How to Prepare Nopales
My yoga student at one of the corporations where I teach knows my love for trying new foods. He suggested I try these cactus pads called Nopales. They were outstanding. Nopales have a wide range of health benefits. They can aid in weight loss, prevent cancer, improve skin health, protect heart health, regulate and improve digestion, boost the immune system, optimize metabolic activity, cure insomnia, build strong bones, and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Nopales are a vegetable made from the soft pads of an underdeveloped prickly pear cacti. They’re about the size of a person’s hand and they are usually green or purple. They have been used to treat diabetes so there have been increased testing of nopale for medicinal and human health benefits.
You want paddles that are flexible but not soft. If they start turning brown, they’re on their last few days. There are many ways you can make these decadent cactus pads. I boiled them and it was super simple. The most important thing is that you clean them beforehand. You might want to wear gloves the first time you clean a nopal. Hold the root end of the cactus pad and use a knife and swipe it back and forth across the nopal, removing the eyes (little brown knobs) and the spines. Slice the root end off and the edges of the nopales. Cut into thin strips.
- Boil about 4 cups of water.
- Add half an onion, one garlic clove, a pinch of salt and the sliced nopales.
- Boil for about 15-20 minutes on medium-high heat until tender.
- You want to boil out the gooey substance that will ooze out of the nopales.
- Remove from heat and strain.
- Use them in your favorite dish, like this Nopales and Ground Beef Burrito Bowl and enjoy!