DONA MARIA: Nopalitos Tender Cactus, 15 oz
Hispanics believe that nopales (the flower of cactus plants) helps diabetes. This belief is actually true for the nopales have very few calories and a high fiber content. Meals containing nopales tend to be filling and discourage the excess consumption of calories.Nopales provide dietary aid for diabetes sufferers, and their high fiber content is beneficial to nearly any diet. Natural produce nutritionists tout nopal en polvo (powdered prickly pear pads) and Opuntia (Opuntia is the scientific name for prickly pears) capsules as dietary supplements useful in promoting weight loss. Numerous other nutritional and health benefits have been linked to this fleshy vegetable also called nopalitos.NOPALITOS OR NOPALESNopalitos - Cactus, or Nopal, is a typical sight in the Mexican landscape. It is not strange that it should find its way into the local cuisine. The use of Nopalitos has its origins in the Roman Catholic observance of serving meatless dishes during Lent; now they are a part of everyday cooking.The paddle, or tender pads, of the plant (called prickly pear in the U.S.) are eaten as a green vegetable in Mexico. The best young shoots are packed fresh, pickled or preserved.Sliced for convenience, their use lends itself to a variety of dishes, such as traditional nopalitos salad or soup. Combined with seafood, omelets, quiches, and casseroles, nopalitos adds a delicious and authentic flair.It is believed that one of nopalitos (nopal cactus) properties is a natural diabetes and cholesterol medication, and its also used in the treatment of obesity, gastrointestinal disorders, skin ailments, and viral infections.