Licuado de Nopal (Cactus Smoothie)

Over Christmas I met a new friend Ania at a posada and we were talking nopales. I know, weird party conversation right, nonetheless it happened. She was telling me about a licuado de nopal that she drinks every morning. Her skin is radiant and she is super thin even after having had twins, so of course I have started drinking this new drink as a healthy resolution for 2011.

My hubby and I have been drinking this juice every morning for one week now. I’m amazed that he wanted to try this with me. I have not lost any weight, but I do feel less bloated; sorry, that might be TMI. I wanted to give some type of testimonial and that’s all I got. I have a feeling once I stop snacking in the evening on fresh salsa and tortilla chips that I might lose weight. I’ll report again in one more week after I try harder with the rest of my “diet”.

Drink this smoothie every morning before you eat anything else. This juice is rich in fiber, helps speed up your metabolism, and helps eliminate grease and toxins.

This cactus smoothie is choc-full of antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and B, cleanses the liver and colon and provides an uber-rich source of fiber and hydration.

The nopal cactus is a plant native to the mountains of Mexico. It has been used since ancient times as both a food and for its medicinal and health benefits. Read about the incredible health benefits here.

This smoothie is supposed to be great for overeating and hangovers too!

For best results, drink this juice for seven days straight.

Super delicioso, jaja mentiras!

Cheers to a healthy year! Salud!

Licuado de Nopal (Cactus Smoothie)

Yield: 2 drinks


  • ½ cup nopal (cactus pads cleaned, spines removed), julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup water
  • Crushed ice (optional)


  1. Store julienned nopal in snack bags in the freezer. To make one smoothie use only half the bag of nopal.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend. If you want it to be less chunky then blend longer and or add more water.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

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  1. I had a quick quastion can u sweeten it up? Like maybe adding pineapple or any kind of sweet fruit?

  2. was wondering if the Nopales are cooked before blending. I’m a little concerned about the texture of the juice with the jelly like substance that is in the cactus.

    • Hi Lynn,

      No, the nopales are not cooked. I prefer to cube and freeze and you won’t get the jelly texture. I’ll be drinking lots of these after all the naughty Christmas food 🙂

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  7. Hello
    Where Can I Find the cactus nopal?



  8. Hello, such a great post. I live in NY, so I’m wondering where to buy this to eat? Also, if I bought this as a plant would it still be edible?


  9. I just came across this on Pinterest and was so excited! I’ve wanted to try cactus for such a long time but had yet to find a recipe that I think I’ll like. Today was day 4 of me starting my day off with this smoothie with a twist, eating better and working out every day and I’ve lost almost 5 pounds already!!! I’m attributing it to everything but I must say my first couple days of drinking this I could tell there was some changes happening with my body. 

    I’ve chosen to basically quarter the amount of cucumber I use each day because I don’t like it and instead of water I’ve been using pineapple juice and I added spinach this morning. So good!! I have notice that I can’t drink it once it’s a little warm ( the texture is a little weird for me so I can’t handle that plus it being warm) so I try to drink it fairly quickly. Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  10. Hello I love this smoothie and I have a question is  that ok if before drinking this smoothie I have cup of coffee with milk?

  11. I can tell right away that you never used cactus before. You have to clean the cactus before you use them. It  Nice manicure, but clean the cactus. Seriously! 

  12. Where I live in have one of the plants outside my door..Am I able to use those and how do I pick the best ones.

    • Absolutely! They don’t get more organic than that. Pick firm cactus paddles and be sure to wear gloves and with a knife scrape off all those pesky needles. Good luck!

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