Scientifically it is called “Opuntia” but commonly known as “Prickly pear” or “Cactus pear”. It’s an edible desert fruit with lots of nutritional benefits. Found in California, Mexico, South America and Mediterranean regions. More information about this fruit is available from wikipedia.
If you buy them from the market, they shouldn’t have any thorns on the outer skin but just take measures to thoroughly inspect before touching them. To consume, take a knife to peel off the outer skin, inside you will find a beautiful crimson red fruit with tons of black seeds.
You can eat them as it is or make lemonade or jam etc.. Fruit is very tasty and sweet. I made lemonade from a couple of them. Loved it … below is the recipe for the lemonade.
- 2 Prickly Pears (Pears juice to lemon juice ratio – 2 cups: 1/4 cup)
- Some lemon juice
- Freshly grated ginger
- Honey or white sugar
- Cold water
- You can extract the juice, by placing prickly pears into a blender or food processor and pulse until liquefied. Or just cut them into pieces and gently press them through the sieve.
- Collect the juice into the bowl, discard the remaining pulp and seeds.
- Now add cold water, lemon juice, honey and mix them until you get the desired taste.
- Add ginger at the end as per your taste.
- You can either have the juice immediately or leave it in the refrigerator for few hours.
Note: Juice will be a little slimy if had immediately, chilling helped decrease that.
Enjoy the juice.