It’s Spring and I think I’ll Renew My Vows

My prickly pear cactus has gone insane with growth and I'm eating nopales like crazy. I just can't get over how borderline negligent I am with this plant and all it does is give. Who needs a pet? You feed it and give up vacations because no one wants to dog-sit and you must deal with it's bowels. A prickly pear gives you a vegetable and a fruit and it's healthy and you can take a last minute trip to Paris without worry. You tell me which is the better deal!


One lilttle harvest tip I just learned: Cut the paddles at the end of the day. They have more acid in them in the morning! It's true.


If you've noticed me looking radiant lately, I might tell you my secret. For breakfast I take a cleaned paddle and blend it with the juice of two oranges and a little water and a hit of honey. When you hear someone hitting "high C", you'll know it's me.

HELP WANTED: I would like to pickle and can my extra paddles. Can paddles be made with a water bath or must they be pressure canned. They're so acidic I can't believe they need the extra equipment but I've been wrong before.

2 Comments on It’s Spring and I think I’ll Renew My Vows

  1. No idea–check with your local Cooperative Extension office; hopefully they can help you. Living in northern Maine, never had the pleasure of trying anything from the prickly pear. Our local wild foods are fiddleheads & dandelion greens–speaking of which, I’d better get those fiddleheads cleaned while I still remember!

  2. It seems that if you could check the pH level of the cactus paddles with the liquid you intend to can them in, and it has a pH of 4.6 or lower, making it an acid food, you could safely can it using the water bath method.

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