Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries, Smoothie of the Week #4 (A Two-fer!)

BowlofCherries1

Cherries! (I think maybe I get a little too excited about summer fruit…)

But cherries have such a limited season of harvest that we have to jump on them, and fill our freezers to the brim with them while we can! (Anyone raid Whole Foods yesterday when they were $1.99/lb?!).

Due to the urgency of cherry season (and the fact that I happen to have an extra large bag in my fridge at the moment), you get a 2-for-1 deal for the smoothie of the week!

We’ve got a more lightweight, icy selection with a little veggie inclusion (sneak it in!), and a more substantial dessert-inspired choice (with a surprisingly acceptable caloric footprint!).

So let’s proceed…

Each recipe makes 1 smoothie.

The Cherry Lime Rickey

Remember when you used to drink Shirley Temples? Or Lime Rickey’s? Well, this is a more grown-up, more whole-food-ful version!CherrySmoothieAboveAngle

Ingredients

1 cup Cherries, pitted (about 12-14)

1-2 Kale leaves, thick stems removed

Juice of 1 Lime

1 tsp Honey

4-5 ice cubes

1/4 cup cold water

CherrySmoothieIngred

Put it all in your blending device, and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).

 

Approx. Nutrition Facts:

Carbohydrate: 49 g (3.5 g Fiber, 38 g Sugar)
Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat, 0 g Trans Fat)
Protein: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 16.5 mg
Calories: 146

 

A few things about cherries. They are awesome (…like this even needs to be stated). Like most berries, they are filled with antioxidants that help protect cells from damage. Compounds in cherries have been linked to endothelial cell health (the cells lining the blood vessels and lymphatic system). They are also thought to aid the brain in memory function! (Who couldn’t use a little boost there?)

Of course this is evidence that has been found mainly with the use of tart cherries (which is not what I used in these smoothies), but all cherries have at least a little benefit goin’ on.

Cherries may also have a potentially favorable effect on gut bacteria (possibly even reducing inflammation in conditions such as crohn’s disease).

They also pack a pretty decent fiber punch!

 

And now for the slightly more decadent…

 

The Chocolate Cherry Hell-Yes

ChocolateCherryHellYes

Inspired by… Ben & Jerry. Yup. That’s right. Get with it.

Ingredients

3/4 cup Cherries, pitted (about 10)

2/3 a medium Banana, frozen

1/2 cup Vanilla almond milk (I used Blue Diamond, unsweetened)

2 tsp. Cocoa powder, unsweetened (I used Ghiaredelli)

1/2 oz. Dark chocolate (I used Green & Black 85%- about 4 squares)

1 tbsp flax meal- optional (but might as well add a little omega fat and some fiber)

3-4 Ice cubes

ChocolateCherryIngred

Toss it all in a blender, and blend until smooth (30 seconds to 1 minute).

Holy moley….

 

Approx. Nutrition Facts:

Carbohydrate: 43 g ( 9.5 g Fiber, 28 g Sugar)
Fat: 13 g ( 4.5 g Saturated Fat, 0 g Trans Fat)
Protein: 6 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 94 mg
Calories: 292

 

Some awesome non-smoothie stuff coming up this week! (And okay…. yeah… we’ll still make another smoothie….)

Have a rockin’ weekend!

 

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