Pear Smoothie with Spinach, Celery and Ginger

 , The New York Times  |  Updated: May 01, 2014 17:22 IST

Pear Smoothie with Spinach, Celery and Ginger
I have to admit, this began as a "clean out the refrigerator and (aging) fruit bowl" smoothie. I salvaged some spinach that had seen better days and finally used up the last of the pears I'd bought a few weeks ago for another set of recipe tests. I went out to my garden and grabbed some bolting arugula and some mint. I've been drinking kefir, a fermented milk product much like yogurt but thinner and tangier, so that went in, giving the smoothie a pleasantly acidic edge. The two ingredients that the drink needs in order for it to taste like something other than a bland green drink are the half banana and the ginger. If you let your bananas ripen completely, then freeze them, they'll contribute not only flavor, sweetness and texture but also ice to your smoothies.

Total time: About 5 minutes

1/2 cup washed spinach leaves (baby or bunch)

1 ripe pear, peeled, quartered, cored and cut in chunks

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 quarter-size slice fresh ginger, peeled

A handful of baby arugula

1 to 2 tablespoons mint leaves (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon chia seeds

1/2 banana (50 g), frozen if possible, sliced

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar

1 cup plain kefir or yogurt

1 or 2 ice cubes (unless using frozen banana)

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute, or until smooth. Serve at once.

Yield: 1 generous servingAdvance preparation: This should be served right away

Nutritional information per serving (using low-fat kefir): 323 calories; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 0 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 68 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 230 milligrams sodium; 14 grams protein.

Nutritional information per serving (using full-fat kefir): 345 calories; 9 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 60 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 149 milligrams sodium; 11 grams protein.

© 2014 The New York Times

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