I was inspired to make a cold refreshing smoothie today since the heat index is in the triple digits and I pretty much do not want to go outside. There are about a million different ways to make a smoothie but it really comes down to fruit, liquid, possibly greens and some fun add-ins.
Cherries are one of my favorite fruits and when they are in season and on sale I like to stock up on the organic ones, pit them and freeze them. You may ask why would I go through the work of pitting them myself? Well, depending on your grocer, frozen organic cherries are not easily found and if you use a handy dandy cherry pitter it won’t take you long at all. I did a pound of cherries in less than ten minutes while simultaneously entertaining an infant in a Bumbo who stared at me in fascination.
I chose cherries and blueberries because I love the rich purple hue and antioxidant blast they pack. Bananas are a standard in the smoothies around our house as they normally come after a workout. The three add-ins I threw in were cocoa powder, hemp protein powder and chia gel with each of these bringing additional nutrition benefits.
Cocoa powder contains the minerals iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc. It also is a source of flavonoids which function as antioxidants and guard against systemic inflammation. And the best part is that there are only 12 calories in a tablespoon, such a deal for that chocolate flavor!
Hemp protein powder is my preferred protein supplement. I like the nutty taste of it and the fact that it is a plant-based protein with a high fiber content and contains omega-6 essential fatty acids. You could swap this out for your protein powder of choice whether it is whey, casein, soy or pea powders.
Lastly, the chia gel is simply a mixture of chia seeds and water as they absorb ten to twelve times their weight in water as they sit. The gel mixture blends easily and you won’t be left digging tiny seeds out of your teeth all day. Chia seeds provide a powerful nutrition punch of beneficial antioxidants, protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins. They also are very high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain only 68 calories per tablespoon.
The best things about smoothies is that they are nearly impossible to mess up so play around and enjoy a healthy treat!
- 1/2 Banana, sliced
- 6-7 Organic Cherries, frozen
- 1/4 C. Organic Blueberries, frozen
- 1 C. Organic Soymilk
- 1 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tbsp. Chia Gel *see notes*
- 2 Tbsp. Hemp Protein Powder
- 5-6 Ice Cubes
- Add the fruit and ice cubes into the blender first.
- Add the soymilk and remaining ingredients in next.
- Blend on medium-high setting for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- *For Chia Gel: Combine 2 Tbsp. of chia seeds with 1/2 C. of water in a resealable container. Whisk together and keep in refrigerator for up to 7 days.