What is prickly pear syrup?
Prickly pear syrup is made from prickly pears, also known as Opuntia ficus-indica. Prickly pears are a type of cactus, and the name also refers to the fruit that they grow. Prickly pear fruit is about the size of a pear or mango. It is a deep pink, green, or a range of yellow-orange tones when it is ripe. The peel is covered in small bump-like spines. When you cut open a prickly pear, the fruit is juicy and can be a bright fuchsia color or a softer yellow-green. The flavor of prickly pear fruit is mild and sweet. This colorful and sweet fruit can be pureed and processed to become prickly pear syrup.
What is the history of the prickly pear?
The prickly pear cactus has its origins in Mexico, where it was domesticated hundreds of years ago. Archaeologists and historians believe that Native Americans used prickly pears as a staple in their diet and probably also relied on its anti-inflammatory properties for medicinal purposes. Prickly pear fruit began to be sold in the form of syrup and used to treat and alleviate various ailments.
What are the benefits of prickly pear syrup?
Prickly pear fruit has many health benefits, and prickly pear syrup is prickly pear fruit in its concentrated form.
- It is known for its unusually high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been proven to be crucial in regulating blood pressure and has even been linked with a lower risk for heart disease. Vitamin C is also known for boosting your immune system and helping you fight off infections.
- Prickly pear fruit has been used to help prevent and treat adult onset diabetes by helping regulate blood sugar.
- Prickly pear syrup is also used to fight inflammation. Some people even rely on prickly pear syrup as a hangover cure because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Use Prickly Pear Syrup:
- Add it to sparkling water and make your own sweet and healthy soda.
- Drizzle it over pancakes or waffles for a flavorful breakfast.
- Use it as an ice cream topping.
- Use it like honey in baking, or spread it on warm bread.
- Get creative! In Mexico prickly pear fruit syrups are often drizzled over tacos for that extra sweet touch.
There are many ways to use prickly pear syrup for inflammation or other issues, and your body will thank you for all those health benefits!