Got your attention?
I created this recipe in honour of #NationalSmoothieDay because you know how I love my smoothies. But, I also love to show you how easy it is to make delicious, decadent dishes like this that look and taste sinful, yet are loaded with some of the most powerfully healing foods on earth.
Because it’s summertime here in Ontario, Canada, I love getting my hands on some juicy, local and seasonal fruits when I can. These cherries are that. Oh my. There’s nothing quite like a ripe, red cherry feast in the summer is there? Every time I spit out a pit, I think of that scene from Witches of Eastwick when Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon and Cher are eating bucketloads of cherries…do you remember? Google it. It’s a classic. (Or, if you have a weak stomach, maybe don’t 😜)
As much as I love eating fresh cherries straight from the carton, I’m also really into making chocolate cherry smoothies with them. Because: chocolate. And, because: cherries. Need I say more?
I will tell you, though, that cherries are loaded with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins (that’s what gives them that deep red pigment) which support a wide range of health benefits like improved heart health, lowered risk of cancer, diabetes and other inflammatory diseases. Cherries also have a nice amount of another antioxidant nutrient called Quercetin which is really helpful for boosting immunity and improving symptoms of allergies.
I used sweet cherries for this recipe, but if you get your hands on some tart (or sour) cherries, you can add the benefits of melatonin for better sleep and the alleviation of painful gout arthritis symptoms.
Cherries are pretty great.
Adding raw cacao powder to this Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl not only makes it taste amazing, but also works to boost the antioxidant content as raw cacao is one the riches sources of free-radical-fighting flavonoids. Raw cacao powder is a staple in my fridge. Makes it so easy to whip up a quick, healthy dessert.
And of course, anything that is high in antioxidants will also reduce other kinds of inflammation which makes us look and feel our best. I’ll slurp to that!
Here’s how it’s done.
- 1 cup coconut milk (either homemade or from a carton)
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 1 fresh or frozen banana
- 2 cups pitted fresh cherries (or frozen)
- 1 small, ripe avocado
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ lime, peeled
- Put all ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender, slowly increasing speed and blend on high for 45 seconds.
- Pour into bowls and top with fun things like flaked coconut, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, shaved dark chocolate…and MORE cherries!
Oh, and if you find that you can’t get through all your fruit before it starts to lose freshness, here’s a tip: line a baking sheet with parchment paper and freeze your extras! Because letting good food go to waste is one of my all-time biggest annoyances.
I do this with bananas all the time, but it’s easy to do with cherries too. Before freezing, just remove the pits by slicing the cherries down the centre, twisting open and pulling the pit out with your fingers. It’s THAT easy. Once everything is nice and frozen, just pop those suckers into an airtight bag and freeze for chocolate cherry smoothies galore!