Photo by Scott Suchman and food styling by Carolyn Robb; for The Washington Post
This nourishing smoothie is cool, creamy and gently tangy with a base of plain yogurt softly sweetened with whole fruit — a very ripe pear and few dates — and with a refreshing zing of ginger. A handful of almonds adds texture, protein and fiber, and spinach leaves provide gorgeous green color and nutritional benefits without any detectable flavor, making it an ideal way to stealthily incorporate leafy vegetables.
You can play with variations, using Greek or nondairy yogurt, a ripe banana or chunks of pineapple instead of the pear, a different type of nut or seed, or baby kale instead of spinach, for example, adjusting the thickness and the level of sweetness by adding a little cold water and/or honey to taste.
¾ cup ice
2/3 cup regular, plain yogurt, low-fat or whole*
1 medium very ripe pear, any variety, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 cup, lightly packed, spinach leaves
½ cup sliced almonds
3 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
Honey to taste, optional
Place the ice into a blender and blend to crush it. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and frothy, with some texture remaining from the almonds and dates. Taste, and then blend in a little honey, if desired.
Makes 2 servings
Serving size: about 1 ¼ cup
Per Serving (made with low-fat yogurt): Calories 280; Total Fat 13g (Sat Fat 2g); Protein 10g; Carb 35g; Fiber 7g; Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 60mg: Sugars 23g, (Incuding 0 g added sugar)
*This is best with regular yogurt, but ½ cup Greek yogurt plus 2 tablespoons cold water may be substituted