In a state where the cacti often seem more plentiful than the residents, an unconventional fruit with a surprising number of health benefits is popping up in restaurant specialty items and grocery stores alike.
Prickly pear cactus isn’t just a water-efficient landscaping option for your front yard. It’s actually a healthy food item with strong roots in Mexican cuisine and a handful of reported health benefits.
Some evidence shows the prickly pear has anti-inflammatory properties and may treat diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers. Although, more research is needed to confirm these benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Oracle State Park’s Prickly Pear Fruit Processing Workshop Sept. 16 is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this dynamic fruit.
Led by Sonoran Herbalist John Slattery, the event consists of a trail walk and talk with some discussion about prickly pear medicine.
Slattery will also demonstrate a quick and simple method to process prickly pear at home with a blender and straining equipment.
Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a freshly made juice drink at the end of the event, and purchase botanical products and books.
The workshop costs $15 per person in addition to the park entrance fee ($7 per vehicle for 1-4 adults or $3 for an individual or bicycle. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the park.
The program is limited to 15 participants and will take place from 8-11 a.m. on Sept. 16. For more information, visit the Oracle State Park website.