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Prickly Pear Soda

Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient’s health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can’t understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:Prickly pear cactus is known by several other names, such as cactus fruit, nopal, and opuntia. The plant is not just known for its ornamental beauty; it is popular for various health benefits as well. The plant is a flat-stemmed spiny cactus with edible fruits. It mainly grows in warm areas of tropical and sub-tropical regions. The plant can be grown indoors as well as outdoors. The fruits of prickly pear cactus may range from green, orange to red color. The green fruits are sour whereas the red ones are very sweet. They have a prickly covering that must be carefully removed before consumption.

The fruit is rich in various minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It is emerging as a “superfood” because of its enormous health benefits. It must, however, be kept in mind that moderation is the key. Consuming too much prickly pear can cause stomach troubles. The black seeds of the fruit can cause constipation when consumed in excess.
Prickly pear cactus — or also known as nopal, opuntia and other names — is promoted for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers. It’s also touted for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health. Click here for an email preview.

Some preliminary evidence shows that prickly pear cactus can decrease blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Some research also suggests that prickly pear cactus extract may lessen the unpleasant effects of a hangover, possibly due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
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If you’d like to try prickly pear cactus, consider easing into it. Side effects for some people include mild diarrhea, nausea, increased stool volume, increased stool frequency and abdominal fullness.
The edible parts are the leaves, flowers, stems and fruit. Prickly pear cactus is eaten whole (boiled or grilled). It is also made into juice and jams.

It might be too early to call prickly pear cactus a superfood, but it can be part of a healthy diet. It’s high in fiber, antioxidants and carotenoids. Indeed, prickly pear cactus is popular in many areas of the world, particularly Latin America, where it is a native plant. There are no refunds for the purchase of soda once the order is shipped. If you decide to cancel the order Ideally you should contact us within two hours of placing the order. If we are able to stop shipping or for any other reason that may arise, there will be a 10% charge to cancel or issue money back. Find your favorite Craft Soda along with Coke or Pepsi, we also serve some of the more obscure, unique, hard to find sodas, reminiscent of bygone days, as well as advanced energy and sports drinks, and much more!

Do prickly pear taste good?
Ripe prickly pears have a soft, juicy interior that’s bursting with sweet flavor and little edible seeds. Its flavor is often compared to that of a melon or a kiwi, sometimes with a hint of bubblegum.
This month, the entrepreneur released a new Prickly Pear Simple Syrup designed to complement everything from desserts to sparkling water and festive libations. “It looks like a neon sign is in it,” he says of the bottle and the prickly pear potion within.Back at the ranch, we assessed our morning harvest. With gloved hands, we prepared the prickly pears, carefully peeling their thorny skin, blending the fruit, and separating the seeds and the pulp with a fine-mesh sieve. Prickly pears are actually berries, and they are a great source of nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. Their kiwi-like consistency boasts a flavor that’s both sweet and tangy, with notes of melon and concord grape. But of all its characteristics, it’s the fruit’s phenomenal color that lingers in memory. Depending on the maturity of the tuna, the color can be electric pink or a deep, regal purple. We stirred our hard-earned, jewel-colored juice into margaritas for happy hour that evening, pulling the last bristly spines from our fingertips. “Boy oh boy was that trial and error,” he says, remembering his early prickly pear harvesting days. “You have to get down and get in it. You have to work for them.” Throughout northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States, people have eaten cactus and cactus fruits for thousands of years. In South Texas, they are an indelible part of the country landscape and a staple in many locals’ lives. In cities like Laredo on the Texas-Mexico border, street vendors still sell them raw and chilled on blocks of ice as a refreshing, nutritious snack. ½ oz. Prickly Pear Syrup (Brushfire sells this here. Or you can make your own: In a pan, simmer 12 oz. prickly pear juice with 12 oz. sugar and 2 oz. lemon juice, stirring frequently so the sugar won’t burn. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes and then pour into a jar or bottle. Refrigerate.) The San Antonio native James Vives of Brushfire Farms knows the toils of prickly pear preparation all too well. While today his award-winning Pear Burner preserve, made with hand-harvested chile pequins and prickly pears, is one of his best-selling products, reaping the fruits of his labor took Vives both time and experimentation.

My family and I recently harvested our first prickly pears at our ranch in the Texas Hill Country. With long steel tongs, we set out on foot to pluck the purple tunas, wary of their miniscule spiny hairs called glochids. These barbed spines are challenging to see, but they are easy to feel—and often difficult to remove.
Every year, as summer wanes across South-Central Texas, Mother Nature reveals her country colors through prickly purple cactus pears. As the official state plant of Texas, prickly pear cacti are a common sight, but watching their fruit, called tunas, turn purple is a sign of the shifting seasons. (While the prickly pear cactus grows prolifically in deserts across the Southwest, various species of prickly pear cacti can also be found across the deep South, from South Carolina to Florida and Mississippi.)

For Texans, prickly pear cacti are more than just native plants. Harvesting their super fruits is an age-old tradition. As summer gives way to fall, the chameleonic tunas turn from pale green to bright pink and dark purple, reminding us that nature is ever-changing, and that beneath life’s thorns, something sweet awaits.I’m the owner and blogger here at SodaPopCraft.Com. I’m a soft drinks enthusiast, bringing you all I know and research from the world of Beverages, Soda Pop, Soft Drinks, and many more.

Because of the fiber and pectin content of Prickly Pear, it can be a big help with digestive issues. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory so it helps to soothe irritated tissues and calm the immune system.
A prickly pear tastes like a combination of sweet and tart flavors. It has a juicy, pulpy texture with a slightly tangy taste similar to that of watermelon or strawberries. The flavor is refreshing and slightly sweet, with hints of raspberry and melon. Some people describe the taste as slightly tart and citrusy, while others describe it as sweet and juicy. The seeds in the fruit are edible and have a crunchy texture, but do not contribute much to the flavor. Overall, the prickly pear is a delicious fruit that is perfect for snacking, making into jams, and adding to salads.

Prickly pear has been used for many generations in other countries to prevent and to treat hangovers. Prickly Pear Juice reduces nausea and anorexia as well as helping to control dry mouth. It is not effective against headache, dizziness, or diarrhea, however.This is not true for everyone, but Prickly Pear studies have shown signs that this powerful plant can actually help you to stay healthy over the long haul and it can help you to manage your ongoing health issues.

Are prickly pears laxatives?
Consumption of large quantities of prickly pear seeds may cause constipation, fecal impaction, and potentially even perforation of the bowels. Thus, we recommend eating such fruits in moderation and to remove the seeds prior to consumption.
In many parts of the world, Prickly Pear is viewed as a superfood and is used to provide the kinds of health benefits that are imparted through various fruits and vegetables in the US.You may not be able to buy your own Prickly Pear at the store, but you can usually get Prickly Pear tea or soda or juice from the shelves of your local natural foods store. Prickly Pear can save you money by allowing you to access the same health benefits in one source that you might have to get from various medications and food sources. If you have been wanting to support healthy blood sugar and maintain good intestinal health, Prickly Pear soda, tea, fruit, and juice can help you do just that!Any caffeine that is found in store-bought Prickly Pear tea will be related to blending the Prickly Pear tea with black or green teas which do have natural caffeine in them. When using Prickly Pear Tea to help with cravings, make sure to space out your cups of tea to cover the parts of the day when you usually experience hunger pangs between meals. This is because the Prickly Pear Plant can reduce blood sugar and help control blood sugar levels over the course of the day. This is one of the best plants for controlling the symptoms of diabetes and it is an effective substitute for insulin in some cases. This is particularly true if you need to lose weight related to your diabetes management plan.You can enjoy a glass of Prickly Pear juice twice a day and get all of the same health benefits without the negative side effects or harsh flavors or other herbal supplements.

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Prickly Pear is a great source of many necessary elements for a healthy diet and it is a delicious way to access these benefits when compared with many other herbal health supplements.The high fiber and pectin content of this plant are what lead to its healing properties, and it has been an effective part of natural medicine therapies for centuries.

What pairs well with prickly pear?
Prickly pear: Pairs well with citrus, lime, tomatillo, and tropical fruit.
If you need to caffeinate in the morning, you can have your usual coffee or black tea and then follow up with a cup of Prickly Pear tea to help ease digestion and balance your blood sugar. If you do want to make your own Prickly Pear juice or tea, you will need to make sure that you have some gloves on hand and a fine mesh strainer or sieve. Prickly Pear sodas, juices, and teas can actually help you to avoid health issues and they can help to treat ongoing conditions that might otherwise be hard to manage through more traditional methods.Due to the ability of Prickly Pear to balance out blood sugar and keep it stable over long periods of time, it can be a great solution for obesity. Prickly Pear manages hunger sensations and cravings, making it a great support for those trying to lose weight.Lychee: Pairs well with citrus, ginger, gooseberry, tropical fruit, and vanilla. It mixes especially well with sake, tequila, and vodka to make some stunning lychee cocktails.Walnut: Pairs well with apple, apricot, banana, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, and rum. Though not common, nocino is a walnut-flavored liqueur.

Hazelnut: Pairs well with apple, apricot, banana, berries, caramel, cherry, chocolate, citrus, fig, mandarin, peach, pear, and plum. The flavor is most often added in the form of Frangelico and other hazelnut liqueurs.Rhubarb: Pairs well with apple, apricot, berries, black pepper, citrus, ginger, nectarine, peach, plum, and especially strawberry. It is not the easiest fruit to add to drinks, but there are tricks to adding rhubarb to cocktails.

Raspberry: Pairs well with other berries, almond, apricot, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus, ginger, hazelnut, mint, nectarine, peach, plum, rhubarb, thyme, and vanilla. You will find many raspberry cocktails with brandy, Champagne, orange liqueurs, rum (especially the dark type), tequila, and sweeter red wines.The foundation of these pairings comes from Humberto Marques, mixologist and owner of Curfew in Copenhagen, Denmark. Not only has Marques been delighting drinkers with genuine flavor experiences and intriguing cocktails such as his eucalyptus martini, but he has also spent years investigating the finer points of flavor.Cherry: Pairs well with almond, apricot, black pepper, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus (especially lemon), nectarine, peach, plum, sage, and vanilla. It will do especially well in drinks with amaretto, bourbon, brandy, crème de cassis, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, sweet vermouth, and vodka. Also, try mixing maraschino liqueur or Cherry Heering with a variety of wines, particularly dry reds, port, and sparkling wines.Kiwi: Pairs well with apple, banana, berries, cherry, citrus, coconut, mango, and tropical fruit. One of its most popular cocktails is the simple kiwi martini.

Apples, berries, citrus fruits, and other common fruits make a steady appearance in drinks. Explore beyond the most obvious pairings and maybe you’ll be surprised by our suggestions.
Pear: Pairs well with almond, apple, caramel, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus, clove, ginger, hazelnut, nutmeg, pecan, raspberry, rosemary, vanilla, and walnut. It mixes best with brandy, port, crème de cassis, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, whiskey, and dry red white, and sparkling wines. You will find many pear cocktails that use these pairings.Blueberry: Pairs well with other berries, cardamom, cinnamon, citrus, fig, ginger, hazelnut, honey, lavender, lemon, lemon verbena, mango, mint, nutmeg, peach, vanilla, and watermelon. Accent blueberries with berry and orange liqueurs. It’s a fun flavor to mix with, and blueberry cocktails can be diverse.

Apple: Pairs well with almonds, apricots, caramel, cardamom, chestnut, cinnamon, citrus, cranberry, currant, ginger, hazelnut, lychee, mango, maple, orange, rosemary, and walnuts. It mixes particularly well with brandy, kirsch, Madeira, rum, and vermouth. There are many great apple cocktails to offer inspiration.Apricot: Pairs well with almonds, anise, apple, black pepper, caramel, cardamom, cinnamon, coconut, cranberry, ginger, hazelnut, honey, lemon, nutmeg, orange, peach, pineapple, plum, rosemary, Sauternes, strawberry, and vanilla. It mixes especially well with amaretto, brandy, kirsch, orange liqueur, and sweet white wines. For inspiration, explore these tasty apricot cocktails.

Pineapple: Pairs well with other tropical fruits, banana, basil, caramel, chile pepper, cilantro, cinnamon, coconut, ginger, lime, macadamia, mango, orange, pepper, raspberry, rosemary, strawberry, and tamarind. There are a variety of pineapple cocktails, and the flavor tends to work best with brandy, orange liqueurs, and rum.
It can be difficult to know where to begin if you come across less common mixed drink fruits, such as mango, papaya, and rhubarb. They may catch your eye at the market, but how do you add them to a cocktail? Learn how to treat and mix these less familiar fruits into your drinks.Quite often, your pairing search begins not with fruit, but with a nut, often in the form of a liqueur, syrup, or another sweetener. To reverse roles, Marques has developed a few suggestions for those nutty essences that create fascinating flavors.Coconut: Pairs well with almond, banana, basil, Brazil nut, caramel, chocolate, cilantro, citrus, cucumber, guava, honey, makrut leaf, lemongrass, lime, lychee, mango, mint, passion fruit, pineapple, other tropical fruits, and vanilla. As is evident with the popular coconut rum and piña colada, it works especially well in rum cocktails. Try it in green tea drinks as well, and coconut cocktails are fun to explore for more ideas.Strawberry: Pairs well with other berries, almond, apple, banana, chocolate, citrus, coriander, honey, melon, mint, peach, pineapple, rhubarb, vanilla, and walnut. It mixes best with brandy, Champagne, Chartreuse, elderflower liqueur, rum, sake, and red, rosé, and sweet white wine, though strawberry cocktails are diverse.

Page K, Dornenburg A. The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company; 2008.
In his study, Marques has gone beyond common fruits such as apple, orange, or berries, sharing his thoughts on lesser-known fruits such as feijoa, persimmon, and tomatillo. These are particularly challenging ingredients, especially if you have little experience with them.Almond: Pairs well with apple, apricot, banana, caramel, cherry, coffee, fig, honey, orange, peach, pear, and plum. Keep this in mind when adding amaretto liqueur or orgeat syrup to your cocktails.

Blackberry: Pairs well with almond, apple, apricot, black pepper, blueberry, cinnamon, citrus, clove, ginger, hazelnut, lemon, mango, mint, peach, plum, orange, raspberry, strawberry, and vanilla. It mixes very well with berry liqueurs, brandy, Champagne, orange liqueurs, port wine, and red wines such as merlot. You can also explore the flavor combinations in a few blackberry drink recipes.The cocktail world is filled with experimentation, and flavors can play off one another in unusual ways. With countless ingredients and combinations to choose from, this guide is not limited to cocktails and mixed drinks, but is also applicable to food recipes and when pairing food with drinks. Some of the pairing suggestions have been supplemented with recommendations from “The Flavor Bible,” written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It is a fantastic resource with endless pairings for all sorts of ingredients you might use in your culinary escapades.

Banana: Pairs well with blueberry, caramel, cherry, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, coffee, ginger, guava, hazelnut, honey, lemon, lime, mango, molasses, orange, papaya, pineapple, vanilla, and walnuts. It mixes best with brandy, Calvados, Madeira wine, and rum. Though it’s not the most common fruit in mixed drinks, there are a few banana cocktails that can spark new ideas.
Certain fruit flavors work better with others, and many of these recommendations are surprising. For instance, did you ever think that pomegranate and cucumber could be mixed into a single drink? Has the combination of banana and hazelnut crossed your mind?

Many fruits have natural flavor companions, such as apple and cinnamon, strawberry and banana, or cherry and vanilla. These are well-known pairings that are commonly used in food and drinks. But discovering new flavor combinations is half the fun of mixing drinks. Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur, a professional bartender, or a budding drink mixer, this examination of flavor pairings is a valuable resource to keep at hand as it offers information and ideas for when you’re looking for that key ingredient to perfect your new drink or food recipe.

How much alcohol is in prickly pear?
Purple People Eater Prickly Pear Liqueur | 24% ABV.
Orange: Pairs exceptionally well with almond, anise, banana, basil, berries, cherry, chocolate, cilantro, cinnamon, clove, coffee, cranberry, fig, ginger, grape, grapefruit, hazelnut, lemon, mint, nutmeg, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, rosemary, vanilla, and walnut. It is also a common citrus fruit that countless mixed drinks rely on. Orange mixes well with most distilled spirits as seen in the many orange juice cocktails. It is particularly nice with amaretto, brandy, grenadine, tequila, and vodka.Pomegranate: Pairs well with apple, cardamom, cinnamon, citrus, cucumber, ginger, mint, and tropical fruit. For pomegranate cocktails, you’ll find it works exceptionally well with port, tequila, vodka, and both red and white wines. When you visit the site, Dotdash Meredith and its partners may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Cookies collect information about your preferences and your devices and are used to make the site work as you expect it to, to understand how you interact with the site, and to show advertisements that are targeted to your interests. You can find out more about our use, change your default settings, and withdraw your consent at any time with effect for the future by visiting Cookies Settings, which can also be found in the footer of the site. Grapefruit: Pairs well with banana, basil, black pepper, caramel, coconut, ginger, lemon, lime, melon, mint, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberry, rosemary, strawberry, thyme, tropical fruits, and vanilla. It’s surprisingly versatile—you’ll be pleased with grapefruit cocktails that feature Campari, gin, Grand Marnier, grenadine, rum, sparkling and white wines, tequila, and vodka.

Lemon: Pairs especially well with almond, apricot, basil, berries, black pepper, cardamom, cherry, citrus, coconut, hazelnut, ginger, mint, nectarine, peach, plum, prickly pear, rosemary, thyme, tropical fruit, and vanilla. For spirits, it mixes best with rum, vodka, and nut and orange liqueurs. It’s also nice with sweet wines such as moscato. Lemon is commonly used as an accent in drinks but also offers possibilities of its own.
Mango: Pairs well with apple, banana, berries, caramel, citrus, coconut, melon, Sauternes, tropical fruits, and vanilla. There are many great mango cocktails that offer inspiration for this fruit.Currants (black and red): Pair well with chocolate and citrus. They are excellent to mix with dark rum, port, sloe gin, and any style of wine, as seen when crème de cassis makes an appearance in the kir cocktail, bishop cocktail, and vermouth cassis.Melon: Pairs well with basil, blackberry, blueberry, cilantro, citrus, cucumber, ginger, lemongrass, lemon verbena, mint, strawberry, and vanilla. It mixes especially well with Champagne, Cointreau, curaçao, port, sake, sweet white wines, and tequila. The melon cocktail recipes available are surprisingly diverse and always refreshing.

Grape: Pairs well with almond, apple, chocolate, citrus (especially lemon), ginger, hazelnut, mint, pear, pecan, raisin, raspberry, rosemary, strawberry, and walnut. The flavor is an obvious companion for brandy and wines of all varietals, though grape cocktails also do well with a rum base.
Pikes Peak Prickly Pear was inspired by the exotic flavor of the prickly pear cactus fruit. We use the sweet juice of the prickly pear cactus fruit to create a refreshing soda unlike anything you have enjoyed before. It is a sophisticated sweetness that is guaranteed to please.

We combine New Mexico prickly pear fruit (called Tuna in Spanish) with five other fruits to bring you this delightful elixir, which is like nothing you have ever tasted.
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Soul Mates (These flavors are destined to be together): Equal parts Purple People Eater & Bourbon, shaken or on the rocks. With or without a small lemon twist.Prickly pear season, which kicked off this month infuses fall with vibrant fuchsia hues and refreshing flavor. Served in a chili-lime rimmed glass, sweetened with honey and scented with mint, this soda will be a new favorite.To prepare the glasses, pour a few tablespoons of tajín into a shallow dish. Rub a wedge of lime along the rim of the glasses and then dip into the tajín to coat the edge.

In a small mixing bowl combine honey and water. Stir until dissolved and then pour into a blender. Add the prickly pear and blend until combined (seeds will remain whole).Fill glasses with ice, 3/4 cup sparkling water, 3 tablespoons of prickly pear puree, and a squeeze of lime. Add a sprig of fresh mint (3-5 leaves) and garnish with a slice of lime on the rim.

Some supermarkets carry prickly pears (also called tunas) during peak season, September through December. But you’re more likely to find them at Mexican or international markets, as well as farmers’ markets, particularly in the Southwest.
Prickly pear can be enjoyed raw, so long as you don’t mind the seeds. Otherwise, you can blend it up for use in smoothies, or extract the juice and add it to lemonade, cocktails, mocktails, or use it to make jams and jellies. Or try reducing it to make a sauce for pork or lamb. Get started with our 7 Prickly Pear Recipes That Are Full of Fruity Flavor.Although you can purchase prickly pear syrup for use in cocktails (like this Prickly Pear Cactus Margarita), if you can get your hands on some fresh prickly pears, making your own couldn’t be easier. Here’s how:

What is prickly pear soda?
The Pikes Peak Prickly Pear soda was inspired by the exotic fruit of the prickly pear cactus. We source the finest prickly pear flavor extract to create a refreshingly delicious soda that is unlike anything you have enjoyed before. It is a sophisticated sweetness with a unique flavor that is guaranteed to please. Cached
Although they’re native to North America, prickly pears are a fairly misunderstood fruit here in the States. Maybe it’s their spiky exterior that makes us afraid of them — but to the many folks who grew up eating them, including in Mexico and the southwestern United States, there’s nothing to be afraid of: Just beneath that hard exterior is a candy-sweet flesh. Here’s everything you need to know about this fascinating fruit. Melanie Fincher is a Birmingham, Alabama–based food writer who covers everything from cooking techniques to gadget reviews. She has nearly 7 years experience writing news and lifestyle content. To extract juice from a prickly pear for use in beverages, cocktails, jellies, or other recipes, simply place the prickly pear flesh (skin removed) into a blender or food processor and pulse until blended. Then place the flesh in a fine mesh sieve and push the juice out until just pulp and seeds remain. Discard pulp and seeds.Ripe prickly pears have a soft, juicy interior that’s bursting with sweet flavor and little edible seeds. Its flavor is often compared to that of a melon or a kiwi, sometimes with a hint of bubblegum.

What does prickly pear soda taste like?
Prickly Pear Soda has a unique fruity taste with a hint of a bite to it. The flavor includes notes of strawberry and melon with a hint of sourness to it. This unique flavor is very popular for its sweet and sour nature.
Even though commercially sold prickly pears have their spines removed, you still need to exercise caution just in case there are any lingering barbs that could end up lodged in your skin. Wear a heavy duty work glove on one hand and use it to hold the pear steady, and use your free hand to handle the knife. Here’s how to get to that juicy flesh below the thorny surface. Note: If you are harvesting your own prickly pears, you can find instructions for safely harvesting and removing spines here.Store fresh prickly pears in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week. Keep prickly pear juice stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to 12 months.

What are the side effects of prickly pear?
If you’d like to try prickly pear cactus, consider easing into it. Side effects for some people include mild diarrhea, nausea, increased stool volume, increased stool frequency and abdominal fullness.
According to the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, prickly pears were used for medicinal purposes in early Native American societies, including everything from indigestion to burn wounds. Prickly pear fruit is a great source of vitamin C, calcium, fiber (which would explain why they help with indigestion), kaempferol (a cancer-fighting agent), as well as many other antioxidants.Also commonly referred to as a cactus pear or Indian fig, the prickly pear is a fruit-producing cactus belonging to the Opuntia genus. Native to Mexico, these cacti are known for their distinctly flat cladodes (also known as cactus paddles or pads) that resemble beaver tails. Flowers grow from these pads producing small, round fruits with a sweet, soft flesh known as pears or tunas. The younger pads, known as nopales (Spanish for cactus), are the only other edible part of the plant.

Because of its ability to adapt to harsh climates, the prickly pear is now cultivated around the world and comes in a number of different varieties, some cultivated for decorative purposes and others for their edible fruit. The Indian Fig produces a spineless fruit and is the most common variety for consumption.
The fruit itself comes in a variety of colors including lime green, yellow, orange, and red, all of which are natural variations and do not indicate maturity. Prickly pears fresh off the cactus are covered in tiny spines known as glochids, and need to be handled with caution (thick gloves are a must). Fortunately, the prickly pears you find at the market have been cleaned of these little barbs (but gloves are still a good idea when handling, just in case).

A green prickly pear does not mean it’s unripe — the fruit comes in an array of colors regardless of maturity. To know a prickly pear is ripe, you’ll need to check that it’s plump and heavy for its size, with smooth skin. A wrinkled prickly pear indicates its past peak ripeness, and was likely harvested a while ago. When handling a prickly pear, even one with the spines removed, it’s best to hold it cautiously between your thumb and middle finger.
Measure the juice. Place equal parts juice and sugar in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.Wear a heavy duty work glove on one hand and use it to hold the pear steady, and use your free hand to handle the knife. Place the pear on a cutting board. Slice both ends off and discard.

Lee, E. H., Kim, H. J., Song, Y. S., Jin, C., Lee, K. T., Cho, J., and Lee, Y. S. Constituents of the stems and fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. Arch Pharm Res 2003;26(12):1018-1023. View abstract.
Aires, V., Adote, S., Hichami, A., Moutairou, K., Boustani, E. S., and Khan, N. A. Modulation of intracellular calcium concentrations and T cell activation by prickly pear polyphenols. Mol.Cell Biochem. 2004;260(1-2):103-110. View abstract.

Jiang, J. Q., Ye, W. C., Liu, Y. H., Chen, Z., Min, Z. D., and Lou, F. C. [A new alkaloid from Opuntia vulgaris]. Yao Xue.Xue.Bao. 2003;38(9):677-679. View abstract.
Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) is used to decrease blood sugar in people with diabetes. Prickly pear cactus might also decrease blood sugar. Taking prickly pear cactus along with chlorpropamide (Diabinese) might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your chlorpropamide (Diabinese) might need to be changed.Prickly pear cactus is a plant. It is part of the diet in Mexican and Mexican-American cultures. Only the young plant is eaten; older plants are too tough. Prickly pear cactus is also used for medicine. Fernandez ML, Lin EC, Trejo A, McNamara DJ. Prickly pear (Opuntia sp.) pectin alters hepatic cholesterol metabolism without affecting cholesterol absorption in guinea pigs fed a hypercholesterolemic diet. J Nutr 1994;124:817-24. View abstract. Trejo-Gonzalez A, Gabriel-Ortiz G, Puebla-Perez A, et al. A purified extract from prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fuliginosa) controls experimentally induced diabetes in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 1996;55:27-33. View abstract.Shanon, Y. and Sagher, F. [Sabra dermatitis. Occupational dermatitis caused by contact with the prickly pear which resembles scurf]. Dermatol.Int 1965;4(2):125-127. View abstract. Pittler, M. H., Verster, J. C., and Ernst, E. Interventions for preventing or treating alcohol hangover: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 12-24-2005;331(7531):1515-1518. View abstract. Ennouri, M., Fetoui, H., Bourret, E., Zeghal, N., and Attia, H. Evaluation of some biological parameters of Opuntia ficus indica. 1. Influence of a seed oil supplemented diet on rats. Bioresour.Technol. 2006;97(12):1382-1386. View abstract.Bensadon, S., Hervert-Hernandez, D., Sayago-Ayerdi, S. G., and Goni, I. By-products of Opuntia ficus-indica as a source of antioxidant dietary fiber. Plant Foods Hum.Nutr. 2010;65(3):210-216. View abstract.

Andrade-Cetto, A. and Wiedenfeld, H. Anti-hyperglycemic effect of Opuntia streptacantha Lem. J.Ethnopharmacol. 1-27-2011;133(2):940-943. View abstract.
Frati-Munari, A. C., Fernandez-Harp, J. A., de la, Riva H., Ariza-Andraca, R., and del Carmen, Torres M. Effects of nopal (Opuntia sp.) on serum lipids, glycemia and body weight. Arch Invest Med (Mex.) 1983;14(2):117-125. View abstract.

Sagher, F. and SHANON, J. Sabra dermatitis; an occupational dermatitis due to prickly pear handling stimulating scabies. AMA.Arch Derm. 1956;74(3):269-275. View abstract.
Alimi, H., Hfaiedh, N., Bouoni, Z., Hfaiedh, M., Sakly, M., Zourgui, L., and Rhouma, K. B. Antioxidant and antiulcerogenic activities of Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis root extract in rats. Phytomedicine. 12-1-2010;17(14):1120-1126. View abstract.Sobieraj DM, Freyer CW. Probable hypoglycemic adverse drug reaction associated with prickly pear cactus, glipizide, and metformin in a patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ann Pharmacother 2010;44:1334-7. View abstract.

Frati AC, Xilotl Diaz N, Altamirano P, et al. The effect of two sequential doses of Opuntia streptacantha upon glycemia. Arch Invest Med (Mex) 1991;22:333-6. View abstract.
Whiting, D. A. and Bristow, J. H. Dermatitis and keratoconjunctivitis caused by a prickly pear (Opuntia microdasys). S.Afr.Med J 8-16-1975;49(35):1445-1448. View abstract.Prickly pear cactus is LIKELY SAFE when eaten as food. The leaves, stems, flowers, fruit and standardized extracts of the prickly pear cactus are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as medicine in appropriate amounts for a short period of time.

Guzman-Maldonado, S. H., Morales-Montelongo, A. L., Mondragon-Jacobo, C., Herrera-Hernandez, G., Guevara-Lara, F., and Reynoso-Camacho, R. Physicochemical, nutritional, and functional characterization of fruits xoconostle (Opuntia matudae) pears from Central-Mexico Region. J.Food Sci. 8-1-2010;75(6):C485-C492. View abstract.

Who should not eat prickly pear?
Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Diabetes: Prickly pear cactus might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use prickly pear cactus.
Newcomer AD, Park HS, O’Brien PC, McGill DB. Response of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and lactase deficiency using unfermented acidophilus milk. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:257-63. View abstract.Frati-Munari, A. C., Fernandez-Harp, J. A., Banales-Ham, M., and Ariza-Andraca, C. R. Decreased blood glucose and insulin by nopal (Opuntia sp.). Arch Invest Med (Mex.) 1983;14(3):269-274. View abstract. Galati, E. M., Mondello, M. R., Lauriano, E. R., Taviano, M. F., Galluzzo, M., and Miceli, N. Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. fruit juice protects liver from carbon tetrachloride-induced injury. Phytother Res 2005;19(9):796-800. View abstract. Banuelos, G. S., Fakra, S. C., Walse, S. S., Marcus, M. A., Yang, S. I., Pickering, I. J., Pilon-Smits, E. A., and Freeman, J. L. Selenium accumulation, distribution, and speciation in spineless prickly pear cactus: a drought- and salt-tolerant, selenium-enriched nutraceutical fruit crop for biofortified foods. Plant Physiol 2011;155(1):315-327. View abstract.

Frati AC, Jimenex E Aruza R. Hypoglycemic effect of Opuntia ficus indica in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus patients. Phytother Res 1990;4(5):195-197.
Laurenz, J. C., Collier, C. C., and Kuti, J. O. Hypoglycaemic effect of Opuntia lindheimeri Englem in a diabetic pig model. Phytother Res 2003;17(1):26-29. View abstract. Qiu, Y., Chen, Y., Pei, Y., Matsuda, H., and Yoshikawa, M. Constituents with radical scavenging effect from Opuntia dillenii: structures of new alpha-pyrones and flavonol glycoside. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2002;50(11):1507-1510. View abstract. Barbary-fig Cactus, Cactus Flowers, Cactus Fruit, Cactus Pear Fruit, Figue d’Inde, Figuier de Barbarie, Fruit du Cactus, Fruit de l’Oponce, Gracemere-Pear, Indian-fig Prickly Pear Cactus, Indien-Figue, Nopal, Nopal Cactus, Nopales, Nopol, OPI, Oponce, Opuntia, Opuntia cardona, Opuntia ficus, Opuntia ficus-indica, Opuntia Fruit, Opuntia fuliginosa, Opuntia hyptiacantha, Opuntia lasciacantha, Opuntia macrocentra, Opuntia megacantha, Opuntia puberula, Opuntia streptacantha, Opuntia velutina, Opuntia violacea, Prickly Pear, Tuna Cardona,, Wit M., Nel, P., Osthoff, G., and Labuschagne, M. T. The effect of variety and location on cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit quality. Plant Foods Hum.Nutr. 2010;65(2):136-145. View abstract.

Surgery: Prickly pear cactus might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery. Stop using prickly pear cactus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.Frati-Munari AC, Altamirano-Bustamante E, Rodríguez-Bárcenas N, et al. Hypoglycemic action of Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire: study using raw extracts. Arch Invest Med (Mex) 1989;20:321-5. View abstract.

Is prickly pear like kiwi?
Prickly pears are actually berries, and they are a great source of nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. Their kiwi-like consistency boasts a flavor that’s both sweet and tangy, with notes of melon and concord grape.
Wolfram, R. M., Kritz, H., Efthimiou, Y., Stomatopoulos, J., and Sinzinger, H. Effect of prickly pear (Opuntia robusta) on glucose- and lipid-metabolism in non-diabetics with hyperlipidemia–a pilot study. Wien.Klin.Wochenschr. 10-31-2002;114(19-20):840-846. View abstract.Frati-Munari AC, Del Valle-Martinez LM, Ariza-Andraca CR, et al. Hypoglycemic action of different doses of nopal (Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire) in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. Arch Invest Med (Mex) 1989;20:197-201. View abstract.

Is prickly pear fruit a laxative?
Promoting gut health: The fiber in prickly pear promotes bowel movements and helps remove toxic substances from the gut.
Rayburn K, Martinez R, Escobedo M, et al. Glycemic effects of various species of nopal (Opuntia sp.) in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Texas J Rural Health 1998;26:68-76.

Tesoriere L, Butera D, Pintaudi AM, et al. Supplementation with cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit decreases oxidative stress in healthy humans: a comparative study with vitamin C. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:391-5. View abstract.
Jaramillo-Flores ME, Gonzalez-Cruz L Cornejo-Mazon M et al. Effect of thermal treatment on the antioxidant activity and content of carotenoids and phenolic compounds of cactus pear cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica). Food Sci Tech Int 2003;9(4):271-278.

Dok-Go, H., Lee, K. H., Kim, H. J., Lee, E. H., Lee, J., Song, Y. S., Lee, Y. H., Jin, C., Lee, Y. S., and Cho, J. Neuroprotective effects of antioxidative flavonoids, quercetin, (+)-dihydroquercetin and quercetin 3-methyl ether, isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. Brain Res 3-7-2003;965(1-2):130-136. View abstract.Stintzing, F. C., Schieber, A., and Carle, R. Identification of betalains from yellow beet (Beta vulgaris L.) and cactus pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] by high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. J Agric.Food Chem 4-10-2002;50(8):2302-2307. View abstract.Fernandez, M. L., Trejo, A., and McNamara, D. J. Pectin isolated from prickly pear (Opuntia sp.) modifies low density lipoprotein metabolism in cholesterol-fed guinea pigs. J Nutr 1990;120(11):1283-1290. View abstract.Tesoriere L, Allegra M Butera D et al. Absorption, excretion, and distribution of dietary antioxidant betalains in LDLs: Potential health effects of betalains in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:941-945.