The fruits of most prickly pears are edible and sold in stores under the name "tuna." Prickly pear branches (the pads) are also cooked and eaten as a vegetable. They, too, are sold in stores under the name "Nopalito." Because of the glochids, great care is required when harvesting or preparing prickly pear cactus. Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that may help keep blood sugar stable.
As I said in my earlier post.
I love Prickly Pear Jelly.
The cactus pads have Large thorns on them.
The fruit, Tiny little needles, Lots of!!!
We used tongs to pick the fruit and I still had to pull
tons a few out of my hands.
No we did not go into the Arizona desert of find our fruit.
We found them right in the middle of town at a local Wally-world!
I am sure my brother was hoping nobody he knew would pass by and we only had one heckler.
Yea, MY SISTER, 'Lene!!
after about a half an hour we had a tote with fruit.
Ok, so the process to make Prickly Pear Jelly isn't hard, but the prep time is a whole different story.
Each fruit had to have the tiny little thorns burned off.
I used the tongs that I used to pick them and held them one at a time over the flame of my BBQ grill.
Towards the end I became a little lazy and would throw several on the grill and roll them around for a few seconds.
Cut the fruit in half or quarters,
I then added them to my steamer/juicer
I let them steam for about an hour.
Then using the juice I was able to make 3 batches of jelly.
Yes, this is the total jars made.
Would you like the recipe?
This is the one my mom and aunt Wanda always used.
3 Cups of juice
1/2 Cup lemon juice
1 box of Sure-Jel (pectin)
4 1/2 C. sugar
Put juices and pectin in pan bring to a hard boil.
When it is boiling add ALL of the sugar at one time.
Bring to a ROLLING boil and keep that rolling boil, stirring all the time for 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Pour into prepared jars,
wipe the rims off,
place warm seals on jars and tighten with rings.
Place jars in pressure cooker.
Process for 15 mins, with out the pressure lock on (basically a hot bath)
Remove from hot bath and place somewhere the jars can set without being bothered for 24 hours.
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