I have a secret. Shhhh! When flu season nears, I keep a pitcher full of Prickly Pear and Blood Orange cooler in my fridge to combat any unwanted cold and flu viruses that are planning an attack.
Prickly pears or cactus pears are known to help improve immunity and the function of disease fighting white blood cells. They are also a great source of vitamin C along with those beautiful blood oranges.
I confirmed the benefits of this powerful agua fresca with “Melissa’s 50 Best Plants on the Planet” book. This is a beautifully photographed book showcasing the 50 best fruits and vegetables from the largest supplier of produce in the United States, Melissa’s Produce.
Prickly pear is a new favorite in the book but has always been one of my top 10.
My love for this beautiful fruit intensified when I read how beneficial it is for my health. Full of fiber, a strong antioxidant, helps prevent cell death and cancer cell development.
If you’ve never peeled prickly pear, be careful because they are covered in tiny barbs. Wear gloves. To peel, cut off ends using a pairing knife and make cuts lengthwise about 2-3 inches apart. Pull off the skin from the slit and discard.
- 5 prickly pears, peeled
- 3 blood oranges, juiced
- 10 tablespoons sugar
- 8 cups water
- Blend prickly pears and blood orange juice until smooth.
- Transfer mix to a large pitcher.
- Add water, sweeten with sugar and stir well until sugar has dissolved.
To purchase your copy or to learn more about Melissa’s 50 Best Plants on the Planet, visit Melissa’s Produce website.
Disclosure: I was invited to host an event about Melissa’s book release and receive my own copy of the book. All opinions and recipe are my own.