A Drink from the Gods

My all time favourite fresh juice must be Prickly Pear juice. Above is my freshly made (after having someone else peel a bucket load of the prickly things!) - nothing like it and I don't think I can compare the taste to anything else either - so if you want to know what it tastes like you will have to taste it yourself. The above has absolutely NOTHING to do with any ready made stuff you may find in the shop. The taste does not even come anywhere close.

Prickly pear is a member of the Aloe family, so health benefits are numerous. To quote :

''The interest in prickly pear plant is growing due to both the medical research and the wonderful taste of the fruit. Prickly pear has been used in Mexico to treat diabetes for over 1,000 years, and is one of the most used natural products in Central America.
The use of prickly pear as a natural helper in the treatment of diabetes is well known among native cultures. It is known to have hypoglycemic effects. The prickly pear has been reported as beneficial to a whole host of conditions. Research has shown it has beneficial actions on the cardiovascular system by decreasing platelet activity. This means it's good for both the heart and blood vessels.
The cactus pads of the prickly pear contain essential vitamins and minerals such as: potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
Nopal Cactus is the onliy plant to contain 23 of the known betalains, which are potent anti-inflammatory agents. Betalains are polyphenolic pigments found in beets. Betalains give nopal cactus their purple-red and yellow colours. Prickly pear juice power comes from its ability to fight chronic inflammation.
The pads of prickly pear fruit contain a wide range of amino acids. This includes the 8 essential amino acids, which our bodies don't produce.This is a plant that provides more essential amino acids than most other sources.
The mucilage found inside the sticky pads of the stem contain polysaccharides which are found in immune system stimulating plants.''

The above extract was taken from www.naturalhealth365.com

And to think we have this growing wild all over the island and we do not take advantage of its benefits except to turn it into an alcoholic drink!!