Heat Loving Edible Succulents
Arizona is the perfect area to grow the heat loving edible succulent… We struggle here in the desert to grow the typical garden fair. The wonderful tomato must be planted and grown at just the right time of the year or they will not produce…For example tomatoes love heat, but when you get temps above 100 they will not set fruit…
Why Not Grow Heat Loving Succulents Instead?
Since many conventional plants grown in home gardens do not yield in the desert as in cooler climates, why not learn to grow heat loving plants instead, of struggling to get low yield plants to produce.
The Heat Loving Succulent
I was surprised to learn that many heat-loving succulents are also edible,,, while I do not have an exhaustive list, I would like to share a few that I have learned about…
We have long heard about the benefits of Aloe Vera as a medicinal plant, but did you know that it has been used for food, in Indian, and Southeast Asian cuisines? If you have ever had an aloe plant your would know that the skin is bitter and hard to chew. When the tough outer skin is cut away the inner part of the Aloe can be used raw or cooked, in salad and stews…
If you live in the Southwest no doubt you have heard of the Prickly Pear Cactus or Nopal Cactus… There are three areas of the Prickly Pear Cactus that can be eaten, the pad called Nopalito, the petals of the flower that can be eaten in raw in salads, and the fruit or Pear.
We have a friend who forages every year for the ripe prickly pear fruits, he uses them to make a wine… I have not tried it but am told it is wonderful. I once had a Mexican dish with sliced nopalito, it was delicious and it pairs nicely with tomatillos.
Preparing any kind of spiny or thorny cactus for food takes some finesse,,, I learned the hard way that the hairy needle-like thorns of the Prickly Pear are very hard to find once they get in your skin,,, Here is a little wiki on how to eat a prickly pear cactus… http://www.wikihow.com/Eat-Prickly-Pear-Cactus
Maybe like me Purslane also called duck or fat weed grows freely in your yard. If so it should not come as a surprise to learn that Purslane only requires 2 months of growing weather and it is the most frequently reported weed. Not only is Purslane easy to grow in abundance it is both delicious and nutritious, it can be eaten raw or cooked… Mother Earth News, Power-Packed Purslane http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/power-packed-purslane-zmaz05amzsel.aspx
Sempervivum sp known as Hens and Chicks are cactus-like with very little to no thorns. They are plump with water and great for quenching thirst, can be eaten raw or cooked. Three Edible Hot Weather Plants http://firstways.com/2010/07/15/three-edible-hot-weather-plants/
Malabar Spinach also known as Basella or vine spinach is not really a spinach, it is a vining plant with succulent-like leaves, that loves the heat and thrives when other greens begin to bolt… It is best grown on a trellis to accommodate its vining nature. Malabar Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked. The Kitchin – What is Malabar Spinach – http://www.thekitchn.com/what-is-malabar-spinach-91477
Dragon Fruit Cactus
I have heard and seen Dragon Fruit but never realized that it is a cactus,,, Click On The Image… To see what I found at Amazon… Then you might like to watch this short video about tasting the Dragon Fruit…
Dragon Fruit Cuttings
I am so excited about growing Dragon Fruit and found these cuttings at Amazon, I can’t wait to try them…. Click On The Image…
No Way Exhaustive
Of course my list is not exhaustive, but you can see that there are a number of heat-loving edible succulents, that we can learn to grow in our desert gardens…
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