Tropical Smoothie

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I get tired of the same apple, banana, and spinach smoothie—and this gorgeous summer weather makes me long for fruity cocktails. A pina colada is off-limits due to the acidity of pineapple, so I created an alternative tropical beverage.

Papaya is a new ingredient for me. I picked one up after hearing that papaya has enzymes that are good for heartburn suffers. Unfortunately, this seems to be a myth. But the flavor isn’t tart like many fruits, so I would guess it is in the safe pH range for GERD. I will keep researching to see if I can find the actual pH of the fruit.

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Despite papaya’s deep color and striking appearance (especially the seeds!), it has a mild flavor. But it definitely feels tropical. Mixed with melon and coconut, this smoothie had me thinking island thoughts all morning.

An important note about coconut water: Reflux sufferers can have only 100% pure coconut water. If vitamin C, acid, or fruit flavor are added, the pH will be too low and the beverage will irritate your throat. This post on the Dropping Acid blog provides a welcome list of bottled beverages that are safe to drink. If you get VItaCoco, make sure you get the “100% Pure” rather than the “Pure,” which has added acids.

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If you like texture in your smoothies like I do, blend the shredded coconut only for a couple of pulses. Also, you really won’t taste the spinach, so it’s a great way to add nutrition. But it takes away that beautiful pink color, so I didn’t include it here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen honeydew chunks
  • 1 cup fresh papaya chunks
  • 2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. To prepare the papaya, peel the entire fruit with a vegetable peeler. Slice it in half the long way, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Discard the seeds, and chop the fruit into chunks.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Add the coconut and spinach, if using, and blend until mixture reaches desired consistency.
Serves 1.
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