Today I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite beverages that also works as a breakfast or snack. It’s the very cherry smoothie. It can be made with or without dark leafy greens for an extra boost of nutrients. Vegan & gluten-free.
I am a savory breakfast person through and through.
However, there are some days in the summer months when it’s hot and muggy. At those times, a fruit smoothie is the perfect way to start the day.
It’s filling without being heavy, easy to take on the road, or sip while I check my email.
The smoothie I’ve been obsessed with lately is this Very Cherry Smoothie. It packs a wallop of cherry flavor from ½ cup of dark cherries and a dash of almond extract.
Almond extract is one of my favorite secret ingredients for increasing the yum factor in a smoothie. That extra roundness of cherry flavor makes it that much more delicious.
This Very Cherry Smoothie includes frozen chunks of banana, which whip into an ice cream-like texture, and chia seeds.
Chia is known for its omega 3 properties, along with being a source of fiber, protein, and calcium. It also gives the smoothie a thicker viscosity.
I usually add something green to my smoothies. And nutrient-dense dark leafy greens like kale and collard greens are my favorite.
If those are too bitter for you, spinach is a good choice as well. Or if you prefer your smoothie on the sweet side, simply leave out the optional greens.
(I left the greens out for these pictures, because they have a way of turning a red smoothie brown. The taste is still great, but the look is less vibrant.)
This very cherry smoothie is teeming with flavor and is sure to quench your thirst on a hot day. It’s also thick enough, it would be great for a smoothie bowl with all of your favorite toppings!
How to make this smoothie
Peel a ripe banana. Break it into chunks, and pop it into a freezer-proof container. Cover & freeze it until you’re ready to use it.
Once it’s smoothie time, put chia seeds, vanilla soy milk, frozen cherries, frozen banana, and almond extract into a high-speed blender.
Blend until smooth.
For an icier, thicker smoothie, add ice cubes to the blender. Then blend until thoroughly combined. Pour into a glass and serve.
If you don’t have a high speed blender, you may want to grind the chia seeds in a clean coffee grinder before putting them into the blender, so that you don’t have any whole seeds in the smoothie.
To add even more nutrients to your smoothie, add one or two kale or collard leaves. Just remember to remove the leaves from the hard center rib first.
If you don’t have a high speed blender, I recommend blending the non-dairy milk and kale or collard leaves alone in the blender first before adding the remaining ingredients. Dark leafy greens are thick and fibrous. They break down better if you blend them completely before adding more ingredients to the blender jar.
If you have a high speed blender, it’s not an issue, though. You can blend everything at once.
Very cherry smoothie
- Add the chia seeds, vanilla soy milk, kale or collard leaves (if using), cherries, banana, and almond extract to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. For an icier, thicker smoothie, add ice cubes to blender and blend until thoroughly combined. Pour into glass and serve.
Originally posted August 2015. Content & photos updated July 2019.