There are different ways of eating them, either raw, mashed, grilled, or juiced. You could even sauté them or use them as one of the ingredients in your salad. Succulents are tasty and can be a great addition to your dinner plate. Here are some succulents that can be eaten and can also be used as an adornment.
Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus)
Also known as strawberry pear, this vibrant fruit comes from Hylocereus cactus. This type of succulent is originally from Central America. It commonly grows in hilly areas and climbs on rocks. The dragon fruit has a thick reddish skin while the edible part is white with tiny black seeds. However, some dragon fruits have yellow skin while others have a pink/red pulp. Its pulp tastes a bit sweet and can be eaten raw or can be processed into smoothies.
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
Aloe Vera is commonly used in cosmetics and medicines. The gel from the leaves can be used as a remedy for dry skin and eczema. It can also be used for treating wounds and burns. There are different varieties of Aloe, however, Aloe Barbadensis is the safest to use. The edible part of the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The outer skin is a bit stiff and must be removed. The inner part can also be a great addition to salads. You must rinse it in water to eliminate the latex.
Prickly Pear (Opuntia)
Also referred to as nopales, this edible succulent is commonly found in Mexican restaurants. They are chewy and tastes like green beans. However, its fruit has a similar taste of bubblegum and watermelon. The fruit of Opuntia is known as prickly pear stateside, but in Mexico, it is known as tuna. The leaves of Opuntia can either be boiled or grilled. It can also be used as an ingredient in soups, salads, tacos, and salsas. While its fruit can be eaten as raw or juiced.
Stone Crops (Sedum)
Sedum is a type of succulent that you can find almost everywhere. They are commonly used as ground-cover plants since they can spread nicely. Sedum has a lot of species and almost all of them can be eaten raw. They have a peppery taste while others are bitter. It is best to stir fry them or turn them into salads along with other ingredients.
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)
Saguaro is commonly found in Western America. We usually see this type of succulent in Western movies. However, it is more than just a desert ornament. Its lovely white flower, which only blooms at night, is the state flower of Arizona. Keep in mind that it can only bear fruit once it is matured enough. It has a greenish-pink fruit while its pulp is bright red and has a sweet taste. The fruit also contains small black seeds which have a nutty flavor. Aside from the fruit, the cactus itself can also be eaten.
Sea Beans (Salicornia)
This type of succulent plant commonly grows in beaches. They are becoming more and more popular now, especially among gourmet chefs. You can also see them in grocery stores. These sea beans can be eaten as raw or cooked. Its taste and texture are quite the same as asparagus. To remove its salty flavor, you have to blanch them.
Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi)
This succulent looks like Saguaro, however, it is a bit smaller. It has arms at the base of the plant. Organ Pipe Cactus bears a small red fruit named as Pitahaya Dulce. If you want to see an Organ Pipe Cactus, then you should visit the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona. There are plenty of organ pipe cacti that are grown there.
Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus)
This succulent is a native of Southwestern America. It has large spines making it look hazardous. But unbelievably it is edible! It has vibrant red flowers that can generate yellow fruits that look like tiny pineapples. The pulp of the fruit contains black seeds. It tastes like kiwi and lemon. Aside from the fruit, the flowers and the plant itself can also be eaten. Although they do not taste good, these can be very helpful if you feel hungry in the desert.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
This succulent can spread tremendously. That is why most people think that this is a weed. However, Purslane is rich in vitamins and minerals. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Its leaves and stem are so tender that it can be eaten raw. It tastes a bit salty and sour, making it a perfect addition to your salads.
Although Purslane is best when eaten raw since it contains high amounts of oxalic acid. The yellow flower buds of this succulent also taste great and can be added to your salads. When cooked, it can taste like spinach. When cooking Purslane, its sourness can be slightly removed but its oxalic acid can also be lessened. Its seeds can also be eaten.
Banana Yucca (Yucca batata)
There are different varieties of yucca species, however, not all of them are edible. Traditionally, Yucca batata, Yucca elata, and Yucca madrensis are just some of the species that can be eaten. Keep in mind that they are not associated with the root crop Cassava which is also known as yucca. The fruit of Banana yucca has a resemblance of banana fruit, that is why it is called as such. Its fruit will emerge on the middle stalk which is also where the flowers can develop. You can either eat the fruit raw or roasted. Aside from the fruit, its white flowers and thick stalk can also be eaten.
At Eden Succulents, you can find a lot of information about succulents. We want you to have fun while growing your succulents. Do you know other types of succulents that can be eaten? If so, then please share it with us!