I went shopping at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace this past weekend and that is my go-to place for unusual fruits and vegetables. They carry the mainstream and also the more obscure. If you are looking for beautiful produce, Nino’s is the place to be. You can tell that they are super picky about what kind of produce is allowed to hit the shelves because it all looks beautiful and perfect!Â This past weekend we went to the exotic fruit section and decided on bringing home a couple cactus pears, also known as a prickly pear cactus. Imagine my surprise when I sliced into it and discovered that it is a vibrant hot-pink, magenta color. I had no idea this cactus pear had such a gorgeous interior! I was thinking hmmm maybe cactus pear smoothie?
I did a bit of research before eating the cactus pear. I sliced the skin off and I noticed that it had quite a few hard seeds inside. They are not something you can bite into but they are safe to swallow. When I blended this up in a smoothie the seeds got ground up in the blender.
So the taste? Super sweet like candy, a cross between juicy watermelon and bubble gum!
Here is a recipe for a cactus pear smoothie that you can have all to yourself or share with a loved one! I shared mine with my adventurous eater, Chloe Pearl, who is 8 years old and loves trying new things with me.
- 2 cactus pears
- 1 banana, preferably frozen
- 1 handful of raspberries
- 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- Blend all ingredients until smooth
Tidbits of info on the cactus pear:
- Cactus pears grow on the Nepales Cacti and these plants can be found in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Egypt, and Morrocco
- Cactus pears contain potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron, and beta carotene.
- Cactus pears can be used to make smoothies, candy, syrups, jams/jellies, wine, juice, pies, and more! Get creative!
- They have anti-inflammatory benefits and also have anti-viral perks
- High in fiber and rich in antioxidants
- Can be used to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetics
- They can help strengthen hair and nails
- The average cactus pear has 60 calories, 14 g of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber.
- The fiber in the cactus pear can help with weight loss since the fiber makes you feel full longer.
- Do not consume large amounts at first. They have been known to have side effects so please research before consuming large amounts. This does not affect everyone but some may get side effects.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Please do research on how this may benefit or impact you.