Very Cherry Smoothie (Paleo or Vegan!)
Very Cherry Smoothie – This cherry vanilla smoothie has plenty of punchy cherry flavor and a kiss of vanilla. It’s the perfect blend of bright and sweet! (Paleo or Vegan)
By this point in winter, I often find that I start craving the fresh fruit I miss from summer. Thankfully, frozen fruit comes to the rescue, usually in the form of smoothies! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time for a pretty pink smoothie. (Though let’s be honest: when is it NOT the right time for a pretty pink smoothie?)
This Very Cherry Smoothie totally delivers. It’s got beautiful pink color, plenty of punchy cherry flavor and a tiny kiss of vanilla that keeps me coming back for more. My kids love it, my husband loves it, and it’s the perfect smoothie to sip this season. Here’s why…
What You Need for a Perfect Cherry Smoothie:
- CHERRIES (FROZEN OR FRESH) – It’s winter, so I’m using frozen cherries today, but this can absolutely be made with fresh cherries when they’re available and in season. As for tart cherries vs. sweet cherries…I like both, but usually go for sweet cherries in my cherry smoothies. If you use tart, you *may* want to add a tiny drizzle of honey or syrup if your lips start to pucker. (It’ll just depend on how tart your cherries are!)
- BANANA – I know not everyone likes bananas in their smoothies, but I put 1/2 a ripe banana in this cherry smoothie recipe. It lends creaminess, a tiny bit of sweetness, and doesn’t overpower the cherry flavor to my taste buds. If you don’t like bananas, you can use some yogurt (plain or vanilla) instead. It’ll change the flavor slightly, but will help you keep the texture creamy similar.
- YOUR FAVORITE MILK – I use unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk most often. Both pair nicely with the cherries. You can absolutely use whatever you’re drinking–dairy milk, rice milk, soy milk, etc.
- A LITTLE FLAVOR – I use a combination of a few drops of vanilla extract plus a few drops of almond extract to bring out the cherry flavor even more. I miss them if I leave them out, so I don’t recommend skipping them unless you must.
- ANY FAVORITE BOOSTS OR ADD-INS. This cherry vanilla smoothie is a great home base for lots of add ins and boosts. See below for some of my favorites!
Kick it Up a Notch! Add a Boost to Your Cherry Smoothie
You can easily add goodies to this cherry vanilla smoothie to make it even more nutritious. A few of my favorites:
- Spinach – Full disclosure: this very cherry smoothie gets *really* ugly if you add spinach, but the flavor is awesome. This can easily take about 1 cup of spinach without a flavor impact. (Serve it in an opaque cup and your kids won’t even notice!)
- Collagen or Protein Powder – Collagen is my go-to protein option, and I highly recommend it here if it fits your diet. It’s not gritty, and it’s virtually flavorless, so it blends right in and give this an extra creamy texture. Note: It’s dairy free, but animal-derived, so it’s paleo approved, but not suitable for vegans.
- A spoonful of chia or hemp – Prefer a vegan option? A little chia seed (healthy fats!) or hemp hearts (hey, protein!) is a great way to go!
- Cacao nibs. Sometimes I top my cherry smoothie with a few cacao nibs. Cacao is raw, unsweetened, and PACKED with antioxidants. It has an intensely chocolate flavor that makes me feel like I’m turning this into a cherry chocolate chip “nice” cream–YUM. (Can’t do cacao? My kids can’t, either. I won’t judge if you sprinkle a few chocolate chips on there!)
Tips + Tricks for Your Cherry Smoothie
- Let’s talk blenders. I’ve used a Blendtec for 5 years (I’ve got over 1200 blends and counting!). Mine is refurbished, and it’s been a workhorse in my kitchen. I really like it. That said, you don’t need a high-speed blender for this recipe. You can even make it in a food processor if you need to (you just might need a tiny bit of extra liquid to help it blend).
- Tart or Sweet cherries? I mentioned this above, but in case you missed it, you can use either tart or sweet cherries in your cherry smoothie. Both are delicious. Depending on your sweet tooth and the tartness of your cherries, you may find you want to add a small drizzle of maple syrup or honey to your smoothie to offset any sourness you run into.
- Got leftovers? If you have more than you bargained for, you can pour leftovers into a popsicle mold and freeze them for later. We love smoothie popsicles for healthy snacks or treats. (Like, a lot. You can see all our smoothie popsicle recipes here)
More Pretty Smoothies to Love:
- Tropical Strawberry Pitaya Smoothie (this is naturally NEON pink!)
- Superfood Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie (I LOVE this one)
- Blueberry Peach Smoothie (This one’s such a pretty color!)
- Chocolate Cherry Smoothie (Basically this one + chocolate!)
Very Cherry Smoothie
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: About 3 cups 1x
Very Cherry Smoothie – This cherry vanilla smoothie is plenty of punchy cherry flavor and a kiss of vanilla. It’s the perfect blend of bright and sweet! (Paleo or Vegan)
- 2 cups frozen sweet cherries*
- 1/2 ripe banana (frozen or fresh)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite milk)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
Additional Mix-in Ideas (Optional):
- 2 scoops collagen (optional)
- 1 Tbsp chia seed or hemp hearts
- 1 cup spinach
- Place all ingredients in the blender
- Add any desired mix-ins
- Puree until completely smooth, adding more almond milk as necessary.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Smoothie, Breakfast
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cherry smoothie, cherry vanilla smoothie, vegan smoothie, paleo smoothie, gluten free, dairy free,
When you add spinach, do you pack the one cup tightly, or is it a loose one cup?
Loosely, for the most part. But it’s up to you! I can take a tightly packed one, but my kids prefer lightly packed 😉
I’ve never thought to put cherries in a smoothie before, but this sounds amazing! I’ll have to see if I can locate frozen cherries…
I hope you can find them! I get mine at Sprouts or Costco most of the time! I’ve also seen them at Kroger every once in a while!
Cherries with chocolate protein powder=black forest cake. 🙂
Oooooh!!! That sounds great! I do something similar in my Chocolate Cherry Smoothie!
I AM DOING ARBONNE SHAKES, COULD I USE THE VANILLA SHAKE MIX WITH THIS?? NOT SURE IF ANYONE HAS TRIED IT.
No one has mentioned trying it with this, but I’d love to know how it goes if you give it a try!
Excellent smoothie with a great cherry taste. I love the idea of adding almond extract! It sure brings out the great cherry flavor. And I like that you load it up with cherries and only add enough banana to help make it smooth. Otherwise the banana overpowers the taste. I will make this again.
Kati – I LOVED getting to read this review! That’s exactly what I love about this smoothie, too. THANK YOU for reviewing! 🙂