Cucumber-Pear Smoothie

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When I received small pickling cucumbers in my Boston Organics produce delivery, I knew I wouldn’t be making any vinegar-soaked, acidic pickles. Cucumbers aren’t my favorite salad addition, either. But they add a surprising flavor to smoothies without being strong enough to overpower the sweetness of the fruit.

This is one of the more unusual smoothie combinations I’ve tried. Since pineapples and most berries are too low in pH for the low-acid diet, I have to get creative! The cinnamon and ginger were a nice touch here, and the unexpected flavor combo worked for me. Try adding a spoonful of almond butter if you’re looking for a more filling, protein-packed snack.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pickling cucumber (or 1/3 of a normal cucumber)
  • 1 ripe Bartlett pear, cored
  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel the cucumber, and use a small spoon to remove the seeds. Roughly chop the cucumber flesh.
  2. Add the cucumber, pear, banana, and milk to a blender or mini-chop. Blend for about a minute until smooth.
  3. Add cinnamon and ginger to taste. Pulse to combine and serve.
Serves 1. Active and total time 5 minutes. Adapted from http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2012/06/cucumber-pear-smoothie/

Raspberry-Avocado Smoothie

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As is obvious from the lag between blog posts, I haven’t been in the kitchen much this summer. The large box of produce I get delivered every other week from Boston Organics seems to make me cook less; I’ve been eating a lot of simple veggie wraps, salads, and smoothies.

I’ve heard that avocado is delicious in smoothies, but I don’t normally buy high-fat avocados. After getting one in the produce delivery, I experimented with eating a quarter of an avocado at a time. With a relatively low-fat meal, it didn’t cause any heartburn.

To store the rest of the avocado between uses, leave the extra flesh in the skin and wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap. Be sure to push the plastic into empty space in the skin.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • dash of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt OR more banana (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the first 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. For an extra-thick smoothie, add yogurt or more banana and blend again.

Serves 1. Active and total time 5 minutes. Adapted from http://www.texanerin.com/2012/04/raspberry-banana-avocado-smoothie.html

Raspberry-Cucumber Smoothie

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It’s smoothie season! Spring is finally here in Boston, and I’ve been pulling out my smoothie maker almost every day. During the colder months I missed taking a swig of a cool drink and having it feel refreshing.

Since my discovery that raspberries have a high enough pH for heartburn sufferers, my smoothies have been even more delicious than before. You can improve any smoothie recipe from The Low-Acid Kitchen (except maybe the pumpkin variety) by adding tartness with a few frozen raspberries!

This was my first time adding cucumber to a smoothie, and I love the freshness. It was missing creaminess, though, so I added a few spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt. Yogurt can be acidic due to the fermentation process and the addition of fruit such as strawberry, mango, or lemon—but a few spoonfuls of vanilla won’t cause a problem. It makes a big difference in the texture, though, especially when you want to cut back on the banana to let other flavors shine.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 a cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 3 tbsp nonfat vanilla yogurt (dairy, soy, or almond)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or mini-chop.
  2. Blend until smooth and enjoy! Serve with whole-wheat toast, almond butter, and the other half of the banana to make a full breakfast.
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Serves 1. Active and total time 5 minutes. Adapted from http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2013/10/minty-raspberry-banana-smoothie-vegan.html

Pumpkin Dessert Smoothie

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One can of pumpkin goes a long way when you’re using a few tablespoons here and a half-cup there. Since I opened a can to make granola, I’ve been getting into the fall spirit and experimenting with this ingredient. This smoothie is my most unexpected pumpkin-delivery method so far.

Pumpkin is so creamy that this smoothie tastes like dessert. It’s just as healthy as a normal fruit & veggie smoothie, though, so it’s fair game for breakfast! This recipe keeps in the fridge for a day, so you can split the smoothie into a couple of snacks or desserts.

To make this smoothie more decadent, add vanilla yogurt (dairy, soy, or almond). Then the texture mimics the custard filling of pumpkin pie.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vanilla dairy/soy/almond yogurt (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

Serves 1 to 2. Adapted from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Acid Reflux Diet, p. 127, “Quick Pumpkin Smoothie”

Kale-Banana Smoothie

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Today I explore the question of whether you can make a kale smoothie without a $500 blender. The answer is: sort of. My Ninja food chopper does a great job on sauces and soups, but my smoothies are always more chewable than most.

To give the Ninja a head start, I processed the kale first along with half of the milk. It didn’t blend down into a juice, but the pieces were small enough to drink. I added the rest of the ingredients and blended them into a concoction that I probably wouldn’t serve to guests, but it was good enough for my breakfast.

I was surprised that the kale didn’t add a stronger flavor to the smoothie. Overall, this didn’t taste much different than a smoothie made with baby spinach. If you have a few leftover kale leaves, this is a great way to use them before they wilt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 kale leaves
  • 1 cup plain soy milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 a Braeburn or Gala apple

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash the kale, shake off excess moisture, and remove the stems. Put the leaves in a food processor with 1/2 cup soy milk and blend until as smooth as possible.
  2. Add the rest of the milk, the banana, and the apple and blend.

Serves 1.