Chocolate Cherry Smoothie – Nothing like an antioxidant and protein boost that tastes like dessert…This chocolate cherry smoothie tastes like a shake! (Paleo or vegan)
A few years ago, my sister’s friend posted a Facebook status along the lines of: “ah, Mondays. The day I throw a bag of soggy spinach into the trash and buy a new bag, which will sit in my fridge until next week.” It made me laugh so hard! I’ve been there. Sometimes, I have the best of intentions, but I forget about something or leave it a bit too long. I’ve got a post in the works about how to cut down on kitchen waste, but for now, my favorite method for spinach is smoothies.
These chocolate cherry smoothies taste so fudgy and rich, not a soul in my house other than me even knows they contain spinach. That feels like winning.
I just love when healthy food tastes like dessert. Frozen cherries, spinach, and cacao powder are all loaded with antioxidants, which makes me feel extra glad every time I sip this smoothie.
What I love even more is that it really does taste like a shake. The chocolate and cherry combination is one of my favorites, and they’re so nice together in a smoothie. This one is nice and thick, perfectly sweet, and, with a little protein boost, has a nice balance of nutrients.
It’s made from healthy enough ingredients that it’s an easy breakfast or snack, but has all the flavor of dessert (my favorite!). Chocolate Cherry Smoothie for the win!
Notes on this Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherries. I’ve made this using both tart or sweet cherries. I prefer it with sweet, but I always use what I have and what’s on sale. If you’re working with tart cherries, you may find you want to add a small drizzle of syrup to moderate the tartness. On that note…
Sweets for the sweet. Depending on how sweet your cherries are, you may want to add 1-2 tsp of pure maple syrup to the smoothie. This is totally based on your preference. (I don’t mind adding a tiny bit of syrup if it helps my kids eat some greens!)
Let’s talk protein. My favorite protein powder is collagen. It’s a very clean and nutrient-rich protein source. It’s nondairy but is animal sourced, so it’s not a great choice for vegans or vegetarians. For a vegan/vegetarian protein boost, a few tablespoons of chia or hemp seeds blend in really well! You can certainly leave out any of the protein options, I’ve just found that they help moderate a sugar rush and keep me full longer.
If you don’t have a high-speed blender… try pureeing your greens and milk before adding the other ingredients. This will help get you that velvety smooth finish, without any leftover pieces of spinach floating around. It was my go-to trick before I got my Blendtec.
Consider trying...cacao nibs for a garnish. They’re unsweetened cacao in piece form. (Kind of like nature’s chocolate chips!) They’re a bit on the bitter side, but they’re really nice with this smoothie! Or, you can chop up a little chocolate or chocolate chips. I’ll never tell!
Like this recipe? You might also like…
- (Nut Free!) Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shakes
- Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Energy Bars
- Healthy Snickers Shake
- 2 cups frozen cherries (sweet or tart)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (can sub any milk you like)
- 1-2 cups spinach
- 2-3 Tbsp cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 drops almond extract
- 2 scoops collagen protein (for paleo–see notes for vegan)
- optional: 2-3 tsp pure maple syrup (as desired)
Place all ingredients in your blender and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy!
VEGAN NOTES – You can swap in an unflavored vegan protein powder, or use 2 Tbsp chia or hemp seeds in place of the collagen
NO HIGH SPEED BLENDER? Puree your spinach and milk together before adding the other ingredients. This will help give you the smoothest finish.
CACAO – 2 Tbsp of cacao will give you a more pink/cherry smoothie, where 3 Tbsp will amplify the chocolate color and flavor. Do what you prefer!
FOR A THICKER SMOOTHIE – Try using a frozen banana cut into pieces. You may need a bit more milk to blend, but this will give you a frosty texture. Or, you can try adding about 1 cup of ice.
- Serving Size: about 1.5 cups
- Calories: 189kcal
- Sugar: 25g
- Sodium: 148mg
- Fat: 3g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 41g
- Fiber: 9g
- Protein: 5g
- Cholesterol: 0