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Pick a Peck of Prickly Pears

You know you want it...

Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

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It might be too early to call prickly pear cactus a superfood, but it can be part of a healthy diet. It’s high in fiber, antioxidants and carotenoids. Prickly pear cactus is endorsed for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers. It’s also touted for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

The edible parts are the leaves, flowers, stems and fruit. I have only used the fruit. You can eat it whole (boiled or grilled). Here a few recipes for you to try.

Prickly Pear
Prickly Pear

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour. Serves: 6 – 8
1-1/2 cups prickly pear
3 cups water
½ cup sugar

Take your de-thorned prickly pear fruit and cut them in half. Remove the seeds in the middle and cook in a heavy bottomed, medium size saucepan. Add water and sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. When the mixture thickens, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Place a strainer over a bowl and use the back of a spoon to press the mixture, one soup ladle at a time to get all the liquid out. Emptying the strainer between ladles full. Hint: This simple prickly pear syrup can be used for cocktails or on desserts. 

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Preparation time: 5 minutes. Serves: 1
Coarse salt as needed
2 oz. tequila
2 oz. sweet and sour mix
1 oz. triple sec
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. prickly pear syrup

Pour salt onto a small plate. Wet the rim of margarita glass and dip rim into salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; pour tequila, sweet and sour mix, triple sec, lime juice, and prickly pear syrup over ice. Cover shaker and shake drink; strain into prepared margarita glass. Enjoy!

7-Day Charter Itinerary: Grenada

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Serves: 1
2 oz. Bourbon
½ cup prickly pear syrup
Garnish: Twist of lime

In a cocktail shaker, add bourbon, prickly pear syrup and ice. Put the lid on and shake to mix. Pour into your favorite glass, add the lime, and savor!

10 Caribbean Beaches Only Reachable by Boat

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes
Sitting time: 15 minutes. Serves: 4
1-1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, room temperature
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 prickly pears
¼ red chili pepper
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 fresh bay leaf, chopped
3 oz. water

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large cast iron pan, over medium high; heat the butter and oil. Sprinkle the tenderloin with salt and pepper and place in pan. Brown on each side about 3 minutes. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and wrap the tenderloin in aluminum foil and let sit for another 15 minutes.

Prickly Pear Sauce:
Peel the prickly pear (the deep red fruit) with a vegetable peeler; please wear gloves. Place the cactus fruit on your chopping board and cut it in half. Scoop the flesh and cut the fruit into small pieces. Put the flesh in a pan with bay leaf, pepper, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt and water. Bring to a boil and let it boil down 2/3 of the liquid (1/3 remaining). Serve sauce with pork.

Tip: Most prickly pears are sold without spines/thorns. The plant grows very easily in shallow sandy soil. I grow it here in Charlotte NC. Looks lovely but the hair-like thorns, are brutal. Be sure to handle them with heavy leather work gloves and scrub them hard to ensure all the painful little barbs are off. They are definitely worth the hard work; they taste somewhere between a strawberry and watermelon. 

Jan Robinson, Health Coach, Charter Yacht Consultant, 2019 CYBA Hall of Fame, Chef Competition Coordinator/Judge, and author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook collection; available on Amazon and www.shiptoshoreinc.com CaptJan2@gmail.com

Pears with Blue Cheese, Arugula, & Prosciutto

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Capt. Jan Robinson
Capt. Jan Robinsonhttp://www.shiptoshoreinc.com/
Capt. Jan Robinson’s Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com email CapJan@aol.com Tel: 704-277-6521. Don’t miss the new cookbook added to Jan’s collection: DINING ON DECK

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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