Thursday, October 31, 2013


Happy Halloween!!

Look out for flying black kitty's!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We call it "Prickly Pear"

The Prickly Pears are ready!!

Ever heard of Nopalea?

Below is the text directly from their website @

Nopalea (No-pah lay’uh) is the delicious anti-inflammatory wellness drink that gets its inflammation fighting power from the Nopal cactus fruit (Opuntia Ficus Indica) of the Sonoran Desert. Nopal cactus fruit contains a powerful class of antioxidants called bioflavonoids that are scientifically proven to help the body reduce inflammation. Indigenous peoples have relied on the healing properties of the Nopal cactus for centuries and now you can too. Each 32–ounce bottle of Nopalea brims with the health benefits of the Nopal fruit.

With its powerful nutrients, Nopalea helps your body:
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Detoxify
  • Achieve optimal cellular health
Exposure to toxins, trauma, nutrient deficiencies and stress can all lead to runaway inflammation. When cells are overwhelmed by inflammation, they may become damaged beyond repair, and die prematurely. These damaged, dead cells may become the focus of infection and illness if they are not removed from the body. The bioflavonoids in Nopalea may help protect against toxicity and reduce inflammation that may lead to serious conditions.

$29.95 for a 32 ounce bottle (a price that is prohibitive for many) - This is what we always called Prickly Pear and has grown wild here in the central part of the United States for all of my life. On several recent trips to the northern part of Texas I was so jealous of the huge prickly pear patches that make our small patches in northeastern Oklahoma look pitiful. According to, prickly pear cactus has been a staple of the Mexican and Central American diet for thousands of years. In parts of the U.S. it has been gaining popularity as an exotic, gourmet and healthy addition to one's diet.

Does Nopal have any Nutritional Value?
According to - For over 12,000 years fresh Nopal cactus has been consumed for its legendary qualities. It is only in the last 20 years that modern science has truly been interested in the investigation of Nopal's nutritional properties.

Nopal Verde is the prickly pear cactus 'vegetable' variety of the Nopal Opuntia ficusindica species. Known as green Nopal and the traditionally consumed ancient variety, Nopal cactus is the modern name used for consumption as a food and a supplement. This original and authentic variety of the Nopal prickly pear; requires the climate and soil type that is unique to its birthplace - the high volcanic mountains of Mexico – where the ground is rich in nutrients. The ancient Mexican cultures, living in the high mountain volcanic regions, originally adopted the Nopal prickly pear cactus as a holistic food and treasured this high mountain variety and they believed that Nopal cactus was a supreme plant and food among its kings and warriors. (Excellent public relations for a nopal farm.)

Back to what has to say;

The prickly pear plant has three different edible sections: the pad of the cactus (nopal), which can be treated like a vegetable, the petals of the flowers, which can be added to salads, and the pear (tuna), which can be treated like a fruit. They grow wild throughout the American southwest, down to South America and up to Canada. The ones you may find at a local store or farmers market will surely originate from a commercial nopal farm.
Prickly pear cactus represent about a dozen species of the Opuntia genus (Family Cactaceae) in the North American deserts. All have flat, fleshy pads that look like large leaves. The pads are actually modified branches or stems that serve several functions -- water storage, photosynthesis and flower production.

Prickly pears have large spines -- actually modified leaves -- growing from tubercles -- small, wart-like projections -- on their stems. But members of the Opuntia genus are unique because of their clusters of fine, tiny, barbed spines called glochids. Found just above the cluster of regular spines, glochids are yellow or red in color and detach easily from the pads. Glochids are often difficult to see and more difficult to remove, once lodged in the skin.
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. Prickly Pear Nectar is made with the juice and pulp of the fruit.

This little fruit is really quite delicious. A bit like a kiwi, with a berry taste. But, oh my, the seeds in these little fruits are very abundant and like tiny little rocks. Some say to just eat the seeds, however, I prefer to smash the fruit through a screen for de-seeding. Of course, I do this after the prickly pear has been de-spined. My first experience with the prickly pear left me picking the tiny, hair-like, barbed spines (invisible to the naked eye) out of my hands for days. These tiny spines left me feeling like I had been playing with insulation. My method for removing the glochids is to burn them off on the grill.

As is obvious from the pricey "Nopalea", there is growing medical interest in the Prickly Pear plant. Some studies have shown that the pectin contained in the Prickly Pear pulp lowers levels of "bad" cholesterol while leaving "good" cholesterol levels unchanged. Another study found that the fibrous pectin in the fruit may lower diabetics' need for insulin. Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that help keep blood sugar stable. There are on-going studies and at this point no extended research and no proven results on humans. I am doing my own research to see if I notice any positive effects, which is the only test that really counts. I let you know what I think and would appreciate any input from your experience.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Pears, once called the “gift of the gods”, are a juicy, sweet, and easily digested fruit that are rich in vitamins and alkaline minerals such as vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, niacin, copper, and boron. Pears also contain several anti-cancer properties and are known to be especially good in helping to prevent esophageal cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, and colon cancer. Pears are an anti-inflammatory food making them perfect for those who suffer from autoimmune disorders such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Endometriosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Lyme disease, Hashimoto’s, Meniere’s disease, and Colitis. Pears also help to decrease the risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes. The flavonols in pears coupled with the anthocyanins help improve insulin sensitivity and their low glycemic index make it a perfect food for those who have blood sugar issues. Pears contain a special fiber that binds with bile acids in the intestines which has the ability to lower cholesterol. Pears also contain both Glutathione which can help prevent high blood pressure and strokes and Boron which helps the body retain calcium and prevent osteoporosis . Pears are also a good source of iodine which helps to keep the metabolism balanced and the thyroid functioning properly and they are high in pectin which is highly beneficial for digestion and bowel regularity. Allow pears to fully ripen at room temperature before eating for maximum nutritional and health benefits. Read the original post here.