Can you imagine sinking your teeth into succulents like CAL Farms Beautiful 36 of 2″ Assorted Succulents? Well, not these kinds exactly, but the kind of edible succulent plants that you can ingest and are actually beneficial for you.
Yes, they do exist. It’s the last thing you’ll think about when you see your succulents on your windowsill, of course. Succulents are rarely known for their health benefits. They are, after all, just gorgeous adornments in living rooms, office spaces, kitchen countertops, and the like.
And yet, many restaurants have already started using succulents in their salads and even in their main entrees. That sounded a bit weird writing down, but many have already tried eating succulents and they were not disappointed. Here are the six edible succulent plants that can be a part of your meal:
This is more than just something you see in the desert. Saguaro, which have night-blooming white flowers that are the state flower of Arizona, produces a greenish-pink fruit that has bright red pulp and small black seeds that are said to be sweet to the taste. The black seeds give it a nutty flavor. The Tohono O’odham Tribe of Arizona and Mexico has been using Saguaro to make jams, syrups, and ceremonial wines. You can use Saguaro for salsa or biscuits.
If you have eaten Nopales in a Mexican restaurant, then you have consumed Opuntia. It has a mild and neutral flavor that is similar to green beans. It also has a chewy texture. The fruit is called “tuna” in Mexico but stateside, it is known for its prickly pear shape. Opuntia can be used in salads, soups, salsas, and tacos.
There are 600 species of plants that will fall under Stonecrops. Also known as Sedums, these are flowering succulents with leaves that have a mild peppery flavor. You can use it for salads and stir-fry. Be careful about consuming a lot of these because they can cause stomach upset.
4. Sea Beans
Salicornia or sea beans grow in salt marshes and sandy beaches, which accounts for its sea salt flavor. Sea beans are slowly becoming favorites of gourmet chefs and they are becoming ubiquitous in grocery stores around the country. You can eat the sea beans raw.
5. Dragon Fruit
Not many people know that dragon fruit came from a cactus. This candy-colored fruit came from a cactus known as the Queen of the Night. The flavor of dragon fruit is very mild, similar to a slightly sweet melon or kiwi. To eat it, you simply have to slice it open and scoop up the white pulp or you can add it to smoothies and shakes.
Aloe is probably one of the most popular succulent plants out there. We already know that it can treat burns, rashes, minor cuts, and scrapes, but do you know that it can also benefit us when we consume Aloe? You can peel away the tough and bitter outer leaf to get the translucent inner part. You can mix that into drinks, shakes, and salads.