How to Make Homemade Prickly Pear Cactus Juice
How to Make Prickly Pear Juice
Prickly pear "tunas" ripen in late summer and are full of sweet juice that can be used to make jams, jellies and wine. These fruits are full of vitamin C and antioxidants. If you have a suitable press, such as a cider press, you can make prickly pear juice from the fruits.
Prickly pear fruits
Pick the prickly pear fruits with tongs.Place the fruits in a bucket. It takes a lot of fruits to make juice, so pick as many as possible.
- Wearing heavy-duty gloves is a good idea when picking the fruits.
Pour boiling water over the fruits.You'll see thousands of the prickly tiny hairs (glochids) float to the surface. This will remove many of the glochids, but not all of them. Drain the water into the sink or somewhere outdoors.
Wrap the fruits in a damp, double layer of cheesecloth (muslin works well).Keep the open part at the top. Tie in a loose knot to hold it all together or secure in whatever manner works best for you.
Squeeze the fruits.There are different ways of doing this. The best method is to use a cider press type setup.
- There are many simple plans to build a press available on the internet. You can easily make one from 2x4s in an hour. These use an automotive bottle jack or scissor jack to apply the squeezing pressure. You could probably use the jack that's in your car.
Strain the juice.After thoroughly squeezing the juice into a container, strain it one last time through cheesecloth again. This will completely remove any glochids or seeds that are left.
Serve.The juice is now ready to use.
- Burning the glochids off each individual fruit is very labor intensive and time consuming. Using duct tape to remove them is downright silly and ineffective. Removing the glochids is not necessary if you handle the fruits carefully because the cheesecloth strainings will do the job. Just make sure to never handle the fruits with your bare hands.
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