The School of Self-Reliance has information on the benefits of prickly pear cactus (nopales). Nopalitos (the flat pads) taste a lot like bell pepper, can be eaten raw or cooked, and is high in fiber and Vitamin C. According to studies (mostly at Mexican universities and the Prickly Pear Council in Kingsville, Texas), something about the pectin acts as a kind of natural insulin for diabetes (although if you want to try it for diabetes, I'd urge you to do it under the supervision of an open-minded doctor). The younger, smaller pads are tastier. You peel them like potatoes; some folks soften the thorns before peeling by letting them sit in hot water for a little while. Tunas are the fruits that bulge out at the end of the nopalitos. They can be eaten raw or cooked, are sweet and high in Vitamin C and make candy, jam, beverages and syrup.
Offered by Lyn.