Edible Cacti Recipes: What Are They?

Cacti are succulents which grow from the ground or soil. There are many types of cacti, but they all have one thing in common: their stems are covered with spines (or thorns). These spines can cause pain if bitten into. Some species of cacti produce a latex when chewed; other varieties do not. All edible cacti are members of the genus Cactaceae. Edible cactus are plants which contain seeds. Most commonly, these include the following:

Prickly Pear (Psidium meyenii)

Mountain Laurel (Salvia officinalis)

Giant Horseradish (Solanum melongena)

How To Pick And Eat Cactus Pads?

There are several ways to pick and eat prickly pear cactus pads. You can either use your hands, a knife, or even a spoon. If you want to try using your fingers, then you need to make sure that the pad is very soft and pliable. Also, it needs to be dry so that it doesn’t tear easily when you bite into it. Be aware that some cactus pads have tiny spines on the edges which might prick your fingers. If you want to use a knife or spoon, then you should make sure that it is a dull one which won’t cause the cactus pad to tear. In addition, if you’re using a spoon, it should have a wide mouth so that you can bite a sizeable piece off.

How To Eat Prickly Pear Cactus Pads?

To eat prickly pear cactus pads, you must peel off the skin. This can be a difficult process, so it is recommended that use gloves or wrap the cactus pad in a cloth before you start peeling. Alternatively, you can cut the cactus pad into pieces before you begin eating. After you peel the skin off, you are left with a soft white fleshy substance. This can be eaten raw or cooked.

Sources & references used in this article:

Chemical analysis of nutritional content of prickly pads (Opuntia ficus indica) at varied ages in an organic harvest by MI Hernández-Urbiola, E Pérez-Torrero… – International journal of …, 2011 – mdpi.com

Eating Cactus: Prickly Pear for Food by PP Fruit – extension.unr.edu

Prickly pear cactus and pastoralism in southwest Madagascar by JC Kaufmann – Ethnology, 2004 – JSTOR

Developmental changes in composition and quality of prickly pear cactus cladodes (nopalitos) by A Rodríguez-Felix, M Cantwell – Plant foods for Human nutrition, 1988 – Springer

Fresh-cut products from cactus species by G Goldman, Y Vinokur, B Horev, S Lurie… – V International …, 2004 – actahort.org

Cactus: a medicinal food by AA Shetty, MK Rana, SP Preetham – Journal of food science and …, 2012 – Springer

Nutritional and medicinal use of Cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) cladodes and fruits by JM Feugang, P Konarski, D Zou, FC Stintzing, C Zou – Front Biosci, 2006 – researchgate.net

Cactus stems (Opuntia spp.): A review on their chemistry, technology, and uses by FC Stintzing, R Carle – Molecular nutrition & food research, 2005 – Wiley Online Library

Drought resistant fodder shrub crops in South Africa by GC De Kock – Browse in Africa. The current state of knowledge, 1980 – books.google.com

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