Frozen cherries are easy to keep on hand and make a vibrant, nutritious, and flexible cherry smoothie. Make it chocolate if you like. Here's how.
Why we love this recipe
We always keep the freezer stocked with plenty of fruit, but I sometimes forget about cherries. That's a mistake, since they freeze beautifully and blend up into a gorgeous, creamy, nutrient-packed smoothie. (Or, hey, cherry crisp.)
This smoothie has:
- Lots of antioxidants
- Plenty of healthy carbs, protein, fiber, and good fats to keep you satisfied
- Mood- and energy-boosting compounds galore
- Tons of flexibility — customize it using the ideas below, or your own
I first published a version of this recipe here back in 2017. I've since updated the post for clarity and made some changes to the recipe itself.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Frozen dark sweet cherries are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and other nutritional goodness, and have a low glycemic index. They have a mild flavor and sweetness that plays well with others. You can make this smoothie with a cherry-berry blend if you like, without any other changes.
- If you like, you can replace half the cherries with a frozen banana for a change of pace. Banana helps give smoothies a dreamy consistency. Whenever you have bananas that get too ripe, peel them and pop them into a zip-top freezer bag. They keep well in the freezer for at least a year and slice easily even when frozen.
- You can use any type of dairy or nondairy milk that you like to make this cherry smoothie, including homemade cashew milk. Here I've used soy milk, which is nice and creamy but tends to freeze up a bit, so I've paired it with some water. Oat milk also makes excellent smoothies.
- Cacao nibs are crushed pieces of cacao beans. They contribute a chocolate flavor (though no sweetness) and plenty micronutrient goodness to this smoothie. You can swap in raw cacao powder if you prefer.
- Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable long consumed for its micronutrient profile and purported stamina- and verility-boosting power. These days it's sold in powdered form in the U.S. as a superfood. It has a nice caramel-like flavor that I've come to crave a bit over the years.
- Not pictured: If you're not including chocolate, you may want to add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and/or ¼ teaspoon almond extract. They both complement and enhance cherries' mild flavor.
- Not pictured: A spoonful of cherry or raspberry jam can add a bit of sweetness and vibrance, if you like.
- Want to level up your smoothie game? Here's my epic post with everything you need to know get started and to take your smoothies to the next level.
- Prefer to have a little help? I recommend SmoothieBox. Read my review or buy now with discount code UMAMIGIRL for $35 off your first box.
- And here are my recommended products: Vitamix 5200, cacao nibs, ground flax seed, chia seed, and maca powder.
A note on nutrition
I've noticed over the years that people searching for smoothie recipes tend to have strong feelings about nutrition, and sometimes to assume that their personal preferences are more universal than they are.
The smoothies on Umami Girl are delicious, generally pretty good for ya, and always presented with nutritional data. They're also very flexible — so if your nutritional needs are different, feel free to tweak the recipes. Some easy changes include:
- Swapping in different liquids
- Adding your favorite protein powder
- Removing higher-sugar ingredients like dates or jam
How to make it
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make a great cherry smoothie. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Add the cherries to the blender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Position the lid and blend on high speed until perfectly smooth and creamy. You can adjust the amount of liquid to suit your preference.
- Pour into a glass and serve right away.
Expert tips and FAQs
A high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec makes so many kitchen tasks easier and better, but you absolutely don't need one to make a basic smoothie like this one.
If you're using a regular blender and including cacao nibs, you may end up with little bits of nib throughout your smoothie rather than a perfect blend. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're not into it, you can use cacao powder instead. If including banana, it's also important to slice the banana before blending.
Smoothies are at their best shortly after blending. But if you need to make your cherry smoothie in advance, you've got a couple of options. Store it in a regular cup in the freezer for up to an hour or in an insulated, lidded cup in the fridge overnight.
More favorite smoothies
- 2 cups (280 grams) frozen dark sweet cherries (see note 1)
- ¾ cup (180 ml) milk of choice (see note 2)
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon (10 grams) cacao nibs, optional
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) maca powder, optional
Other optional ingredients
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon cherry or raspberry jam
- Place all ingredients into the jar of a blender.
- Blend on high speed until perfectly smooth.
- Pour into a glass and serve right away.
- You can swap in a cherry-berry blend if you like, without making any other changes. Or replace half the cherries with a frozen banana for a change of pace.
- You can use any type of dairy or nondairy milk that you like to make this cherry smoothie, including homemade cashew milk. I typically use ½ cup soy milk plus ¼ cup water, since soy milk is nice and creamy but tends to freeze up a bit. Oat milk also makes excellent smoothies.
- If you're using a regular blender and including cacao nibs, you may end up with little bits of nib throughout your smoothie rather than a perfect blend. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're not into it, you can use cacao powder instead. If including banana, it's also important to slice the banana before blending.
- Smoothies are at their best shortly after blending. But if you need to make your cherry smoothie in advance, you've got a couple of options. Store it in a regular cup in the freezer for up to an hour or in an insulated, lidded cup in the fridge overnight.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 7gSugar: 35gProtein: 13g