Thursday, July 5, 2012

Grilled Cactus-Nopales / Nopales Asados a la Plancha

Nopales and Diabetes: How does it help?
Nopales asados4Studies have been done for years about the benefits of Nopales but must of them are published in Spanish. Still there needs to be more done to have an effective scientific evidence of its long term effect. In México it’s a popular belief that if you drink a Nopal-fruit juice shake first thing in the morning you will lower your glucose levels. Of course, the industry has taken advantage of this alternative to sell powders, bottled drinks and tablets since the people has not doubt about its benefits and that it actually works for them. Nopales are also rich in calcium and high in fiber.
This is a cooking blog, I know that, but from time to time I receive emails from people asking me about other ways to cook nopales because they are eating them for medicinal reasons to lower their glucose levels. Like the email  I received from Maria C., where she says that a lovely old lady told her to eat grilled nopales first thing in the morning, when she was told by her doctor that she had diabetes type 2. That was 5 years ago and she is doing great now. Thank you Maria for sharing your story with me.
It is not my intention to entertain you with all the details about the medical benefits of this cactus plant, but If you would like to learn more about the Nopales and diabetes studies, here is a series of links to research made by several Universities and well renowned Medical Institutions. They are in Spanish, please use your online translator.

If you have never eaten nopales before, try adding them to stews like any other vegetable, made them scramble with eggs for breakfast, stuffed with cheese and then covered with an egg batter and fry, they have a mild flavor that you will get used to enjoy. Like this simple recipe that can also be prepared when grilling outside with your barbecue grill along with your steak as we do in some states in México. One nopal will be just enough for one person.

Grilled Cactus for 2 stove top version, but of course they will taste better in a charcoal grill.
  • 2 medium size nopales, needles removed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 slices of you favorite melting cheese (optional)

Instructions:
Nopales asados11. Warm your griddle or cast iron grill. Brush the oil on each side of the nopal.
Nopales asados2
2. Place the nopalitos in your griddle and cook over medium heat turning until tender, about 8 minutes.Nopales asados3
3. If using a cast iron grill cook until marked and tender. Just before serving top with the slice of cheese to melt. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a fresh salsa and warm tortillas. A healthy, low calorie dinner or lunch.

¡Buen provecho!
Mely

31 comments:

  1. Me encantan los nopales son deliciosos, en casa siempre están presentes y ese smoothie que mencionas también lo he tomado es delicioso. Mely sobre lo que me preguntas en mi blog, el lavado de los moldes es muy fácil se lavan sin problema, pero aun no lo he probado con pan de levadura solo con galletas y no me dio problema. Besitos con cariño.

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    1. Gracias Norma por pasar a contestarme, lo voy a probar y lueog te platico.

      Saludos,

      Mely

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  2. Hi Mely. Hope you are doing good. I love nopales and yes they are very good for you. Yours look delish. A smoothie I've never made out of nopales but you got me thinking about it. I am drinking green drinks right now but I'm not sure if I can do a nopal smoothie. Food for thought though. Nice to see you. Hope you had a wonderful holiday. Take care.

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    1. Hi Gloria,

      Just give it a try, it is tasty and refreshing.

      Glad to hear from you.

      Mely

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  3. I love nopales Mely. This is actually a great post, with the epidemic of diabetics we are experiencing in the states, more then one person can benefit from the information you are sharing. Nopales are delicious food beside being good for you, they are easy to come along and they don't cost much. Your pictures look so tempting, yum!

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    1. You are right Prieta, Nopales are really affordable.

      Have a great week!

      Mely

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  4. Hi Mely,
    It is so good to see you today and what an interesting post. Your Grilled Cactus looks delicious, makes me want to try and find some so I can try the recipe. Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thank you Miz Hellen,

      I for sure will be back.

      Mely

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  5. MELY, ME ENCANTAN LOS NOPALES. ESOS QUE HICISTE, CON OTRO NOPAL ARRIBA Y LUEGO CAPEADO LES DICEN POR ACÁ: INDITOS AL BALCÓN. SE OYE RE COTORRO PERO NO SE ME ANTOJAN CAPEADOS, A MÍ ME GUSTAN ASÍ COMO TÚ LOS HICISTE. INCLUSO SI LE EMBARRO FRIJOLIANOS.
    UN ABRAZOTE MELY, SE FELIZ Y YO A TRATAR DE HACERLO, PESE A LOS ACONTECIMIENTOS EN ESTE PAÍS.

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    1. Hola Carmen,

      Feliz fin de semana, y gracias por la idea de los inditos al balcon. Sabes yo hago mas o menos asi los chayotes, primero los pono a cocer enteros, luego les pongo el queso y despues capeados y se sirven con bañados en salsa de tomate. Eso si, no se como se llama ese platillo. :))

      Saludos,

      Mely

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  6. Mely, qué buen reportaje. Los nopales son parte de mi despensa, nunca faltan en mi comida, Los hago en ensalada, guisados verdes, rojos, asados como los tuyos. Y en nuestras parrilladas los asamos al carbón, y como dices un nopal grande para cada uno, son tan sabrosos! Y el licuado, te dejo un enlace a mi blog, tal vez quieras enlazarme =)

    LICUADO DE NOPAL

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    1. Gracias por el enlace Nora,

      Saludos,

      Mely

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  7. Mely, thanks for sharing this information. Diabetes run's in my fathers side of the family so I'll definitely be sharing this. Also, a nopales smoothie.. oh my, I'm definitely going to try it! Un abrazo fuerte!!!

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  8. Mely, thanks for sharing this information. Diabetes run's in my fathers side of the family so I'll definitely be sharing this. Also, a nopales smoothie.. oh my, I'm definitely going to try it! Un abrazo fuerte!!!

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    1. Hola Diana,

      Enjoy your little ones.

      Mely

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  9. I never knew that about nopales, that is wild.

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    1. Hello Chris,

      Yes, it is a wild thing!

      Regards,

      Mely

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  10. Que bueno Mely! me encanta esa presentación. Yo no como nopales, pero mi marido si, en casa no faltan y así asados en el desayuno le encantan :)
    besitos
    Gaby

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  11. Hi Mely, sorry havent visited you for a while. This is one thing that I always wanted to try but still havent :(. very interesting recipe :), have a nice day

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  12. interesting Indian folks have a vegetable called kerala and they also say it lowers blood sugar

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    1. Hello Rebecca,
      I would to know more about it. I hope you blog about soon.

      Mely

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  13. Mmmmmpero qué delicia, me has antojado Mely!

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    1. Hola MyCookingTime,

      Cone ste aclor se antojan, verdad?

      Saludos,

      Mely

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  14. No soymucho de nopales !!! pero.......... así sí me los como Mely!!!
    un beso... en ésta semana o pronto te llamo !! :D

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  15. Mely,

    That is exactly how we eat Nopales in my family. My parents are from Zacatecas y somos muy nopaleros! Have you tried raw Nopales picados in pico de gallo with lime juice drizzled on top? It's absolutely delicious and refreshing. I love making them cuando asamos carne! Yum!

    Lisa Diaz

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    1. Hello Elizabeth,

      I heard about the raw nopales pico de gallo. I will have to try it.
      Thanks for the tip.

      Mely

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  16. Mely,
    Can you tell me where to get these?
    ~Angelina :)

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    1. Hello Angelina,

      If you do not have a Latin Store close to where you live, you can buy them online fresh. Look for Cactus Leaves or in our Amazon Store the canned version. Here: http://astore.amazon.com/mexinmykit-20?node=66&page=9

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