Cactus Pineapple Smoothie (Licuado de Nopal) is a yummy and healthy drink that is said to help with weight loss, supports blood sugar levels, and improves digestion.
Watch the VIDEO or check out the step-by-step pictures below to learn how to remove the thorns from a cactus paddle and make this nutrient-rich beverage.
After the Holidays, I can’t eat another tamale In fact, I’m “all-tamaled-out.”
I have to remember to “SUCK IT IN” whenever we take family pictures, and the genius who invented leggings is my hero.
This Licuado de Nopal (Cactus Pineapple Smoothie) is perfect for weight loss, my friends.
I am not a doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. Lol.
Over the years, I’ve heard success story after success story about this Cactus Pineapple Smoothie.
People swear they lost weight just by drinking a glass of this miracle smoothie.
Some say to drink it before bed. Some people say to drink it before eating breakfast.
Weight loss or not, this healthy smoothie is incredibly good for you.
How to Make Licuado de Nopal
It starts with fresh Cactus, or Nopal.
First, I am going to show you how to remove the thorns from the nopal, or cactus paddle.
I use an oven mitt to handle the nopal.
You can also use a plastic bag. There are special mittens as well.
For me, an oven mitt works well. Just check it at the end to see if there are any thorns on the mitt itself.
How to remove the thorns off of a nopal (cactus paddle)
- Place the nopal on a clean surface.
- Hold the end of the nopal with the oven mitt and a knife on the other.
- Cut around the nopal, removing the sides.
- Using a sharp knife remove the thorns.
- Move the paddle around to remove all the thorns.
Please be very careful. If you do this quickly, the thorns will fly around.
Make sure no children are around. Also, you might need to sweep up the kitchen floor if any thorns go flying.
To prevent the thorns from flying, scrape off the thorns close to the surface you are work on.
Don’t forget to rinse the nopales… even if you buy them from a jar. It will clean the nopales and remove some of the baba.
To dice: Cut perpendicular to the slices to create diced nopales.
Nopal, nopales, nopalitos. These are words to describe cactus.
Many stores sell them already diced and packaged. This is normally how I buy them.
You can also find them in jar and already cooked. For our Licuado de Nopal, you need raw cactus.
The Number 1 question I get asked is: What does Cactus taste like?
It has the texture of asparagus but not as stringy.
It has slime that comes out. We refer to it as “baba.” You won’t get the slime in this smoothie though.
Drain nopales well if you are cooking cactus to remove as much of the cactus slime as possible.
For the cactus newbie or the cactus haters, try this Cactus Banana Smoothie.
It’s sweeter than the Licuado de Nopal recipe here.
Benefits of Nopal Cactus
- It helps regulate blood sugar levels
- High cholesterol
- Very high in fiber.
- It even decreases cellulite and fluid retention.
Nopales help reduce the fat in your body by breaking down and getting rid of adipose tissue. (Nope, I’m still not a doctor).
It’s no wonder why people refer to nopal cactus as a superfood.
The benefits of cactus are seriously worth trying them out. Big time winner, for sure!
If you are not a fan of this Licuado de Nopal, you can also add nopales into your diet.
How to Choose a Ripe Pineapple:
- Turn the pineapple upside down.
- Smell the bottom button-like area.
- If it smells like pineapple, it is ripe and ready to eat.
- If it does not quite smell like pineapple, it still needs a few days.
For those of you looking for a Nopal Smoothie for Diabetes, please know that pineapple is a fruit that is high in sugar.
However, there is no substitute for pineapple.
Other Names for Licuado de Nopal:
There are some who call the Cactus Pineapple Smoothie the “Quema Grasa” or the “Fat Burner.”
Maybe it is because of the combination of cactus and pineapple.
To ripen a pineapple faster, leave it outside of the fridge and by a window.
If placed inside a fridge, it will take longer to ripen.
Pineapple has great enzymes in it, is low in calories, high in water content, and high in fiber.
All excellent for weight loss. I also like the sweetness that pineapple adds.
If you have never tried cactus before, add more pineapple than cactus. Then add more cactus next time you make this Licuado de Nopal.
Some people will use water to blend this smoothie, but I add freshly squeezed orange juice.
It adds a level of sweetness that I love.
Orange Juice has good Vitamin C and great for a healthy diet.
The other thing that I usually add is tumeric. It is anti-inflammatory, and you really can’t taste it in the Cactus Pineapple Smoothie, Licuado de Nopal.
If you don’t have tumeric, you can add cayenne. It is also a great immune system booster.
Don’t go crazy with the cayenne. Just a dash. That stuff is spicy!
Add everything – nopales, pineapple, and orange juice into the blender.
Blend until smooth.
Your Licuado de Nopal (Cactus Pineapple Smoothie) will last only 1 day in the fridge.
However, this freezes well. It will last up to 4 months in the freezer.
When you defrost, you will need to stir, and it will taste just as yummy.
You can also make it as a frozen afternoon treat during the summer months.
Don’t Forget to Watch the Licuado de Nopal Video
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- 1 cup fresh cactus, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, or water
Disclosure: This recipe post contains affiliate links.