ABC Wednesday, my “C” is for cactus-Edible Cactus.
Do you know this kind of edible cactus? I saw it was sold in NTUC two months ago. I bought one back home but not sure what to do with it. After a week, I just planted it in a small container pot and left it at a corner. I don't even remember to water it. It is surprised me today, it grows one new leaf.So I am searching more information about edible cactus, according to wikipedia, Edible cactus is also known as nopales (no-PAH-les), nopalitos, cactus paddles, or cactus pads. This vegetable is popular in Mexico and other Central American countries, parts of Europe, the Middle East, India, North Africa and Australia. Its popularity is increasing in the United States, where it can be found at Mexican grocery stores, specialty produce markets and farmer’s markets.
Edible cactus is characterized by its fleshy oval leaves (typically called pads or paddles) of the nopal (prickly pear) cactus.With a soft but crunchy texture that also becomes a bit sticky (not unlike okra) when cooked, edible cactus tastes similar to a slightly tart green bean, asparagus, or green pepper. Cactus pads contain beta carotene, iron, some B vitamins, and are good sources of both vitamin C and calcium.
Nopales are very rich in insoluble and especially soluble dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, but also riboflavin and vitamin B6) and minerals (especially magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but also iron and copper). Nopales have a high calcium content, but the nutrient is not biologically available because it is present as calcium oxalate, which is neither highly soluble nor easily absorbed through the intestinal wall. Addition of nopales also reduces the glycemic effect of a mixed meal. Nopales are low carbohydrate and may help in the treatment of diabetes.Still no idea what to do with this cactus, cook it? make into cactus juice? make salad? Do you have any idea? Have you eaten before?