>U Mom Knows Best: Homemade Prickly Pear Cactus Lemonade

Monday, September 14, 2020

Homemade Prickly Pear Cactus Lemonade

 Prickly pears make the best lemonade

 I recently discovered the joys of harvesting prickly pears and now have several bags in my freezer that are filled with these delicious cactus pears. If you have never tried a prickly pear fruit, you need to as these deep purple fruits or tunas are simply delicious. The pear fruit that comes from a prickly pear cactus is sweet and has a taste similar to watermelon. The texture of the fruit can be compared to a cucumber and the color of the sweet prickly pears is amazing. The deep purple color of the prickly pears gives your recipes a pink to purple color. Learn more about how to harvest prickly pears here.

Amazing recipes

 The prickly pear fruit is tasty by itself and is wonderful in smoothies, you will love drinking purple smoothies. Many people like to harvest the prickly pears to make prickly pear jelly and prickly pear syrup. While many restaurants here in New Mexico like to serve prickly pear ice cream and prickly pear margaritas. My favorite way to use the magenta prickly pear fruit is in a refreshing glass of lemonade which is perfect for a hot summer day after harvesting prickly pears. If you don't live in the desert and want to try prickly pears, you can find them at grocery stores in the produce section.

 I spent last weekend foraging prickly pears and it was quite a process. While the prickly pear cactus are plentiful here in the desert of Albuquerque New Mexico and free for the taking, picking the sweet purple fruits is something that most people would not do as these purple pears grow on a cactus plant that is loaded with spikes and the fruits themselves are covered with tiny spikes that are impossible to remove from your skin.  I have lived in Albuquerque for over 20 years and this was my first year that I decided to get brave and pick the fruits from the prickly pear cactus.

 The cactus plants near my house were bursting with prickly pear fruits and it was my son who encouraged me to pick them. He plucked a pear from a cactus while we were out running and had me taste it (after he peeled the pear.) It was so delicious that I had to go pick more. I did plenty of research online on how to harvest prickly pear fruits from a cactus and then I spent all weekend picking prickly pears. My freezer is filled with bags of purple prickly pears that are ready for my smoothies and glasses of prickly pear lemonade. You can also use the prickly pears to make a delicious Prickly Pear Syrup that is wonderful on ice cream and stirred into drinks.

Sweet and refreshing lemonade

 When you add the juice from a prickly pear to a glass of lemonade it makes a sweet drink that has amazing flavor and color. It is a refreshing drink for a hot summer day. This sweet pink drink is so easy to make. You can add the prickly pear purple juice to homemade lemonade, storebought lemonade, or even a powder lemonade mix. Fresh lemonade from freshly squeezed lemons always tastes the best. Squeezing lemons is not that hard when you have a citrus juicer. If you do not have a juicer, then simply squeeze the lemons by hand over a fine-mesh strainer, that way the seeds don't end up in your lemonade.

Make sure to Pin this recipe on Pinterest for later

Items needed for prickly pear lemonade

+ Fresh lemons
+ Prickly pear fruits
+ Sugar or zero-calorie sweetener 
+ A Pitcher
+ Spoon
+ Citrus juicer or blender

Tip: To check to see if the prickly pear is ripe before peeling, place it in a bowl of water. If it sinks, it is ripe and ready to eat. If the fruit floats, then give in a couple more days to ripe. I like to place my pears on a baking tray on the countertop for a couple days to further ripen.

Prickly Pear Lemonade
Makes 8 glasses

5 prickly pears, peeled
4 lemons, peeled and sliced in half
8 cups of water
3/4 cup sugar

 Place all the ingredients into a blender, don't worry about the seeds from the fruit as we will be removing them later with a fine- mesh strainer. Blend the ingredients on high until smooth. You will hear the noise of the seeds. Then pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
If you don't have a fine-mesh strainer, you can remove the seeds from the fruits before you blend them. To remove the seeds from the prickly pears~ cut the fruit in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. To remove the seeds from the lemons, just slice the lemons in quarter pieces and use a knife to remove the seeds. You can also use a citrus juicer to remove the seeds from the fruits.


  1. Oh yes please. I know my family would love this! We're all about lemonade. Plus it's super pretty :) So bonus, you get Insta pics.

  2. I really would like to try all of these delicious recipes. I have not seen the prickly pear fruit sold near by, though.

  3. I've always been interested in trying prickly pear. I hear of so many great things about it. This drink sounds amazing too. I could go for this right now.

  4. Fresh lemons are always a good idea when making lemonade. I'd love to try this version sometime.

  5. This is just the cutest drink idea. I really love the glass you chose to use too!

  6. This is really a must-try! It looks so delish!

  7. Id like to make the smoothie recipe. For a tropical like the Philippines, I can enjoy the cold treat all-year round.

  8. Oh my goodness how good this lemonade looks! It sounds perfect for these last days of summer heat!

  9. Just amazing!! I never knew that those things were even edible. Looking at them without the skin reminds me of the kiwi fruit. I cannot wait to give this a try and I enjoy fruits a lot.

  10. This looks so delicious, yummy and refreshing. I'll try it out soon!

  11. I’ve never tried prickly pear cactus before, that purple colour is amazing. This lemonade recipe looks refreshing.

  12. Love lemonade and these recipe sound so interesting! I ve never heart ofPrickly pear cactus so its a great idea to try!

  13. I can’t wait to start trying your recipe, homemade prickly pear cactus lemonade awesome.


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