Breakfast Recipe with Agave

It’s all agave syrup here at the cactus blog for our breakfast needs.

Whole Wheat Agave Pancakes with Blueberry Agave Syrup
Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp. Agave Nectar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 each egg yolk
  • 1.5 tsp. grapseed oil
Syrup:

  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup blueberries

Now that’s just delicious. Click through for the instructions. Enjoy!

Cactus Pads

A Nipomo (CA) man who grows and markets edible cactus nationwide believes its value soon will be discovered by U.S. consumers as well as those working to help poverty-stricken countries.

“This plant could save the world,” said John Dicus as he gave visitors a tour of his Rivenrock Gardens.

But how should we eat this cactus that you sell?

Dicus offered visitors a taste of his own recipe for cactus salsa.

A mix of beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and cactus chunks that look like chopped broccoli stalks, the salsa has a unique flavor but doesn’t scream “cactus.”

“Cactus should be seen as an herb, where it doesn’t really overwhelm the salsa,” he explained. “It’s been compared to green beans. It should be mixed in as an overall ingredient.

That’s practically a recipe. And what do you know, there’s a whole recipe page too. Now that’s service.

And where is this so-called Nipomo? Southern Cal of course.

Cactus Salad, Los Angeles Style

L.A. style indeed.

Nopalitos y chapulines, a salad of prickly pear and grasshoppers, as served at La Huasteca in Lynwood. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

La Huasteca in Lynwood. Chef Rocio Camacho, who made her mark at Moles La Tia, is focusing on pre-Columbian cuisine.

Pre-Columbian indeed. Cactus and crickets! Ooh boy. What would my mother say.

Cactus Recipe

I googled for a cactus recipe, and jumped forward to the 100th page, and came up with this.

Queso Fundido de Nopales
2 cups nopales, scraped, washed and cut into strips
1 cup ground chorizo sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups Chihuahua cheese, grated (available in Mexican food stores, or substitute shredded Monterey Jack)
1/2 of an avocado, sliced

That sounds delicious. I may actually have to try one of these recipes someday, and this sounds like a good one to start with.

Click through for the instructions.

Caramel Cactus

Ever have a hankering for caramel cactus? Didn’t even know it was possible?

Create an exotic dessert with grilled cactus chunks over vanilla ice cream. Toss 2 cups cactus chunks with ¼ cup sugar and grill over medium-high heat. Serve over ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.

Prickly Pear Pie

I found a pie recipe. I don’t vouch for it, though, since it also has pineapple in it.

Prickly Pear Pineapple Delight
1 graham cracker pie crust, chilled
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
scant 1 cup honey
2 cups prickly pear juice*
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup whipped topping

Seems pretty basic.

Cactus Medley

I still haven’t found a cactus desert pie, but I did find this tropical medley.

Ingredients
2 cactus pears, peeled
6 cups assorted fresh fruit (sliced kiwi, sliced carambola, whole or sliced strawberries, orange sections, banana chunks, quartered figs, cubed mango, sliced guava, and/or sliced papaya)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Seems like it could be delicious. As usual, click through for the instructions.

Cactus Pie

I wonder what I should blog today? Another photo of a cactus in bloom? Another echeveria mixed pot?

No!

Google has been very kind to me this morning, and so I would like to share with you my most recent google find – “cactus pie.” Brownsville Baby has the recipe.

YOU’LL NEED
Yield: 6 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
¼ teaspoons salt
1 cup prepared nopales, diced
2 tablespoons queso anejo crumbled

Seems like a savory pie. Later I’ll try to find a sweet cactus pie. Click through for the instructions.

Confusion in the Food World

Agave Nectar is the latest hot product in the sweetener world. I like it for making drinks, and I even use it in spaghetti sauce occasionally.

Just as maple syrup is a wholly natural sweetener from Mother Nature’s maple tree, agave (pronounced ah-gah-vay) is a natural nectar from the cactus plant.

But that’s not right – Agaves aren’t a cactus plant. You can get all kinds of fruits and vegetables from cactus plants, but not agave nectar (and not tequila either.) Click through the links for recipes.

Friday Night Margarita Special

Terri passes along her simple margarita recipe in the comments. No pre-mixed sauce for her.

here’s my recipe without all the garbage that margarita mixes have:

4 parts tequila
2 part lime juice
1 part agave nectar

mix it all together in your favorite shaker and pour over ice into your favorite glass.

oh my my!

Thanks for sharing, Terri! I’ll get right on mixing it.

99¢ Cactus

cactus+99c+cactus+tortilla

And a recipe too, from the 99 Cent Chef.

Cactus Quesadillas
Ingredients (1 serving)
1 flour or wheat tortilla.
2 ounces of Queso Fresco – half of the 4oz. package. Okay to substitute with your favorite cheese.
2 tablespoons of cactus – drained and patted dry with paper towel.

Directions
Heat pan or grill. Drain and pat dry cactus from jar. Place tortilla on grill or pan and crumble cheese onto half of tortilla. Add drained and dried cactus over cheese. Fold in half and lightly brown tortilla on each side until cheese is melted.

That sounds easy enough.

Cactus Jelly

The Cactus Candy Company sells Pure Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly. Only $1.64!

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Or you can make your own, from Epicurious, via a postcard they received. All it takes is:

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups prickly pear juice
3 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 package powdered pectin
3 1/2 cups sugar

Directions:
1 quart of prickly pear cactus fruit should make about 2 1/2 cups of juice. Pluck the fruit from the cactus with a long-handled fork or tongs. Wash under running water, then use a brush to clean (spines left on the fruit will soften during cooking and should come off after fruit is strained.)…

In a saucepan, measure out 2 1/2 cups of cactus juice; add 1 package of powdered pectin. Bring mixture to a fast boil, stirring constantly…. Makes 6 1/2 pints of jelly.

The rest of the instructions are at the link.

Cactus Margarita

So we have the classic Cactus Blog double whammy – Cactus and Agave.

Ingredients:
1. Margarita Mix – fill
2. Tequila – 1 oz.
3. Dekuyper Cactus Juice – 1 oz.

I didn’t know Dekuyper made Cactus Juice.

I’ll bet it would go well in this 12 oz Libbey cactus margarita glass.

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That’s quite handsome.

Cactus Salad

It’s a cactus salad recipe on What’s Cooking, a site that mixes recipes and photography. Here’s a photograph I’ve borrowed.

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©whatscooking.us

Cactus Salad
The ingredients:
* 2 cups cleaned and cubed nopalitos
* 1 jicama, julienned
* 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into chunks
* 1 small tomato, cubed
* 1/2 red onion, chopped
* 1 red tuna fruit
* 1 green tuna fruit
* 2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
* the juice of 1 lemon
* salt to taste

You’ll have to click through for the instructions and the rest of the photos.

Eating Aloe

Is Aloe edible? Well, here’s a recipe….

aloe-vera-2

Poached Aloe Recipe
2 large aloe leaves peeled and cubed (about 1 lbs)
1 C sugar
Juice of 1 lime

Not a lot of ingredients. I recommend reading the instructions that go with it. It’s a bit complicated for those of us who don’t like to cook anything more complicated that scrambled eggs or baked potatoes. Not that I can’t also cook things that are more complicated, I just choose not to. I’m a big fan of one-pan dinners. Throw it all together and see what comes out.

But then there’s aloe.

I’m not saying it’s not delicious, I’m just saying you’d never get me to try.

And did you know that I have a category for recipes on the right side column? We’ve posted lots of succulent and cactus recipes over the years. And lots of tequila drinks too. Check it out.

Cactus Salad

Just in time for christmas dinner, I found this seriously delicious looking cactus salad at myrecipes.com and it only takes 2 nopales!

cactus-salad-ck-630119-l

Ingredients
* 2 medium cactus pads (nopales)
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
* 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
* 2 medium tomatoes, diced
* 6 cups shredded leaf lettuce
* 6 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco cheese
* 2 1/2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream

You’ll have to click through for the instructions. I don’t want to give it all away, you know.

And it’s probably one of those “heart-healthy” meals too, since nopales are supposed to be good for you.

Nopales… contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant…. (and) can reduce the glycemic index of a meal, and have been used to decrease the level of glucose in diabetics’ blood…. The American Heart Society, for example, is researching the use of nopales to help manage cholesterol levels.

Jelly Recipe

Claude in Arlington, Texas has posted a prickly pear jelly recipe on his blog, Random Rants and Prickly Plants. Plus, there’s been some canning going on this year too, and some cactus tarts are the result. They look delicious.

Prickly Pear Jelly
1 quart of Prickly Pears (or Tuna as they’re called) to yield 2 1/2 cups of juice
1 package powdered pectin (the liquid doesn’t work for this recipe)
3 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
3 1/2 cups sugar

Click through for the rest. And this was in response to our search for cactus candies over the last few days. Behold the power of blogs!

I wonder if I can get Hap to try this. He would know how to.

Margarita Recipe

So you know, it’s always a good idea to search for random phrases, because you never know, you might come up with something worthwhile. So I searched for “blue cactus drink” and this came up.

Blue Cactus Margaritas
by Angela Dawn

It’s not technically a margarita. I made this drink up all on my lonesome. It’s great at BBQs or with spicy Mexican food. I’ve been making cactus pear margaritas for a long time, but I added a little blue.

Ingredients
* 1 liter margarita mix
* 2 small prickly pears (otherwise called cactus pears)
* 16 ounces gold tequila
* 5 ounces blue curacao
* 4 fresh limes
* kosher salt or margarita salt

Directions
1. To make Prickley Pear Margarita Mix:.
2. In a blender add your bottle (1 liter) of Margarita mix. I usually just cut the cactus pears in half and scoop out the pink flesh. Add the fruit’s flesh to the blender and blend until smooth.
3. Strain mixture through a fine sieve or rice strainer. Press the pulp down to get any remaining liquid out.
4. I usually pour strained mix back into margarita mix bottle and use the little left in the bottom of the container to make my first drink.
5. For each drink:.
6. Fill shaker half full of ice.
7. Add 2 oz tequila, 3/4 oz blue curacao and the juice of half a lime.
8. Shake well and strain into a 12 ounce glass that’s been dipped in margarita salt and packed with ice. Pour Prickly Pear Margarita mix to the top and serve.
9. Garnish with lime.
10. Should make about 8 drinks.

I don’t have all the ingredients right now, so I won’t be able to try this tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Agave Recipe

So, people ask us, what can they use agave syrup for?

Fear not, it is an easy recipe that even I could follow, not that I have yet, but I might.

Agave BBQ Sauce

1 Can Tomato Puree
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 to 3 Tablespoons vegetable (coconut oil)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Prepared Mustard
Dash cayenne pepper or bottled hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan. Can bring to a boil to use as a dipping sauce or placed directly on BBQ items.

Man oh man that seems easy. It’s my turn to cook tonight, so maybe I’ll try it out.

Fermented

They get questions in Oaktown (i.e. Oakland).

Q: Dear Beegirl,

I wanted to know…is it possible to make mead out of agave nectar? It was something I wanted to experiment with. Do you have any experience with this? –Tia

A: Dear Tia,

There is a long tradition amongst indigenous peoples of making fermented beverages with cactus juice. When the Papago people of the Sonoran desert make their sacred fermentation from saguaro sap, it is called Tiswin, when the Tarahumara Indians use agave it is called Pulque….

Read the rest, it includes a recipe! I love recipes!

Las Vegas Cookoff

It was a Las Vegas chili cookoff and the cactus didn’t win.

Another non-traditional ingredient was cactus, used by Chef Rodney Ignacio from Casino MonteLago. Chef Ignacio said, “you have to pluck off the spikes then boil the cactus so you can get to the sap inside.”

The nopales, as the cactus bits are called, added a sweet and tart flavor that cut the spice of Chef Ignacio’s green chili with chicken.

But I’m sure it was delicious.

Cactus are Delicious

The Examiner gets in on the nopales health fad.

Nopales taste good and good for you

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The pads are… “nopales” when they’re whole, and “nopalitos” when they’re diced. They taste something like green beans. The fruits are called prickly pears, cactus pears, or “tunas”.

Whether you add sliced or cubed pads to omelette’s or gently urge the fruit from its stickery skin and eat it fresh or cooked into jelly, this cactus has much to offer. Even the seeds can be eaten in soups or dried and ground into flour.

They don’t share any recipes with us. I wonder why? Everybody loves recipes.

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Like this one from Big Oven.

Cactus Candy

Marian Manners and Prudence Penny were pseudonyms for the cooking instructors and writers, and later the food editors, of the Los Angeles Times and Hearst newspapers, respectively….

Many requests were for… “Top Chef” Quickfire challenges with Prudence and Marian inventing dishes based on one ingredient. A Southern California woman who wanted to use the wild cactus growing in her backyard received instructions for making cactus candy (chop down a cactus, remove thorns and simmer in simple syrup for several days).

What's for Dinner

The Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner says nopal.

Cactus leaves
(C)actus leaves, or “nopales,” are a versatile food, a good substitute for a bell pepper or a zucchini in all sorts of dishes, says produce manager Tim Pettingill at Macey’s in Ogden.

Flat and oval-shaped, the leaves from the prickly pear cactus usually come with the spines removed. But Pettingill says it’s best to cut the eyes out to make sure no spines remain beneath the surface.

Dice the leaves and steam them over boiling water, not in it, until they are tender. The mild-flavored leaves can get a bit slimy in texture, sort of like okra, he says.

Sure, sort of like okra, but that’s only if they’re overcooked. Keep them just right, maybe lightly sauteed in olive oil and garlic, and then you can prevent the slimys.

Nopales con Huevos

Another fine recipe. I wonder if this is going to be a week filled with recipes.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb Nopales – 1 paddle, cleaned
1 tb Oil as required
1/2 lb Tomatoes diced
2 cloves Garlic – peeled and crushed
1/3 c white onion – Finely chopped
4 medium Serrano chilies – seeded & fine diced
1 ts Salt – to taste
2 lg Eggs
2 large Egg whites

050607103314

Notes: Nopales (cactus leaves) have been a staple of Mexican cooking since pre-Hispanic times. They taste a little like green beans, and they’re a source of vitamins A and C. Fresh nopales with the thorns removed can be found in the produce section at many grocery stores.

Each (app 1 cup) serving contains an estimated:
Cals: 149, FatCals: 65, TotFat: 7g
SatFat: 2g, PolyFat: 3g, MonoFat: 2g
Chol: 155mg, Na: 785mg, K: 535mg
TotCarbs: 12g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 3g
NetCarbs: 8g, Protein: 11g

You’ll have to click through to Big Oven for the directions.

Recipe Sunday – Cactus!

Nopales Salad With Lime and Cilantro
Steve Petusevsky

Cactus pads can be found in Latin markets as well as some supermarket produce sections. Look for bright green, shiny leaves the size of your hand. The spiny soft thorns must be rubbed off with a nylon abrasive pad before you proceed with the recipe. Careful as they can be sharp.

-2 large cactus pads (nopales), scrubbed of thorns, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
-Water
-Salt, to taste
-1 medium tomato, chopped
-1 serrano or jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
-1/4 small red onion, chopped
-1/4 cup minced cilantro
-Juice of 1 lime
-6 lettuce leaves, optional

Put diced cactus into a saucepan of cold water to cover. Add a pinch salt and bring to a boil.

Cook 4 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Combine cactus with remaining ingredients except lettuce and mix well. Serve on leaf lettuce or in small cocktail glasses as an appetizer. Makes 6 servings.

Since I never try out these recipes in advace of reprinting them for you, I cannot calim to know if they are delicious or not. Only you can decide that for yourself. Fortunately there is no shrimp in this recipe, so at least I could try it if I wanted.

Recipe

Finally, A short video on how to prepare a nopal recipe. This is actually a very difficult skill to master, and this video is amazingly clear, so pay attention.

 

It’s from the Kitchen Caravan. How delicious.

Holiday Cactus Recipe Time

From Chef Gary Edward Hamel via Planet Green.

Cooked Cactus Sauce
Ingredients:
Onion
Corriander – Ground
Cumin – Ground
Roasted Diced Nopales Cactus
Garlic
Tequilla – Hornitos
Limes
Cilantro
Salt
Tomatoes
Chipotle Peppers
Veg/chicken stock
Shrimp (Substitute with fish or seasoned firm tofu)
Sweet corn tamales

Directions after the break Read More…

Cactus Recipe

Yesterday I posted a fresh cactus salsa recipe from Big Oven, so today I’m posting a ground beef cactus recipe.

Ground Beef with Cactus
Ingredients
1 lb Ground beef
1/2 c Onion, chopped
14 oz Jar of cactus, drained
14 oz Diced tomatoes w/ chilies

Instructions for Ground Beef with Cactus
Cook ground beef and onions until done, drain off grease. Mix in the cactus and tomatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes. Posted to MM-Recipes Digest by Paula

That sounds pretty simple. You’ll let me know if it’s delicious, now won’t you?

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