Saturday, February 19, 2011

Have You Tried: Cactus Pear?

The bounty of exotic and different fruit in most larger grocery stores begs to be tried, at least once. You might find a new favorite if you reach beyond your comfort zone with fruits and veggies and try something new. Adding a new Clean food is a very good thing!

Have you tried...Cactus Pear (Prickly Pear)

Origins: Cactus pears are popular in Mexico, the American Southwest, the Mediterranean, South Africa and Israel. Native Americans once considered the fruit a delicacy.
Description: With an intense flavor similar to watermelon and ripe berries, cactus pears can be peeled and eaten raw, or pureed for sauces, desserts and drinks. Their syrup can be used for jelly, jam and candy. Cactus pears have a firm, meaty texture with small, crunchy (edible) seeds.
Lore: Israel natives earned the nickname “sabras” because they supposedly resemble a cactus pear — rough on the outside, but sweet on the inside.
Key Nutrition Value: Along with being high in vitamin C, magnesium and fiber, a recent study found that cactus pear extracts contain antioxidants that can improve oxidative stress. Another study in the Nutrition Journal found that cactus pear extracts may help to prevent cancer.
   Cactus pears are 99% of the time "de-spined" before they reach grocery stores - so you probably   don't need to know how to de-spine them.  Simply wash, and using a paring knife remove the skin leaving as much flesh as you can, and enjoy.

Then go HERE to take a fun, quick 11 question quiz about obscure fruits - I got 7 out of 11...I think I should have studied more!