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Prickly Pear Juice Extraction

1. Collect prickly pear (tunas) with kitchen tongs or leather gloves.

2. Rinse tunas in water to clean out insects and dirt.

3. Place tunas in freezer.

4. Get container which will hold the juice.

5. Place frozen tunas on cheesecloth over a colander.

6. Place the container under the colander.

7. As the tunas thaw, the juice will flow down into the container.

8. Use the juice in your favorite recipe.

9. Do other chores while the tunas are thawing!!!!

Demonstration by J T Garcia at a Texas Cactus Council meeting

"Prickly pear fruit is now plentiful in most pastures or ranches. The colorful (red or purple) tunas really add beauty to the ranch landscape, especially with all the wonderful rain we received inJune and July. I've seen plenty of desert tortoises eating the ripe tunas that fall under the prickly pear cactus. The fruit is enjoyed also by coyotes, javelinas, a variety of birds, and feral hogs which are also plentiful almost everywhere in Texas. The cattle, who enjoyed cactus during the dry winter months, also eat the ripe fruit. It is not uncommon for ranchers to see most of their cattle with colorful red mouths. We still have not determined the nutritional value of the cactus fruit for cattle. Anyone out there know?

Now that you have all that prickly pear juice, what can you do with it? Here is a few links to some recipes you can try."

Prickly Pear Jelly - ppjelly.php
Tuna Juice Wine Cooler- winecool.php
Prickly Pear Margaritas - ppmargaritas.php

Information by J T Garcia which is printed in the Texas Cactus Council August 2006 Newsletter.