Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie {She Made/Ella Hace}

Howdy there, strangers! I know that it's been forever and a day since I last posted, and for that I apologize. But I'm back today for another installment of She Made/Ella Hace with my partner-in-crime, girlichef. Heather (girlichef) chose nopales (cactus paddles) as our theme this month and I couldn't be happier. Not only are nopales a staple ingredient in the Mexican kitchen, but they're also one of the few foods that make an appearance in my kitchen almost daily. I add nopales to just about everything: soups, moles, tacos, huevos con chorizo, and even smoothies. Yes, you read that correctly....smoothies!

Licuados de Nopal (cactus paddle smoothies) are very popular at the juice bars in el mercado (the market), because they're believed to lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and help you lose weight. At the juice bars you can choose to have your Licuado de Nopal made with either orange juice or grapefruit juice. I prefer mine with grapefruit juice because it really plays well with the pineapple, celery, and parsley that are also in this smoothie. Licuados de Nopal are a nice balance between a sweet smoothie and a savory smoothie. But if you prefer your smoothies on the sweeter side you can sweeten this smoothie with either honey or agave nectar. Served over ice, this Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie is a delicious and refreshing way to start your day.

For a complete nopales filled breakfast, be sure to visit girlichef's blog to check out her Migas con Nopales!

Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie (Licuado de Nopal y Toronja) -

Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie
(Licuado de Nopal y Toronja)


  • 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice 
  • 2 small cactus paddles, thorns removed
  • 2 to 3 slices fresh pineapple 
  • 1 (3-inch) celery stick (optional) 
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley or 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • Honey or agave nectar (optional) 

In a blender cup puree the grapefruit juice, cactus paddles, pineapple, celery, and parsley until smooth. Serve with ice and sweeten with honey or agave nectar, if desired. Enjoy!


  1. Okay, I had never before heard of putting cactus paddles into a smoothie, and now (of course) I must try it! Thanks for introducing me to something new, and for spending time with me in the kitchen, amiga! :)

  2. This recipe is intriguing . When I have attempted to cook cactus paddles and they have a rubbery texture. Any suggestions?

  3. Cool! I never would've thought of putting nopales in a smoothie, I love it!