None of the spineless opuntias that I planted this year produced any fruit, so I had to scavenge for some fruit in the parks around my house. Hopefully next year I can use the fruit from my own plants.
Make sure that you pick the nice ripe fruit that are a deep magenta color.
Be sure to use tongs to pick the fruit. The outer skin of the fruit has fine little prickly hairs that hurt quite a bit if they poke you. I made sure to also wear rubber gloves when I washed and cut the fruit so that I didn't get pricked. However, a few of the fine hairs pierced their way through the rubber gloves and I still had to use some tweezers to pick them out of my fingers. I can only imagine what would have happened if I did it bare-handed!
Next, rinse the fruit. I then cut off the ends of the fruit and peeled away the outer layer of skin. You will be left with the bright magenta and seedy fruit on the inside, like this:
I have a juicer, so I then juiced the fruit. If you don't have a juicer, you can juice the fruit in a blender and strain the juice from the pulp with cheesecloth.
For each Prickly Pear Lemonade drink serving, I used the following ingredients:
- Juice from 2 prickly pears
- Juice from 2 lemons (or limes if you want to do a limeade or margarita)
- About 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- Hand full of ice
- Optional - Splash of vodka or tequila for the adult drink version
Adjust to taste. Shake all ingredients in a shaker and serve. Cheers!