There is always a time when things need to be lighter. And no time like right after the holidays is this more true. After a month of consuming more heavy cream than I care to admit, it is time for some goodness. And do I ever have a delicious way for you get a little healthy. This healthy chocolate cherry protein smoothie recipe is tasty, super easy and is perfect for an afternoon treat or a post-workout snack.
Fresh fruit smoothies are an excellent way to up your fruit intake, and I love them...mostly because they are kind of like a milkshake. Nothing beats a fresh strawberry smoothie in my opinion, except maybe this chocolate cherry smoothie.
Not a lot. It is super simple, which is a good thing. Most healthy and delicious things have minimal ingredients. This smoothie lets the fruit shine with a touch of chocolate from cocoa nibs or chocolate chips. A scoop of good quality protein powder makes this a chocolate cherry protein smoothie - ideal for a quick after workout pick me up. Here's what you need:
- Cherries. I used frozen to make this more of a milkshake-like texture, but you can certainly pit and make this a fresh cherry chocolate smoothie. Or a step further, pit your own fresh cherries and freeze them on a baking sheet, and then plop into a freezer bag to have them on hand.
- Protein powder. This is what makes this a healthy chocolate cherry smoothie recipe and a great option for a post-workout. My personal favorite is Naked Nutrition's Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder. Naked Nutrition sources all of it's whey from small farms in California and is completely free of additives and artificial sweeteners. And having a kid who plays collegiate volleyball and two varsity football high school boys, the higher quality, and less junk, the better.
- Banana. I peel and freeze bananas all the time to throw into smoothies. This definitely ups the creamy milkshake texture of the smoothie.
- Coconut or almond milk. I could literally have coconut milk in anything ever, I love it that much.
- Cocao nibs. Also super healthy. Cocao nibs are loaded with nutrients, extra protein and plant compounds. Basically, they are a super awesome food and you can read more about them here, and find the ones I purchase here. Of course, if you don't have these, a fine substitute would be chocolate chips - which I have used and and pack the same chocolate punch.
- A pinch of sea salt. Because everything needs a touch of salt. EVERYTHING.
- Coconut sugar. This helps sweeten the deal and is a secret ingredient I use in A LOT of healthy(ish) baking, like my easy low carb healthy (ish) chocolate chip cookie bars.
Now how to make it the best chocolate cherry smoothie...
Get ready because this is gonna sound like rocket science...
Put everything in a blender with some ice and and blend until it is totally smooth and creamy.
Too much, right? I mean, honestly, this healthy chocolate cherry protein smoothie is like the greatest thing ever. So simple, not a ton of dishes, filling, refreshing, healthy...basically a delightful dream.
Tips for success
- Try to use frozen fruit. Definitely a frozen banana is ideal for this chocolate cherry smoothie recipe. Frozen fruits will make this thick, super cold and creamy in texture.
- Do not blend on high right away. Start low and gradually increase the speed. Doing this will ensure everything will blend nicely and puree down (mainly talking about the cocao nibs/chocolate chips, you want them nice and blended).
- Try to use a high quality protein powder. I have given you my recommendation, and I mean, if you are going to add health benefits to your smoothie, it might as well be the best quality.
- Add more milk than you think. This is something I have said in my milkshake recipes as well. Always use more milk than you think, especially if your using all frozen fruits.
Other great smoothies and frozen drinks:
- 1 cup cherries recommend frozen
- 1 banana frozen
- ½ cup coconut milk or almond milk, or whatever milk you prefer
- 1 scoop protein powder I use Naked Nutrition's Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs or chocolate chips
- pinch salt
- ½ cup ice
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend, starting on low speed and gradually increasing, until all the ingredients are fully blended. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.