How to cook a cactus?
Cactus for us is usually a plant that adorns the window sills in the vases and absorbs negative radiation from computer screens. But in Mexico, for example, its wild varieties are used for food. And it is not only tasty, but also useful. We are pleased to share with you the details and options of dishes.
From their homeland, South and North America, edible species of cacti have long ago migrated to European countries, in Asia and the Middle East. They are completely unpretentious, and can be grown both in open field and at home.
The most popular and the most delicious of them - prickly pear or, as it is called by the people, the Mexican Nopal. It is from it that they prepare many interesting and unusual dishes for our average citizen. It tastes like strawberries.
For the first time to eat thorny plants began to Africans. In the conditions of the desert and the constant shortage of water, they searched for any sources of this precious liquid. And the fleshy leaves were just full of it.
Mexicans went further, and tasted the fruits of prickly pears, which turned out to be very tasty. As a result, this seemingly useless plant has become one of the main sources of income for Mexicans. Buy it now can be in any supermarket, already cleaned of thorns and ready to cook.
Prickly, but mighty
In addition to the incredible taste qualities, nopal also has a wide range of medicinal properties. Its juice reduces the level of glucose in the blood, thus being an excellent prevention of diabetes.
Recently, even medications have begun to appear on the basis of such fruits, which help to fight “harmful cholesterol” and excessive amount of sugar in the blood.
For those who suffer from hypertension, eating fruits of the prickly pear can help reduce the pressure somewhat. And those who lose weight, help in the process of burning excess fat.
Stems and fruits help with disorders and diarrhea, in their raw form they can even be applied to wounds, because they have a hemostatic and healing effect. And as a result of many studies, it also turned out that small fruits with small needles are an excellent remedy for a hangover.
The simplest version of the dish is fried cakes made from oil from the leaves of prickly pear. These are cooked on trays with street food almost at every turn throughout Mexico. But besides this, there are still lots of original recipes.
Before you start cooking, you need to prepare the cactus itself. And the main question that worries courageous culinary experimenters - how to clean it from needles?
One of the most effective ways is to put on thick rubber gloves, put the fruit in cold water for a while, and then rinse thoroughly. The last stage - wipe with a paper towel.
And what can you cook from a cactus?
Salad with vegetables
Perhaps this is the easiest recipe for exotic cuisine. Required:
- Nopal - 150 g;
- tomato - 1 piece;
- avocado - ½ pcs;
- purple onions - ½ pcs;
- cheese - 100 g;
Nopal must be pre-cut and fry in butter. Put on a dish with tomato and onion, and drizzle a little vinegar. Sprinkle with coriander and diced cheese.
Put avocado on top, season with spices and sesame.
A great option for a hearty lunch or dinner.Habitual meat paired with a special sourness of a prickly plant is the secret of this gastronomic pleasure. Prepare:
- steak - 250 g;
- onions - ½ pcs .;
- Nopal leaves - 2 pcs .;
- corn flour tortillas;
Boil the leaves with onions, then fry in butter. Fry the meat with spices, put all the ingredients on flat cakes and sprinkle with hot sauce.
Surely, you heard about dandelion jam, rose petals. But here, surely, jam from edible prickly pears has been tried by a few. But nothing is impossible.
What kinds of cacti are suitable for him? Opuntia, about which we have already spoken, echinocactus or melocacactus.
In the case of prickly pears, fruits will be needed, in the rest of the plants leaves are used for food.
- cactus - 1 kg;
- sugar - 0.5 kg;
- lemon juice - 100 ml;
A minimum of ingredients - a maximum of taste. Fruits or leaves should be carefully cleaned and soaked in water for 1 hour, then finely chopped. All fill up with sugar, add lemon juice and a little cinnamon, leave for half an hour. When the mass starts up the juice, boil it on low heat for 20 minutes, and spread it on the jars.
This is what really can surprise guests.In Mexico, from the "prickly pear" is prepared with a dozen different drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. A large amount of fructose helps to actively start the fermentation process, which makes the taste especially rich.
How to prepare the tincture? For her need:
- vodka - 0.5 l;
- nopal - 250 g;
- sugar - ½ st .;
- orange juice - 1 tbsp .;
"Prickly pear" clean and finely chop, add sugar, cloves and cinnamon. Pour in vodka and freshly squeezed orange juice, leave in a warm place. After a day, mix and send in the refrigerator. Infuse the drink will be about 30 days, after which it must be peresedit.
An exotic and unusual cactus - a tasty and healthy fruit. In many countries, it is eaten on an equal basis with potatoes, added to soups and main dishes, and it also surprises tourists with special desserts and cocktails based on “prickly pear”. We advise you to try these dishes, joining the cuisines of the world. Bon Appetit!
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