Herb question?

Hey yall, so i know this is gonna sound weird coming from me, as @Ostara likes to call me Queen of Herbs lol, but here goes… does anyone have experience drying prickly pear cactus pads?

Ive googled it, but i thought I’d reach out and ask my brothers and sisters, especially the west coast ones where these are native.

9 Likes

Ooo… this is a new one for me… I have no idea but now I’m curious :laughing:

Where does one even get a pad from a cactus, obviously it involves I guess taking off the outer layers I would assume? I’m just so curious now!

9 Likes

No experience here either but I see I’m not the only one that calls you the Queen of Herbs!! I wonder if you could find something on the Mexican or Central/South American side of the Internet. I have several friends from down south that cook with them.

7 Likes

@christeena ooh great question!! I lived in AZ for 5 years part time (had an apartment there with my job) and I had a good friend who introduced me to prickly pear margaritas which are made with the fruit of the Prickly Pear Cactus. Then we determined that we could make many other things out of prickly pear pads. What I do know from visiting herbalists out there and going to Sedona frequently is that depending on what you wish to do with them is how you prepare them. Let me know specifically how you want to use them and I can give you information on just that.

However you said to dry them so I will give you basic drying instructions for this:

  • If the spines are not removed then you will need to remove those first;
  • Cut the pads into 3/4 inch strips and boiled them for one minute;
  • Marinate them for ten minutes in soy sauce and dry them until brittle in an dehydrator at 135º F (if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can do it in the oven- turn it to the lowest setting, cut your cactus pad into ¼ inch slices, and put them in the oven on a lined sheet pan for as long as they need, usually 6 to 8 hours.)
  • If they are not spiced and when dried plain, they have a bit of a dirt note in terms of taste.

There’s tons of other ways to spice them up before drying them, or you can also preserve them by pressure canning them, freezing, or pickling them, depending on what you want to do with them. Let me know if you want more info, I have it all in my journal from our experiments back in my AZ days! :green_heart:

8 Likes

@jan_TheGreenWitch ok yeah thats how i also found online to do it too. I was hoping there was an easier way than cooking them. For 6-8 hrs, as i dont have a dehydrator. I need to get one. I really appreciate your help.

@Amaris_Bane yes love u and @Ostara love calling me that.

@Siofra_Strega i ordered them online.

7 Likes

@Siofra_Strega @jan_TheGreenWitch @Amaris_Bane if yall are wondering what im concocting with the prickly pear cactus pad… im using it in conjunction with a few other things for a new nerve pain tea.

8 Likes

I use something I make with ginger, turmeric, nettle tincture, and I put them either in a tea or my green smoothie to help with my neuropathy. I also get pain relief from White Willow Tea, it’s wonderful. I hear that apple cider vinegar helps too, but I use it every day anyway, so I’m not sure if it helps or not :).

I’d love for you to share your recipe if you are willing @christeena. I hope all is well xo :green_heart:

8 Likes

@christeena, my curiosity more stemmed from my lack of knowledge about prickly pear other than what I have seen on the Food Channel :thinking: on a show that sent someone was sent to areas & they tried the local cuisines regardless of where in the world they landed :earth_asia: A lot of times it was areas from all over the world other than the United States but there were still the ones that had places or sections of the United States but not by single states necessarily.

That being said, I am well versed in that type of pain from damage from accidents over the years in my right pinky, left wrist, & sacral/sciatic nerves through to my toes. So now my curiosity just piqued a whole bunch! :star_struck:

Thank you @jan_TheGreenWitch for sharing your knowledge of the prickly pear & ways to prepare & dry the pads. I never would have guessed a couple of those. (There isn’t much in the way of any cactus :cactus: :pear: that isn’t in a pot :potted_plant: here on the Cape :laughing:

6 Likes

@jan_TheGreenWitch thanks for your suggestions. White willow tea actually doesnt help for my neuropathy. Apple cider vinegar i take daily. Ive tried so many other methods, treatments, to no avail. Im gonna keep trying til i find something that actually helps me.

This recipe will consist of California poppy, corydalis yanhusuo, passionflower, prickly pear cactus pad, and marshmallow root.

6 Likes

I hope you get some relief soon, if you need anything, just ask. Xo

6 Likes

@jan_TheGreenWitch thanks hon i really appreciate that. I can help everyone else, but finding the right thing to help myself has been a bust. So ill take all the help i can get

5 Likes

@christeena Do you have an air fryer? My air fryer has a Dehydrator feature on it. I came across that part on accident so I just thought I’d mention it.

7 Likes

Air fryers are a theme for me this weekend… well, I know what I’m putting on my birthday wishlist… 3 months early :thinking:

Yay for giving him time to plan & choose & save? :woman_shrugging: He’ll be happy with the easy idea :laughing:

I’ll have to mention dehydrator functions being available :grin:

7 Likes

I kept fighting against getting one for ever and finally broke down and now it is my favorite kitchen appliance I use it more than anyone else for everything! The dehydrator has been super useful too, who wouldda thunk it?

7 Likes

@AileyGrey oooooooo i do have an air fryer. Ill have to find the book online. As it was my mom’s. Thanks darlin

7 Likes

@Siofra_Strega yesssssss i love mine. Hubby does too especially for his hashbrowns and cheesestix. I love making baked potatoes in them.

6 Likes

@AileyGrey So i have found out that i can use my air fryer, which is awesome. I also found that an air fryer can also be used to dry herbs too. (Mind blown) 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes

7 Likes

That’s amazing!! I can’t wait to try it! I know @Siofra_Strega uses all kinds of modern day tricks with her craft, but I always tickle myself thinking of what our past sisters must think of us popping things in the coffee grinders or see or drying f herbs in the air fryer!

Now I can’t stop giggling before bed!

7 Likes

:laughing: some things I have to modernize, but I do like to try & do things the ways they once were done. I have a patience & tendon/joint thing so coffee grinders are perfect :rofl:

I’d imagine over time as things changed some things were adapted for their modernization purposes too. I just think maybe they look at us now & are sitting around a fire :fire: with a tea :tea: saying things like, “Back in my day… or they walked 3 miles up hill both ways to harvest mugwort.” :joy:

My future dreams of obtaining an air fryer are getting clearer though… :mag:

7 Likes