Cactus pineapple orange Juice/ Agua de Nopal, Piña con naranja : A diabetic Friendly Juice

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 Yesterday we had blast; my little one enjoyed his birthday.  My daughter was on belief that it was her birthday; she was there for cutting cake. She got few gifts also, still she want his toys. He really enjoyed his party till late in night, and he started crying only as he was tired and wanted to go to bed.  Next we are looking forward to another birthday day in May, that one for my princess birthday.

When I used to live in Kerala, India, I have seen Cactus/ kalli chedi/kallimullu chedi being used for protecting the fence between two houses. I haven’t seen anybody eating it, but in Ayurveda it is considered to have medicinal properties, especially to fight against dosha called pita (fire & water – “bile). If you don’t know Ayurveda, it is one of the oldest traditional medicinal systems practiced and is still practiced in India, especially in Kerala, which is the land of Ayurveda.  Just like Amazonian medicinal system, it uses natural plants, herbs and roots. However it is not strictly controlled like modern medicine, so it has its own drawbacks too.
Whenever, I visit Fiesta, grocery store, I have seen cactus whole leaves kept for selling.  People usually buy them.  I always think what they are going to do with it.  Then I saw this recipe for Nopales, that is what they call edible cactus in Spanish, on my friend Mely’s blog. I came to know they are staples in Mexican cuisine,  nopal leaves  is used fresh, boiled, grilled, or with eggs as Huevos con Nopales (Eggs and prickly pear), or as  salad Ensalada de Nopales (Prickly pear salad)  etc.If you want to see the picture of Nopals cactus click here
 I was curious to buy them, but still was afraid of their thorns and hence would not buy them. But one day I didn’t go with my hubby to grocery shopping, and on that day, they are making a juice with cactus plants, he took picture of ingredients (with his iphone) that were kept on a table to show what else is needed to make the juice.  He tried a sample of the juice and liked the taste, and without asking me bought a packet of cleaned cactus leaves and come home with a wide smile. He told me that he had found out that cactus can be combined with cucumber, celery, pineapple and orange to make a tasty and healthy juice.
I found that cactus leaves has lot of  health benefits too, it reduce high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol,  also rich in vitamins like  vitamins A and C and trace amounts of foliate and vitamin K. Minerals include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorous etc. Read more here. The anti-inflammatory effects of cactus fruit juice were shown to reduce the symptoms of alcohol hangover according to a study published in the journal Alcohol (May 2012).
Juice they had made at Fiesta has celery, cucumber, cactus, and pineapple. However he didn’t buy celery along with cactus so I made a juice with whatever in my hand. To my surprise it turned out be delicious. 
 Grab the following ingredients.

In a blender, mix in peeled seeded cucumber, orange juice, and chopped pineapple and chopped cleaned cactus plant, strain it and added 1 tablespoon of sugar so that my princess can enjoy the juice. Instead of sugar try splenda to make it diabetic version .  I will make this at any time from now onwards. 
 I have another idea of making some curries with cactus leaves; I will wait and see how it turns out.
If you can find fresh cactus, you too can enjoy this delicious juice now. 

                                                Print  Recipe from here 

Cactus pineapple orange Juice/ Agua de  Nopal, Piña con  naranja : A diabetic Friendly Juice
Prep Time    5 minutes
Cook Time    5 minutes
Serves    2

1 cup chopped fresh cactus leaves/Nopales
1 cucumber
2 cup Chopped pineapple
1 orange
1 cup Water
 1 tablespoon sugar/ splenda( optional)

Peel the skin of cucumber and deseed  and chop it into big pieces.
Add all ingredients into a blender along with water. Blend it well for about 5 minutes or until you get a thick juice.
    • Enjoy with or without sugar

I am linking this  Gallery of Favorites hosted by Alea and April.
Glutenfreefridays #23. 
Healthy juice and smoothies hosted by veg junction started by  Priya’s  Versatile recipes 
Mission-Breakfast by  originally CookCookandCook and Thoushaltcook


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  1. says

    Napolese, you said is it similar to Aloe Vera? Because I have seen my mom used to make all sorts of things with Aloe Vera but I never tried to taste any of that.

  2. says

    I have never tried cactus before. My dad was from Texas and talked about how much he enjoyed them. I really should try it sometime. Your drink looks refreshing and healthy!

  3. says

    hi swathi. very interesting and healthy fruit juice drink- love the medicinal cactus- ia have to surf the net to see how the cactus looks like- i only know aloe vera :)

  4. says

    Hi Swathi,

    Good that your kids had a blast. I was just told my a natural healer that no pal is great for people with muscular arthritis and a does of it everyday helps. Glad that you had the energy to try something new after a big birthday party. I was told that cactus is very popular in mexican cuisine and they use it all the time. Pineapple with anything would taste good. Nice work.

  5. says

    This is so interesting Swathi! I have never tasted cactus, but your juice looks so beautiful and fresh. I like the idea of combining it with pineapple and orange too – delicious and healthy! Thank you for sharing this lovely juice with us at The Gallery of Favorites.

    I’m so glad your little boy enjoyed his birthday – and that your little girl enjoyed it too :)

  6. says

    How neat! I have never had cactus juice! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    See you at the link up this week!

    Cindy from

  7. says

    I live in Baja Norte so nopal is available in all stores. Most research I’ve found indicates that you should buy the WHOLE nopal leaf (rather than cut up) as sources state that once the nopal leaf is cut up it loses a lot of moisture and the benefits. So just buy the whole leaf and cut it up when you make the juice.

  8. says

    I live in Baja Norte so nopal is available in all stores. Most research I’ve found indicates that you should buy the WHOLE nopal leaf (rather than cut up) as sources state that once the nopal leaf is cut up it loses a lot of moisture and the benefits. So just buy the whole leaf and cut it up when you make the juice.

  9. Laverne Cooper says

    Hi am writing from the Bahamas, where Cactus is , and never heard about it medically wise, until I went on the website to research Aloe, and eat that a lot, and their was this guy in the desert ,demonstrating with Aloe and Cactus ,and Orange Juice, I tried it just now ,and its awesome, yea, a little bitter taste afterwards , but its good, and refreshing. Now am going in the backyard tomorrow, and get some fresh leaves and try, the cucumber ,orange, and pineapple ,it looks great!!!!!!!!!!