Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear is in season in the Southwest. Last year I learned from a Mexican farmer who was harvesting prickly pear, that this cactus is the cure to many ailments and that is eaten in many different forms.
Prickly pear cactus is called nopal in Spanish, is a plant native to the southwest where they grow wild and it survives both in the desert and snow, from sea level to elevations of over 10,000 feet.
It is considered the symbol of identity of the Mexican people and is even included on the Mexican flag.

Prickly Pear is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and also contains, in various proportions, different carbohydrate or carbohydrate and nitrogenous components. Rich in fiber, vitamins (A, B, B2, C and K), riboflavin, vitamin B6, chlorophyll and protein. Not unlike most plants, its nutrients support the immune, glandular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory and digestive system.
We will be serving prickle pear in our liver health retreat in Taos
as prickly pears nutrients help strengthen the liver and pancreas. as they convert carbohydrates into glycogen which can be used as energy for the body.

Prickly Pear can be used as a puree, in salsas, sauces, salads, stews, jams, broths and soups. We will be making prickly pear tacos. We simply remove the thorns and then slice and sauté with onions and peppers and serve on tortillas or lettuce leaves.

So when I saw it in a margarita, of course I ordered it! I asked if I could get it without the agave. The bartender poured a shot of tequila and prickly pear juice and the juice of two limes. I opted to skip the triple sec and the bartender offered a splash of orange juice. It was just perfect: tart and delicious! The bartender was so very proud of his creation and I was delighted to have a drink without sugar.
Here I share his recipe:
3/4 ounces tequila
1/4 ounce orange juice (he normally uses triple sec)
3/4 ounce prickly pear juice
Juice from one lime

Combine all ingredients, shake, and strain into martini glass rimmed with flaky sea salt
Garnish with a lime ring.

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