My dad is a diabetic, and he loves to eat his nopales, or cactus. Not because he’s Mexican but because they are good for regulating blood sugar. Me? I’m about to say something that will make people questions whether I’m a real Mexican or not. I’m not a big nopales fan. For those of you who are confused.. In Mexico, we have a saying: You’re so Mexican that you even have a nopal on your forehead. Sounds weird, I know. Like supersized meals aren’t weird?! Doesn’t matter what I think about nopales. They taste great in this Cactus Banana Smoothie, or Licuado de Nopal con Plátano.
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North of the border, nopales aren’t very well known. At the grocery store by my dad’s house in Mexico, there is even a lady who stands at the “nopal station” and cleans the spikes off the cactus. Here in the US, I am lucky to find them like this, without the spikes and ready to be sliced and cooked. Sometimes, I find them in a bag, diced, ready to hit the pan, but they are more expensive. So, I buy them like this. If you can’t find them where you’re at: BUY ONLINE
From here, I slice them and dice them. Warning if this is the first time you’re using nopales: They are a little slimy. Ground cinnamon also goes into this diabetic-friendly licuado (or smoothie). Cinnamon is excellent for regulating blood sugar. People will tell you that bananas are not good for diabetics. That’s an old myth that needs to die! Under ripened bananas actually help blood sugar. FYI: One small, ripe banana has always been allowed in the diabetic diet. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend away.
The best way to get me to eat nopales is in a licuado, or smoothie. This Cactus Banana Smoothie, or Licuado de Nopal con Plátano, is creamy and delicious! It’s a different and yummy way to use nopales. Plus, you can’t really taste the nopal. I will occasionally make salads with nopales or scramble them with eggs. Can’t have anyone questioning whether I’m Mexican or not. 🙂
- 1 cactus pad, diced
- 1 banana
- 1 cup non-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2-3 drops Stevia
- Put everything in the blender.
- Blend until smooth.