Cherries are one of my favorite fruits, so when I saw this recipe for a Cherry Smoothie over on 101 Cookbooks, I jumped at the chance to make it. Not only is it packed full of nutritionally-dense sweet dark cherries, but it is also loaded with all sorts of fruity goodness, including an orange, a banana, and pineapple. You're nearly getting your five a day all in one delicious smoothie!
When cherries are in season it's safe to say my hands are usually stained dark red. I buy them, and eat them, like crazy. Not only are they sweet, juicy, and nutritious; but, they are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and also are a natural source of melatonin, which aids in sleeping. Since I need help with both sleeping and inflammation, cherries are a win-win for me!
Since cherries aren't usually in season, I buy them frozen and stock them year-round. Needless to say, I used frozen cherries for this recipe. However, since we like our smoothies thick I almost always use frozen fruit, even if fresh is available. In fact, all of the fruit in this recipe, with exception to the orange, was frozen.
I was making this smoothie for my whole family, so I used regular milk and omitted the nut butter because my son is allergic to all nuts. Since I was using mostly frozen fruit, my smoothie was a little too thick so I needed more water to help thin it out. The addition of water is completely fine, but next time I would probably use apple juice or grape juice to sweeten things up a touch. This smoothie had no additional sugar added to it, and I noticed that a little dose of sugar, in the form of juice or honey, would send this smoothie over the top. Just enough sugar to make the flavors stand out a bit more and sweeten the smoothie up a touch.
The incredible thing is that the entire family loved this smoothie, which is a good thing because this made 48 ounces! I can see us enjoying this smoothie over and over again and I think it's a wonderfully nutritious way to start your day!
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1-1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1/2 cup water, possibly more depending on desired consistency
1 banana, peeled
1/3 cup milk (cow, almond, coconut)
1 orange, segments and flesh only
1 cup cubed pineapple
Optional: 1 heaping tablespoon almond (or nut) butter
Combine all the ingredients in an upright blender and process until smooth. If you find the smoothie too thick, carefully add more water, slowly, through the feed hole on the lid with the motor running. Pour into glasses and enjoy!
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