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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cactus Pineapple Smoothie (for Nick) | Fear the Walking Dead

Cactus Pineapple Smoothie inspired by Fear the Walking Dead
Welcome to the September edition of In the kitchen with Zombie Fiction! My intentions were to share a recipe inspired by Fear the Walking Dead with you last weekend to go along with the mid-season premiere, but time just kicked my butt and I never made anything. However, I'm kind of glad that I didn't, because watching that episode (S2:E8 "Grotesque") made me change my mind about what I was making and inspired today's recipe.

If you're not familiar with this spin-off of The Walking Dead. It's a prequel that takes us back to the beginning of the zombie outbreak, with different characters, set in a different part of the US. Our crew started out in Los Angeles, but have made their way into Mexico and were split up in several different directions at the mid-season finale.

I thought the series started out a bit slow, which is understandable since we needed a base to stand on. Things have really picked up during the second season, and I'm starting to connect with the characters and enjoy it more and more each week.
Cactus Pineapple Smoothie
*start spoilers for S2:E8*

I think that last week's episode may have been my favorite so far. It was centered around Nick, who is sitting at the top of my (invisible) favorite characters board right now, with a few other characters thrown in to support the story. I loved that we got a deeper glimpse into an important part of his history.

So, Nick has separated himself from everybody else, choosing to go off by himself (well, just him and the infected that he likes to walk among). We see him part company with a lady and a child, making his way on foot towards Tijuana. He runs into a couple of "situations" and winds up losing the meager supplies that he had. As he struggles to stay alive in the desert, there's a moment when he find himself in the middle of a bunch of cactuses (cacti?) and it dawns on him that he can drink/eat the paddles.
screen shot from FTWD
Nick trying to quench his thirst with a cactus paddle in the desert.

So he figures out a way to shield his hands from the thorns and breaks open a paddle, trying unsuccessfully to let the liquid (slime) drip into his mouth. When that doesn't work, he uses a rock to remove the thorns and then breaks it open and uses his fingers to dig and scoop the flesh into his mouth. And then he promptly throws up...I'm guessing too much too fast since cactus is edible raw, even if it's not the tastiest in that form.

Obviously there's a lot more to the episode, but this was the scene that I drew inspiration from this month. I wanted make Nick something that would have helped quench his thirst and replenish some of the good stuff he sweated out under the hot desert sun. Cactus paddles contain calcium, vitamins A, B6, C, and K, iron, beta carotene, riboflavin, copper, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

*end spoilers*

This bright, refreshing smoothie is an unexpected way to add calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to your day. One note, be sure to choose young, tender cactus paddles in this smoothie. Older ones are tougher and have developed more "strings", which will wind up in you mouth...and I don't find them very pleasant.

Cactus Pineapple Smoothie
Refreshing and revitalizing, this cactus pineapple smoothie will recharge your body with calcium, vitamins and antioxidants.
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Cactus Pinapple Smoothie
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: beverage vegan nut-free cactus pineapple Mexican

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 2 cups cleaned, de-thorned chopped young cactus paddles (from about 3 small cactus paddles)
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple cubes (from about 1/2 of a medium pineapple)
  • 1 small celery heart, roughly chopped
  • juice of 1 fat lime
  • 4 "regular" ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh fennel fronds
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar, or to taste (optional)
Place all of the ingredients except the agave nectar in the jar of a blender; puree until thick and smooth.

Taste and sweeten with agave nectar, if you wish. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.

in the kitchen with zombie fiction logo
This is part of my "in the kitchen with Zombie Fiction" series, which features food pulled from or inspired by different works of zombie fiction.

I'll be sharing at least one new recipe from this series every month. To check out all of the past recipes and some upcoming featured titles, check out my "in the kitchen with Zombie Fiction" page!