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frothy cool green smoothieWhen the heat of Indian Summer wilts all my kitchen ambitions, I look to my trusty and simple blender and the ice maker. No fancy equipment required though of course you can use those for terrific results. I go old-school with an on-off-pulse style Oster, chrome beehive blender and the crunchiest vegetables and fruit on hand.

This only takes 5 minutes to prepare and gets you up and away from your desk if you’ve been lingering there too long, trying to stay cool.

I like to pair pears with cucumbers, adding more green if I have it, some protein powder (optional) and a bit of nonfat yogurt. The overall texture of this smoothie is fluffy and has a slight crunchiness, depending on the pears you choose & your blender. I chose a firm, red-skinned Anjou. When our very old orchard’s Bartlett pears come ripe, they are so sweet I would not add any juice.  The goal is a refreshing and chilled lunch or afternoon pick-me-up that doesn’t feel too creamy or thick.

Finding Korean cucumbers this week at the farm market, I used one of these chubby ones with the bumps, tho a Japanese or Persian cucumber will work well too. If you are using a greenhouse-grown English cucumber, you probably only want half of it. Although I use arugula, you can easily substitute spinach or other tender greens, (be bold and play with a small amount of mint, basil or other tender herbs).

Consider this more of a suggestion list than a recipe. It generously serves 2 with a refill.

1 cup yogurt* (if you use greek yogurt you will want to add more ice or juice)
¼ – ½ cup fresh pineapple chunks
1-1½ cups loosely packed arugula
1 peeled cucumber (about 1 cup of 1″ chunks)
1 peeled pear, cored and cut into 1-2″ chunks
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
a splash of unsweetened pear juice
6-8 ice cubes

blend until frothy and just small specks of the dark green arugula are visible.

*you can easily make this vegan, using unsweetened almond milk.

Enjoy and stay cool