Fennel & Cucumber Smoothie
This crisp-tasting beverage is both healing and deliciously refreshing. It features ingredients that are not just safe on the low-histamine diet, but also contain compounds that decrease inflammation and reduce histamines. I often add citrus in fruit and vegetable smoothies, but leave the lemon or lime out here because citrus is high in histamine. However, the tartness from the apple, and spice from the fennel and ginger, make this flavour so zesty you won’t miss the citrus!
Pea shoots are the tender leaves and vines of young pea plants and are especially high in diamine oxidase (DAO), an enzyme shown to decrease histamine levels. In fact DAO is used in supplement form to help identify if histamine is the culprit when someone is experiencing various symptoms suggestive of intolerance. Research has shown fennel bulbs to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties. This mild root vegetable has a slight anise tone, which lends a nice layer of flavour. The beloved local apple is used here not only because it’s sweet, easily locally sourced, and typically steadily stocked in our kitchen, but it’s also rich in a compound called quercetin. Quercetin is a potent mast cell stabilizer, which assists in preventing the release of histamine. Cucumbers are another clean, crisp addition to any juice, but I add them here as they contain quercetin and luteolin, both having been studied for their antihistaminic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects. Lastly, ginger root is a well-known warming, anti-inflammatory spice that provides a bit of zing to this fresh beverage.
Combine the following ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. (Also makes a great juice! Simply process through a juicer or blend and then strain through cheesecloth.)
1 1/4 cup chopped fennel (white bulb only, about /4 bulb)
1 apple, skin on, cored and chopped into small chunks
1 inch coin of ginger, peeled and diced*
3 inches cucumber, unpeeled, and chopped into small chunks
1 inch wide bunch of pea shoots or 1/2 cup loosely packed
1/2 cup cold water or ice added as needed for desired thickness
TIP: You can peel off the rough parts of the ginger skin, but if organic, I leave the rough parts on and just scrub/wash, and cut into coins to make it easier on the blender.
Makes one serving.