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From: Gina (
Subject:         Best way to remove prickly pear thorns?
Date: October 9, 2014 at 7:37 pm PST

Just curious if anyone knows a better way to remove prickly pear thorns?

I recently harvested 5 medium-sized buckets of prickly pears, aka cactus apples from my yard. I refrigerated them and wondered how in the world I could use so many.
I watched Mike Adams use the Norwalk juicer and he juiced them whole without dealing with the thorns but his cloth was able to retain the thorns.

I watched someone use a torch to burn off the thorns.

Usually I would peel a cactus apple very carefully, but in this case, there is no time with so many.

So what I have done is first wash the apples (without ever touching them) and to use an iron skillet and turn it on maximum high and very quickly roll the apples with tongs to singe the thorns off. I do it so quickly that the heat is not enough to cook the apples, just heat the skin. Then I wash the fruit in water to rinse off the debris. I have ran my hand over the fruit after it's washed and the thorns feel like they have been removed, but occasionally there might be a stray one that's left. So far, it seems the juicer is able to remove the skin, so I am not worried about a stray thorn making it into the juice.

Then I run the fruit through a centrifugal juicer. Normally, a centrifugal is frowned on, but I like using it for these kind of applications, because there are so many seeds and it is so quick.

The finished juice is very thick, there is hardly any pulp left, (mostly seeds and skin), and it tastes incredibly high in antioxidants. Because it's very sweet, I mix it with bitter and sour things like nopal leaf juice or fresh aloe vera or sprouted black sesame paste.

Some tips:
1) always use tongs and never use bare hands to touch them, even after singing the thorns.

2) It's best to wear an apron, in case the little thorns fly through the air and attach to clothing.

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