Cactus fruit, also known as prickly pear or tuna, is a remarkable addition to any diet. Its sweet flavor complements tartness, so many recipes incorporate lemons and limes to taste. In addition to the prickly pear’s popular flavor, it contains essential nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium. The cactus fruit is also thought to clean toxins out of the body as well as the environment. If you’re looking for an exotic change to your diet, you may be wondering how to eat the prickly pear. Here are 3 smart ways to use the cactus fruit in delicious meals.
1. Tuna Toast
Not at all fishy, tuna toast is perfect for a quick breakfast. Make jelly out of the prickly pear beforehand and add it to toasted bread for a healthy and nutritious start to your day. To prepare the fruit, first peel the prickly pear using a fork or heavy-duty gloves to avoid injury from the hair-like thorns. Cut the fruit’s ends and discard. Cut lengthwise, just skin-deep to separate the thick skin and the flesh. Finally, carefully remove the skin and discard. To obtain the juice, put the flesh of the fruit into a food processor, juicer, or mix. To make the jelly, add lemon juice and pectin powder to the tuna juice and hard boil for 3 minutes. Add in sugar and bring back to a hard boil for 2 minutes or until it reaches a jelly consistency. Scoop into canning jars, seal, and then heat process for 10 minutes. Now you’ll have tuna jelly for days!
2. Healthy Cactus Salad
For lunch, a cactus salad hits all the right spots: fresh, nutritious, and delicious. First cut the cactus fruit as instructed above. Then, pair the chopped prickly pears with cut strawberries over iceberg and romaine lettuce. Add grapes (green and red) with slices of valencia orange for more flavor. Finally, top with honey and cinnamon for a wonderful summer dish.
3. Prickly Pear Sorbet
For a healthier dessert than your normal ice cream, look to prickly pear sorbet. First you’ll prepare the cactus fruit and juice as instructed in the first recipe. Add sugar and lime to taste. While optional, adding just the right amount of 100% agave tequila will kick your sorbet up a notch. After seasoning, push the juice through a sieve to remove any remaining seeds and dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate for an hour, whisk well, freeze, and serve frozen. Enjoy!
Cactus fruit remains an excellent choice for those that love to eat sweet and mild treats that don’t break the scale. The challenge of harvesting and preparing cactus fruit makes the flavor all the more rewarding. So whether you’re seeking a unique breakfast or an exotic dessert, look no further than the prickly pear.