Is Cactus the New Superfood?

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Playing Should You Eat More Cactus?



Nopal Smoothie 


  • Nopal cactus paddles
  • 1/2 – 1 Nopal cactus paddle, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple cut into chunks
  • 4-6 Oranges, juice of
  • Handful of parsley, washed


  1. Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend til smooth. 
  2. Serve in glasses and enjoy!



Nopal Salad


  • 8 small nopales cactus paddles
  • 2 roma tomatoes, large diced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • salt to taste


  1. Place a large pot of water along with 1 teaspoon of salt over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, clean the nopales. To do this, hold the end of a cactus paddle with a kitchen towel. Using a large sharp knife, hold it parallel to the nopal and carefully cut the spines off. Flip and repeat on the other side. Trim ½-inch from the outer edge and end of the nopal. Cut into ½-inch strips, then cut the strips into 2-inch segments. Repeat with the other cactus paddles.
  3. Place the nopal strips in the boiling water and simmer until they become tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until the nopales are chilled. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Place the cooked and rinsed nopales in a medium bowl with the tomato, onion, serrano, cilantro leaves, lime zest, lime juice, and salt to taste. Toss to combine, then sprinkle with the crumbled queso fresco. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic container. The salad is best when it's had some time to marinate before serving.

Recipes courtesy of Rosie Mercado