Anyone who knows me knows that I make a smoothie pretty much every single day. About a year ago, I discovered an ingredient that makes my smoothies taste so much better--cherries! The tangy-sweet flavor of cherries is bold enough to stand up to the bitter taste of greens, yet mild enough to blend perfectly with just about any berry (although the cherry-strawberry combination is my favorite!)
I normally take the "kitchen sink" approach with most of my smoothies, so feel free to use whatever produce you have available! Just be careful with mixing colors if you find brown smoothies unappetizing. Banana is a recurring favorite since it lends both creaminess and sweetness, as is pineapple which is relatively inexpensive compared to organic cherries and strawberries.
The cacao nibs add both a flavor boost and an anti-oxidant boost. I discovered Cacao Nibs at the Chocolate Museum during our day trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I consider cacao nibs "pre-chocolate"--they have the smoky chocolate-y flavor, without additives like sugar.
Find the recipe below. Please note that you can always blend the toppings into your smoothie if you prefer smoothies to smoothie bowls.
- 1 banana
- 1 cup fresh pitted cherries, plus additional cherries as toppings
- 2 cups frozen red berries (strawberries or raspberries)
- 1 small beet, cooked (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
- 2 teaspoons shaved coconut
- Blend the first seven ingredients until smooth. Add more water if you have trouble blending (but, note that smoothie bowls should be thick, otherwise the toppings will sink to the bottom!)
- Pour the blended smoothie into a bowl, and top with fresh cherries, shaved coconut, and cacao nibs. Serve immediately.