C = Cactus petals.
Prickly pear cactus (opuntia ficus indica) is a succulent fruit- and flower-bearing plant that grows wild in desert-like conditions. Long enjoyed as a food source, both the petals and pads of the cactus are eaten fresh or made into a variety of dishes including salads, soups, jellies and candies. Indigenous peoples also value cactus petals, or nopales, for its many medicinal and health benefits. Now clinical studies have shown that the alkaloids, vitamins and mucilage in the cactus petals can have the following effects, which supports centuries of anecdotal evidence:
lower HDL cholesterol levels
stabilize or decrease blood sugar levels
increase insulin sensitivity
promote wound healing
protect against ulcers
anti-inflammatory effects for arthritis
bolsters the immune system
reduce effects of alcohol consumption
Nopales are grilled, sauteed or pickled. Dice and scramble with eggs or blanch them and add to a green salad.