It’s summertime, and the living is easy… and delicious! Who doesn’t love taking advantage of the in-season fruits and vegetables, or occasions to indulge in potato salad and blueberry pie at a family gathering?
If you suffer from Acid Reflux and GERD, you know all too well that indulging in certain dishes (such as salads with acidity-inducing tomatoes or citrus-filled smoothies) means painful heartburn and indigestion.
The good news is that as long as you are mindful about what to avoid food-wise, you can still enjoy fresh salads, filling entrees, delicious side dishes, and flavorful snacks through the summer months.
Not sure what foods you can eat to avoid acid reflux flare-ups? Not to worry! Keep reading below to find four recipes we promise are healthy and acceptable for Acid Reflux and GERD sufferers to eat.
#1 Quinoa Salad
Whether you suffer from GERD or not, quinoa is a terrific supergrain and source of protein. Originally from South America, quinoa has a nutty taste and keeps you full for hours.
This quinoa salad recipe includes sweet cherries as well as a tasty combination of other flavors such as pineapple juice, zucchini, and feta cheese.
You may be thinking, “Isn’t pineapple a citrus fruit and, therefore, not ideal for my acid reflux?”
In spite of what you may think, pineapple is actually great for acid reflux sufferers. According to gerd-diet.com, “the reason for this is that it contains bromelain, which is excellent to help your digestion, reduce your acid reflux, and calm your stomach down.”
Therefore, feel free to indulge in pineapple this summer!
Though quinoa is served warm in other dishes, as a salad, it’s served cold and is a refreshing appetizer or entree to enjoy in warmer weather.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 tsp. salt (divided)
- 2 cups boiling water
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 medium zucchini (diced)
- 2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted and quartered
- 1 cup loosely packed parsley
- 1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese (2 oz. crumbled)
- Put quinoa in 2 cups of boiling water, add 1/4 tsp. salt, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork.
- Using a large bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Add quinoa, zucchini, cherries and parsley. Cover and refrigerate until flavors are blended at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Sprinkle with feta before serving.
Makes 6 servings.
#2 Nectarine Blue Sage Pizza
Tomatoes are another GERD-inducing culprit, so pizza and other Italian dishes may be something you typically avoid.
However, there’s a host of other pizza recipes that leave tomato out of the mix.
Making pizza at home can be a fun family- or date-night activity–why not try out this unique recipe that involves nectarines and blue cheese? You’ll be sure to love this combo of salty, sweet, and sharp cheese flavors.
And not to worry–nectarine is not only low in acidity, but it also helps to minimize symptoms by increasing mucus secretion in the stomach, relieving heartburn.
Additionally, blue cheese chips in, as it’s an alkaline food and works to neutralize stomach acid.
- Whole wheat pizza dough (store bought is fine)
- Olive oil
- 8 ounces blue cheese
- 1 nectarine – sliced
- 2-4 sage leaves – chopped (depends on size of leaf and love of sage)
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Let dough reach room temperature and divide in half. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on parchment lined baking sheet and pull out dough to create a small pizza. Do this with both pieces of dough.
- Drizzle each pie with olive oil. Using a pastry brush spread it evenly over the dough. Top each pie with 4 ounces blue cheese and a few nectarine slices.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and dough is cooked through.
- Sprinkle pies evenly with sage after removing them from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before digging in!
Makes two small pies.
#3 Turkey Meatballs
Ahh, summer tailgating parties. They sure are fun, but being surrounded by beer and burgers is somewhat of a nightmare for those with GERD. High in fat and often heavily fried, hamburger beef patties are a big no-no.
You’ll want to have a tasty alternative on hand, such as turkey meatballs. Turkey is lower in fat than beef, which makes it a worry-free option to enjoy in the summer.
- 1 pound ground turkey meat
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp. low fat milk
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1 tbsp. dried minced onion*
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Thaw spinach and squeeze dry.
- Combine spinach, egg, milk, bread crumbs, seasonings and dried onion.*
- Add ground turkey meat and mix well.
- Shape into 2 inch balls and place on a greased shallow baking pan.
- Bake for 25 Minutes until meat is no longer pink.
- Drain well on paper towels.
*Dried onion is not typically a trigger food; however, omit this ingredient if the dried form triggers your GERD symptoms.
Makes 4 servings.
#4 Banana-Ginger Energy Smoothie
Whether it be a sweet option to pair with your morning oatmeal or an afternoon snack to help you cool down, this smoothie recipe makes for a perfect GERD-safe summer beverage.
- ½ cup ice
- 2 cups milk
- 2 bananas, ripe
- 1 cup yogurt
- ½ tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated fine
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar or honey (optional)
- In a blender, add the ice, milk, yogurt, bananas, and ginger.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add sugar as needed.
Makes one serving.
A good general rule of thumb that goes with eating any of the above foods or other dishes is to eat smaller portions because your stomach will pump out more acid when you consume large quantities of food.
Concerned about bringing on GERD-symptoms by eating the wrong foods? Read and learn more about 5 Ways to Stay Clear of Acid Reflux Trigger Foods.