Living in Mexico afforded me many new reasons to appreciate life–from the importance of being truly hospitable and humble to the value of friendship, and the deep-rooted cultural traditions taught me more than I can express in words. One of the most magical lessons that I took away from my adventure was how brujas blancas (good witches), curanderas (herb doctors), doctores (medical doctors) as well as native chefs from across the country showed me that food is healing and can cure many ills.
|Image from www.norecipes.com|
Each morning in Zihuatanejo, we began our desayuno (breakfast) with a tall, cold glass of jugo de pina con nopal (pineapple juice with nopal). Blended together, the combination is refreshing, revitalizing and you knew it was doing your belly good. We also frequently enjoyed ensalada de nopal (cactus salad) as well as nopales con huevos (cactus with eggs).
Agua de Pina con Nopal (Pineapple and Cactus Drink)
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from the August/September 2012 issue of Saveur magazine
Walk into any restaurant in Mexico or down any calle (street) and you’ll be tasked with choosing which agua fresca you want. Agua de jamaica (hibiscus flower), agua de sandia (watermelon), agua de melon (cantaloupe), horchata (rice) and the list goes on. This recipe was completely new to me and did not disappoint. Refreshing, delicious and easy to make, I bet this green drink won’t last long in your house either.
Makes 4-6 glasses
1/3 cup Ideal (or sugar)
1 cup nopal, cleaned of spikes and roughly chopped
1 cup pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 large apple, unpeeled, cored and chopped
3 1/2 cups of water
In a blender, combine sweetener of choice, nopal, pineapple, apple and water and puree for two minutes until smooth.
Pour the liquid through a fine strainer into a pitcher, discarding the any leftover pulp. Chill in the refrigerator.
To serve, pour over ice and enjoy.