This decadent chocolate cherry smoothie tastes so much like a cordial cherry that you'll never guess it's hiding brain foods like spinach and avocado! With a balance of protein, healthy fat and fiber, this superfood smoothie will be your new favorite treat.
As rarely as I eat sweets, I have to admit that I love the flavor of cordial cherries. They are such a decadent little treat! However, I haven't had one for years because I have yet to find a brand that is not highly processed. Have you ever actually read the ingredients?
Let's take a look at what is in the two most popular brands:
- Brach's - Sugar, Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk, Chocolate Liquor, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Flavor, Salt), Corn Syrup, Maraschino Cherries, Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Whey (Milk), Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Invertase, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Soy Lecithin (emulsifier), Red 40, Egg Whites [source]
- Queen Anne - Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cherries, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate Liquor, Milk High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Contains Soybean and Cottonseed Oils), Cocoa, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Soya Lecithin (an Emulsifier), Invertase, Citric Acid Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), FD&C Red No. 40 and Sulfur Dioxide [source]
To summarize, packaged cordial cherries contain sugar in multiple forms, trans fat, and artificial colors combined with preservatives like sodium benzoate (the combination of which has been shown to cause hyperactivity in children).
You can see why I haven't had a cordial cherry in years.
The good news is that you can still enjoy the flavor of cordial cherries, but in a form that is full of nutrients to nourish your brain! Oh yes, I have crafted this recipe to taste like a cordial cherry, but I also took the opportunity to hide some extra nutritious ingredients inside because it's just how I roll. But more than that, I love how easy it is to hide nutritious foods in a smoothie, just like I've done with my Mint Matcha Green Superfood Smoothie. It's a great way to get things like leafy greens into picky eaters!
This smoothie is paleo-friendly, and because the sweetness comes from fruit, it is also Whole30 compliant.
Let's take a look at all of the ways that this smoothie will nourish your brain.
How Do the Ingredients in this Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Support Mood and Brain Health?
I took the liberty of calling this chocolate cherry smoothie a "superfood" smoothie because it includes ingredients that are packed full of nutrients and often called "superfoods," like cocoa powder, spinach, avocado, and cherries.
- Nutrients to Make Neurotransmitters: Our mood, memories, and focus are regulated by tiny neurochemicals called neurotransmitters. They are made from the components of protein with the help of vitamins and minerals like the B-vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and zinc [source]. The cherries, spinach, avocado, and banana provide plenty of these nutrients!
- Healthy Fat and Antioxidants to Fight Inflammation: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fat. Combined with antioxidants from cherries, spinach, and cocoa powder, this combination packs a lot of punch to knock out inflammation, which has been connected to mood, learning, and memory disorders [source].
- Calming Amino Acids from Collagen Protein: collagen is an excellent source of glycine, a component of protein that acts as a calming neurotransmitter in the brain. Glycine is so calming that it may even help with obsessive disorders!
- Protein, Healthy Fat, and Fiber for Sustained Energy: large swings in blood sugar can do a number on your mood and brain function. This smoothie contains a balance of protein, healthy fat, and fiber, all of which help to keep your mood and blood sugar stable.
The clean, paleo and Whole30-friendly ingredients in this chocolate cherry smoothie create a flavor that will remind you of a cordial cherry, but without all of the yucky chemicals that are commonly found in them. Instead, this superfood smoothie "hides" nutritious ingredients like spinach, avocado, and collagen powder for extra nutrients to power your brain!
Recipe Steps, Tools, and Substitutions
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Recipe Steps to Make this Chocolate Cherry Superfood Smoothie
Step 1: measure your ingredients
Step 2: put the ingredients in the blender with the spinach at the bottom and avocado and cherries on top of it. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Tools needed to make this delicious smoothie
If you have a Vitamix, lucky you. But if you're like me and just can't bring yourself to spend a few hundred dollars on a blender, check out the Ninja Master Prep! It comes with a blender and separate food processor that both work with the same motor. I use my Ninja Master Prep all the time and absolutely love it!
Substitutions for Special Diets
- Any sort of non-dairy milk will do so long as it's unflavored and unsweetened. I like SoDelicious unsweetened plain coconut milk, but almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, or macadamia nut milk would also do the trick. Oat milk and rice milk are nut-free alternatives to coconut milk, it just won't be paleo and Whole30-compliant.
- Want to make it vegan? Simply eliminate the collagen powder, or replace it with a neutral-tasting vegan protein powder.
- Make this chocolate cherry smoothie a protein shake by swapping the collagen powder for your favorite chocolate-flavored protein powder! Be sure to choose a protein powder with clean ingredients that is sweetened with a natural, no-calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit. If you make this substitution, you'll need to eliminate the banana so the smoothie isn't overly sweet. I also recommend keeping 1 of the 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder for a rich chocolate flavor.
Superfood Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
This decadent chocolate cherry smoothie tastes so much like a cordial cherry that you'll never guess it's hiding brain foods like spinach and avocado! With a balance of protein, healthy fat, and fiber, this superfood smoothie will be your new favorite treat.This decadent chocolate cherry smoothie tastes so much like a cordial cherry that you'll never guess it's hiding brain foods like spinach and avocado! Click To Tweet
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
- Mint Matcha Green Superfood Smoothie
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Individual Chocolate Raspberry Microwave Mug Cake
- 90-second Keto Mug Bread
- Paleo Breakfast Porridge with Vegan Option
Chocolate Cherry Superfood Smoothie
This decadent chocolate cherry smoothie tastes so much like a cordial cherry that you'll never guess it's hiding brain foods like spinach and avocado! With a balance of protein, healthy fat, and fiber, this superfood smoothie will be your new favorite treat.
- 3 cups sweet dark cherries, frozen pitted
- 1 cup avocado, cubed frozen or fresh
- 1 cup baby spinach, fresh packed
- 2 ½ cups non-dairy milk, unsweetened and unflavored only 2 cups if using fresh avocado
- 2 scoops collagen protein powder unflavored
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 ripe banana
- ¼ tsp almond extract
Put the ingredients in a blender with the baby spinach at the bottom and avocado and cherries on top (to push the spinach down into the blades).
Add the remaining ingredients and blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth.
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