Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie + July’s YBR Signup

Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie by @SpicieFoodie | #PricklyPearFruit #cactusfruit #smoothie #coconutwater

When the sun is blazing and it feels like you could (literally) fry an egg on the top of your head, you need a refreshing drink. I knew it was going to be hot in the tropics but Jesus, it’s really hot! Does that sound like I’m complaining? I’m not. Getting to live in eternal summer is very, very nice.

It was last November when we arrived in Playa del Carmen and when we commented about the heat people would tell us to wait until July and August — summertime. I didn’t know how I would make it since it already felt hot to me during the “winter” here last year. But I’m happy to report that I haven’t (entirely) melted away yet — though I did have one day where I nearly passed out from the heat…then again, what do you expect when you go riding your bike around town in the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s brightest. Thankfully we arrived at the beach so I could go cool off and all was well.

My husband and I are making sure that we drink plenty of water and refreshing drinks, like this one, throughout the day. Feeling the 1000% humidity and the need to quench my thirst lead me to create this drink. It’s quite a simple one to prepare and definitely one that helps keep our bodies hydrated.

Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie by @SpicieFoodie | #PricklyPearFruit #cactusfruit #smoothie #coconutwater

Next to natural water, coconut water (the clear liquid inside) is the best drink you can give your body. It has high levels of electrolytes, which keep your body functioning and hydrated. It is low in calories and naturally sweet but without having to worry about it. I love drinking it to not only help prevent dehydration but also when I feel a headache coming on — it always helps. The other main ingredient in this drink is prickly pears or the fruits from the prickly pear cactus, also know as nopales. In Mexico we call these fruits tuna and they are also related to pitahayas. These fruits are high in water content and will surely help keep you hydrated. They are a tad sweet but they are still safe for diabetics. The last ingredient that I used was a little bit of fresh lime juice, this was just to help boost the flavour.

Tunas or Prickly Pear Fruit by @SpicieFoodie | #mexico #fruit #tunas #pricklypear #cactusfigs

5.0 from 2 reviews
Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
The only drink you'll need this summer! This smoothie is healthy, refreshing and downright delicious.
Recipe type: drink, vegan,
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, Fusion
Serves: 1
  • 2 prickly pear fruits (they are know as tunas or pitayas in Mexican supermarkets)
  • 330 ml or 11.2 fl oz of coconut water*
  • the juice of half of a small lime
  • sweetener of choice, if desired (I didn’t use any)
  • ice cubes to serve
  1. Cut the prickly pear fruits in half and gently scoop out or peel away from the skin; add to blender with the coconut water and lime juice, blend until smooth. Strain and serve over ice and/or store in the refrigerator until ready to drink.
*Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside of fresh coconuts. Do nut use coconut milk, this recipe has ONLY been tested using coconut water.


Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie by @SpicieFoodie | #PricklyPearFruit #cactusfruit #smoothie #coconutwater

So what did this smoothie taste like? Delicious! There were hints of all three ingredients and nothing over-powered each other. Coconut water is so mild tasting that it works well with the lime and prickly pear. I think the coconut water and prickly pear are sweet enough but if you’d like you may use sugar if desired. Enjoy!

Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie by @SpicieFoodie | #PricklyPearFruit #cactusfruit #smoothie #coconutwater

Here are more prickly pear fruit recipes:

The Prickly Pear Mojito by My Man’s Belly
Prickly Pear Margarita by Sweet Life
Prickly Pear Lemonade, Popsicles, Granita & Sorbet by How Does She
Prickly Pear Ice Cream by Nouveau Raw
Agua de Tuna – Fresh Prickly Pear Water by girlichef
Prickly Pear Punch by Mangoes and Palm Trees
Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie by La Cocina de Leslie (this recipe used the paddles not the fruit)


Just a friendly reminder that submissions to July’s YBR are now open. Add your recipe link here!



    • says

      Hola Letty! No idénticas, pero si las dos frutas crecen en arboles de cactus. Las tunas en los nopales y las pitahayas en un arbol alto y largo. Hay gente que a las tunas le llama también pitaya así que aguas.:)

      Thanks so much!

  1. says

    I am intrigued by your new fruit and I wonder what the smoothie tastes like. This time it’s the other way round. You are in the hot tropics and me in Europe. ^.^ Nancy, we are bound to meet one day. ;)

    • says

      It is quite a unique taste, difficult to describe because the prickly pear brings it’s own delicious flavours.

      Definitely, we are bound to meet one day Helene. Can’t wait:)

  2. Tori says

    I do know the troublesome prickly pear …. it grows in my neighbor’s yard, the desert and the open field next door. I have picked all of those, in the past, and wasted 2 pairs of leather gloves and two pairs of hands trying to pull the thorns off!! “Just burn them off!” Yeah, right! “use needlenose pliers and pull them off!” Um, I don’t think so – they end up in your skin! Aside from all of that, they are yummy! Hey guys, let professional masochists prep your fruit for you and enjoy, they are delicious – hmm, I wonder what sort of chutney they might make?

    • says

      Very good advice Tori!:) I’ve always prefered to buy mine ready to peel and eat, but have experienced the thorns and it’s not fun — specially the almost translucent ones you can’t see, ouch!

      I think they’d make a fantastic chutney, enjoy.

  3. says

    I have never had prickly pear… must try it now. :) I love coconut water in smoothies. :) Glad to see your YBR signup… just did. :)

  4. says

    Oh I just LOVE the combo of the prickly pear and coconut water here for a smoothie. A must try for sure. I can totally relate to your overheating issue. I think Mexico in the summer would kill me.

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