Smoothie of the Month: Concord Grape

Concord grapes may not what you might normally think of as a smoothie ingredient. But their musky, fruity and tart flavor pairs surprisingly well with the creamy texture of blended cashews and frozen bananas. Sweet and festive thanks to the rich purple color, this smoothie is perfect to serve as a healthy dessert or afternoon treat.

If you don't have a high-powered blender and don't like a slightly crunchy texture in your smoothie, then the Concord grapes can be replaced with red seedless grapes, but you won't get the potent health-promoting benefits. Aside from blueberries and cranberries, Concord grapes have the highest levels of antioxidants. The polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in Concord grapes are what give them their unmistakable color and the ability to help protect against heart disease and boost immunity. Many of these antioxidants are in the grape’s skin and seeds, so embrace the texture and drink the benefits!

Concord Grape Smoothie
Serves 2
1 cup stemmed Concord grapes
1/4 cup raw cashews, preferably soaked 2 to 6 hours
1 frozen banana, broken into pieces
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter or coconut butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice cubes
2 pitted Medjool dates, optional

Place all ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. Divide into glasses and serve immediately.

Photo by Stephen Johnson.

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen is available this fall. She blogs at amychaplin.com.

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