Take a sip of this homemade cactus juice for a healthy and refreshing drink to enjoy this summer! This green juice is super simple to make and all you need are 4 ingredients to make it.
Living in Texas, summertime can be very hot, so I am always coming up with delicious smoothies and drinks to cool off. I love to make some fresh agua frescas and a few fruit smoothies (like this strawberry banana yogurt smoothie).
But, with green drinks becoming more and more popular, I decided to share a classic green juice recipe from Mexico- homemade cactus juice!
This drink is made with Mexican nopales, which are cactus paddles. They are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
It's really light and refreshing!
🌎 History Behind Cactus Juice
Cactus juice has been around for centuries and is popular in Mexico. It's considered a healing drink and has been consumed for years before the green smoothie craze started here in the states.
Doctor Felipe II considered that the juice of the cactus leaves & its fruit remarkably extinguish fever, quenches thirst, and moistens the dry instestins. (1)
This drink, made with Mexican nopales and fruits like pineapple and orange juice, has been around for years in Mexico.
Cactus juice is often used to treat various health issues! Many doctors and regular human beings like us swear by the advantages your whole body will gain from drinking this refreshing drink every morning.
They say nopales have a lot of healthy and medicinal benefits for our bodies.
Some benefits of cactus juice include:
- Improved digestion
- Supports the immune system
- Helps with weight loss
- Anti-inflammatory properties
The cactus has even been used to help with diabetes and high blood pressure.
I just drink it to add more fiber to my diet once in a while when fresh nopales are available at my local Latin market.
Before I share my recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked about traditional jugo de nopales.
What does cactus juice taste like?
This cactus juice recipe is a refreshing drink with sweet and tart flavors, thanks to the additional fruits. If you make it with just nopales, it will be more earthy in flavor.
I have a lot of nopales left over. What can I make with it?
I love to cook with nopales and make many different dishes! Here are some of my favorites:
Here is a list of ingredients you'll need to make this green drink recipe...
- Cactus paddles (with no needles)
- Fresh pineapple
- Orange juice (or water)
- Ice cubes
- Sprig of parsley (optional)
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
This recipe for green cactus juice is really easy to make! Here's what you need to do:
- Chop the nopal in small pieces to make it easy to blend.
Note: Make sure there aren’t any needles left on the skin of the cactus paddles.
- Cut the pineapple into slices and then into even cubes.
- Place the cactus and pineapple into a blender with some orange juice (or water).
- Process everything until it's all smooth, and... voilà!
Serve and enjoy!
🍽 Side Dishes
📚 More Authentic Mexican Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe for cactus juice, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Guava Agua Fresca
- Sparkling Mexican Limeade and Orangeade
- Easy Papaya Drink
- Prickly Pear Juice
- Mango Agua Fresca
I hope you make this jugo de nopales! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
Green Cactus Juice With Mexican Nopales
- 1 medium-sized fresh nopal pad needles removed
- 1 slice of fresh pineapple about ½ cup
- 1 cup of fresh orange juice or water
- A sprig of parsley and ice cubes optional
- Chop the nopal into small pieces, making sure there aren’t any spines/thorns left on the skin.
- Chop the pineapple slice into cubes
- Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth, and… voilà!
- If fresh pineapple is not available you can easily use frozen pineapple chunks.
- However, fresh nopales are required to make this juice, Nopales sold in a jar are already cooked, and won't work on this recipe.
- You can find Nopales being sold at Latin Stores or some grocery stores in regions with a large Mexican Population. Nowadays, you can even find Nopales in Asia. But for sure you can find them in Central and South America.
- If you have leftover Cactus Juice, store it in your fridge to enjoy the next day. Some people in Mexico make enough to store in a pitcher inside the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
(1) Francisco Hernández, Historia Natural de la Nueva España, Tomo 1,