Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's that time of year!

Today was the first day I found prickly pear cactus fruit at the market.

The amount of trouble I used to get into as a kid around this time of year, coming home all stained a lovely shade of violet from cactus fruit juice is still memorable. (and I still think it worth all the extra chores)

Not surprisingly, not many people here in Michigan know about prickly pear fruit. After finding some at the store I do most of my shopping (I live, fortunately enough, very near the Latino section of town, and so am able to get food most Michiganders are not familiar with from the local mercados) I made one of my favorite childhood treats, Prickly Pear "pudding" for a couple of friends.

It's not really pudding, it's not even cooked. It is simplicity itself to make as well.

Take six ripe prickly pear fruit and make sure any fine needles are gone by singing the fruit over an open flame or scraping the skin with a knife.

Cut the fruit in half, remove any seeds with a spoon, then remove the meat with the spoon and drop in in a blender. (Note! Cactus fruit juice stains, so be careful). Add about a quarter cup of water and blend. Take the liquid, place it in a bowl and at one quarter cup of whole chia seeds. Mix the seeds into the liquid well. If you want a slightly sweeter pudding you can add a little piloncillo (Mexican raw sugar) if you like. Then pop it into the 'frige and let it set up for an hour or so. The taste is delicate and quite singular. The Chia absorbs the liquid and forms a gel around each seed so you get a raw food pudding that is healthy, high energy and can't be beat for a summer afternoon.


steve-vh said...

Can I get some Sunday?!?!

Janet said...

not if I can help it, Steve;-) It was soooo yummy!!

Salma said...

Dear Mushtaq,
Your cactus foraging sounds like my quenepa gathering during the three years my dad was stationed in Puerto Rico. Quenepas are, in my opinion, the most heavenly fruit on earth. You break the skin with your teeth, take off the top half of the skin, then suck on the pink-orange pulp like you would a melting ice cream cone. Now, I have never eaten cactus fruit, so my feelings may be a bit skewed. Unlike you, though, I never had to do chores for getting messy. My mother was an artist and would send me and my brother outside to play from dawn to dusk. (So she could paint in peace and we could be kids.) We ran positively wild, playing with lizards and crabs, gathering limes, bananas, fallen coconuts, and quenepas, sucking honeysuckle nectar, and exploring the base on our bikes. Luckily, I never was inclined to pick up and eat the numerous mangos that littered the yards and streets. I discovered as an adult that I am highly allergic to them!!! S