare form of antioxidant called betalains. They also contain powerful antioxidants--polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C.

The Mexican people have used this fruit medicinally for generations to help treat diabetes. Today's research has found it to definitely help in lowering blood glucose. 

Happy Gardening!

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