When I first started experimenting with nutritious smoothies, this one caught my attention. Why? Well it's chocolatey of course. No, seriously, the fact that its loaded with spinach and has a bit of avocado in it intrigued me. I wondered how it could possibly taste good. If you have yet to try a smoothie with any greens in it, this is a great place to start.
To this day, this is one favorite smoothie recipes and one awesome part about it is that it's packed with nutrients, but at the same time, it has a delicious chocolate cherry taste. And who would guess that after being loaded up with spinach! Cherries is one of the key nutrients in this smoothie. As most people know, cherries contain powerful antioxidants, cancer preventive compounds, and they are known for reducing inflammation. Cherries also contain a natural melatonin which is another antioxidant that helps fight inflammation and stress. Melatonin is known for improving our sleep as well. Now who doesn't need that! And because they are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, it has been suggested that cherries may help people struggling with pain associated with arthritis and pain associated with strenuous exercise.
Another key nutrient you will find in this smoothie is raw cacao powder. Cacao powder comes from the cacao bean. Cacao beans contain a natural chemical known as flavonoids which is a powerful antioxidant that may lower your risk of developing several types of diseases. This antioxidant helps destroy free radicals in your cells and tissue. Studies also show flavonoids found in cacao beans can also reduce your risk of certain cancers and promote some cardiovascular benefits.
So when you combine cherries with cacao powder, you can see what makes this smoothie so delicious and allows you to start your day with something nutritious for your body. Honestly, you can enjoy this smoothie any time of day. Even enjoy it as a healthy dessert. It is so satisfying. The original recipe calls for some avocado. If you are on the fence with adding the avocado, I have left it out on occasion and it still tastes great. But I still recommend the avocado as it will give you a boost of healthy fats that will make this smoothie much more satisfying. Also, don't let the thought of spinach scare you off. You can't even taste it, I promise :)
2 large handfuls fresh organic spinach
1 frozen banana
1 cup organic frozen cherries
1/4 ripe avocado
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon ground chia or flax seeds (optional)
3-4 ice cubes if you want a thicker smoothie
1. Throw all ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until smooth. This is the order I usually follow: almond milk, spinach, chia or flax seeds, raw cacao powder, avocado, vanilla, banana, and cherries.
2. Pour into your glass and drink immediately. I added some raw cacao nibs and chia seeds on top for some extra goodness. This recipe makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller servings.