7 Edible Succulents
Top Cactus Food Plants For Your Homestead Garden!
In warm climates, edible succulents grow easily in most homestead situations where space is limited or the climate is cold.
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They thrive in the well-drained soil of containers.
Most edible succulents are easy to propagate.
Break off a branch or a pup, set it aside for a few days to heal over, then plant and water sparingly until roots form.
Rural Money Homestead Garden recommend these favorite edible varieties:
7 Edible Succulents In Your Yard
The night-blooming white flowers, which are the state flower of Arizona, produce greenish-pink fruit that contains bright red, slightly sweet pulp and small black seeds that give it a nutty flavor.
The Tohono O’odham tribe of Arizona and Mexico has long used the fruit to make everything from jams and syrups to ceremonial wines.
How to eat it? Chop the juicy pulp into salsa or even bake them into biscuits.
The photo above shows an Opuntia succulent growing in the Rural Money Homestead Garden.
the You’ve probably seen these on the menu of Mexican restaurants as “nopales.”
They have a mild, neutral flavor similar to green beans, and a slightly chewy texture.
Its fruit, called “tuna” in Mexico, but commonly known as the prickly pear stateside, tastes like a combination of bubblegum and watermelon.
How to eat it? Opuntia has flat, oval leaves that can be boiled or grilled and used in salads, soups, salsas, and tacos. The fruit can be peeled, sliced, and eaten raw or juiced.
These flowering succulents, also known as sedums, encompass up to 600 species of plants.
Their leaves have a mild peppery, bitter flavor and are a flavorful addition to salads and stir-frys.
However, be sure to eat them in moderation because large quantities can cause stomach upset.
How to eat it? Its bitterness can be mellowed out by sautéing. Red flowering sedum leaves, stems and tubers are safe to eat raw in salads, but yellow flowering sedums have a mild toxicity and need to be cooked.
Sea beans are a succulent that grows on salt marshes and sandy beaches.
They are gaining popularity among gourmet chefs and popping up in more grocery stores across the country.
How to eat it?These “beans” can be eaten raw or pan-fried and have a flavor and texture similar to asparagus. A quick blanch can mellow out the intense sea salt flavor.
Who knew that the candy-colored dragon fruit, or pitaya came from a cactus?
These bright pink fruits come from a night-blooming cactus commonly known as the queen of the night.
Despite their flashy appearance, their flavor is very mild.
Many compare it to a bland and slightly sweet melon or kiwi.
How to Eat It: Simply slice it open, scoop out the white pulp and eat or add it to smoothies and shakes.
You already know about this spiny succulent’s applications in treating burns, rashes, and minor cuts and scrapes, but its benefits extend much further.
How to eat it: Peel away the tough, bitter outer leaf and blend the translucent inner part into drinks and smoothies, chop it into salads, or poach slices in water to get rid of the slimy texture.
The hard spines on this Southwestern American succulent make it look more like a menace than a tasty treat, but it’s completely edible.
Its bright red flowers wilt to produce yellow fruit that resembles a miniature pineapple.
Native Americans traditionally ate the flowers and even the flesh of the plant itself, but they’re not very palatable.
How to eat it? The fruit has a slightly slimy pulp with edible black seeds, and can be picked right off the cactus and eaten raw. Its flavor is slightly tart and reminiscent of lemon and kiwi.
Common edible succulents can be a delicious and healthy addition to your emergency food garden.
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