Barrel Cactus Ice

We live in the Sonoran Desert and our yard is filled with dangerously sharp plants. One of the most dangerous is the fishhook barrel cactus in the backyard. It's a short, stout plant with spines that are curved like fishhooks just waiting to catch you.

Our dog had an addiction to the fruits that grow on the top of this plant. So much, that she would risk life and limb (and skin) to pluck them from the plant. Now that she's not around to gobble them up, I actually have quite a crop of the fruits and thought it might be worth a little research to see what kind of recipes you could use them for.


I discovered that all cactus fruits are edible, although some, like prickly pears and saguaro fruit, are more commonly used because they have a sweeter, fruitier taste. There's just not a lot of love (or recipes) out there for the poor barrel cactus.

The fruits don't taste bad. They actually have a kind of lemony in flavor. I don't think I would just sit down and snack on one of these, but they are the perfect main ingredient for a cool and icy desert dessert.

Ingredients

  • 20 barrel cactus fruits
  • 6 oz raspberries
  • juice from one large lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions


Remove the dried flowers from the ends of the cactus fruits. Cut the cactus fruits in half and scoop out the seeds. (You can dry and eat the seeds. They are yummy in smoothies, sprinkled on salads, or just to snack on.)


Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.


Pour the mixture into a 9x9-inch glass pan. Freeze for about two hours. Scrape the mixture into the blender or food processor again and mix until slushy.

Repeat the freezing and blending 2-3 more times then serve. This treat has a creamier and fluffier texture if you serve it the same day you make it, but it can be stored in the freezer for a few days.

Makes 4 cups

So once again, I appreciate the inspiration I received from The Real Chilly Dog. I probably would have ignored the fruits on this terrifying resident in our back yard if it weren't for her.

LOVE IT? SHARE IT. MAKE IT.

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The Chilly Dog: Barrel Cactus Ice
Barrel Cactus Ice
Recipe: Barrel Cactus Slush - How to make a delicious, icy treat, similar to sorbet, using the fruit from a barrel cactus. It's a refreshing desert dessert on a hot summer day!
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