GliderCENTRAL

Prickly Pears

Posted By: JillMarie

Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 06:03 PM

Hi! In doing research on the internet on different foods for our fuzzy buddies, I am surprised that prickly pear is not mentioned more often. It has the right ratios of calcium:phosphorus (2.3:1) and has also been found to help stabalize sugar levels, which in these little guys must be a good thing. They are also low in oxalates and vit c which also seems to be a concern. What does everyone else think? My gliders love them! It is one of the few foods they do not chew up and then spit out. They actually EAT all of it! By the way...very healthy for you to eat as well!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 06:27 PM

wow...and these grow in my front yard...Wooohooo I found a purpose for my cactus to remain lol.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 06:49 PM

My gliders love prickly pears. Sometimes they have them at wholefoods caleld cactus pears. They are not always easy to find, though you would think they would be because they are locally grown here. The only problem i have is that I freeze them and when I put it in the bowl it covers everything in the bowl with juice from them, and sometimes their faces turn pink :giggles:
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 06:55 PM

Mine like them too, but they are very difficult to find around here. ohwell
Posted By: Trigger

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 06:56 PM

It has also been found to significantly LOWER sugar levels, that is why it's not pushed on the boards. My guys do get it occasionally(maybe once a month) but not a weekly or nightly fruit.
Just like spinach has good numbers but is very high in iron so also something my guys do not get constantly.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 08:06 PM

Only a CERTAIN kind of Opuntia lower "sugar" levels, and its not usually the one found in the grocery stores or growing in our backyards.

The one study that found a species of prickly pear STEM to lower blood sugar was O. streptacantha (red skinned). Other species were tested and the results came back negative for those other species. Only O. streptacantha had any effect on blood sugar levels and those effects were not strong enough to suggest the use of this Opuntia species could be used as a replacment for blood sugar lowering medications even.

But the most common prickly pear found for consumption is the Indian Fig Opuntia (O. ficus-indica) - green skinned. This prickly pear does not lower blood sugar and is a favorite in my house with my gliders when available.
Posted By: Trigger

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 08:15 PM

Well Kinue glad to hear the opinions or info on them has changed, can't tell you how many times people have gone bonkers b/c I fed them to my gliders.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 08:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Trigger
Well Kinue glad to hear the opinions or info on them has changed, can't tell you how many times people have gone bonkers b/c I fed them to my gliders.


They've always been on the safe lists. I dont know of a time they weren't. O. streptacantha is not likely to be growing in our backyards unless you live in a patch of the Chihuahuan Desert that leaks over into the US from Mexico (or that we'd eat/serve our gliders the stems anyhow). O. ficus-indica (green skinned) is cultivated for consumption and sale at our groceries and is 100% safe.

smile
Posted By: Trigger

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 08:48 PM

Yeah I know it was always on the safe list that's where I found it before I got it for the gliders. Even so some people really blasted me for feeding it and at one time why it was listed as safe was questioned as well.

I continued to feed it on accasion b/c my gliders go ape over it.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/15/09 08:52 PM

Thats understandable. It must have been before my time the whole prickly pear - no go.

OT: But I always try to research each food item I feed because like so many other things (trees, flowers) produce can get a bad name from just one species when there are several that may produce fruit.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/17/09 06:24 AM

How about cactus pads, are those OK? Assuming the skin and any spines are removed.

C.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/17/09 02:52 PM

Not sure on cactus pads, never ate any. I only know the fruit to be safe for sure.
Posted By: Kiiru

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/17/09 03:01 PM

Hmm...what do prickly pears taste like? Thinking about finding one to give my guys a tiny bit tonight if I think I'll like it. 0.o
Posted By: Trigger

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/17/09 03:29 PM

They taste pretty good BUT getting around all those seeds is a real pain in the backside.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/18/09 12:21 AM

Yes, the seeds are another thing entirely! They are EVERYWHERE in the fruit.
Posted By: chattrbabe

Re: Prickly Pears - 01/18/09 01:34 AM

*looks at a vacant neighbor front yard* -.- They have a yard full of cacti. Prickly pears are an abundance. roflmao
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