Chocolate covered cherry milkshake, anyone? This sweet chocolate cherry smoothie is ready in just 5 minutes with 6 simple ingredients. Dark cherries combine with banana, cocoa powder, almond milk, and a touch of maple syrup for the ultimate easy breakfast or satisfying snack.
🍒 Reasons to love this recipe
I don’t know about you but I’ll take any excuse I can to enjoy something sweet for breakfast (like this chocolate banana smoothie or strawberry peach smoothie).
So it’s no wonder I’ve been making this chocolate cherry smoothie on repeat lately!
This easy smoothie recipe has all the flavor of a chocolate covered cherry but in sippable, smoothie form and packed with whole fruit, fiber and healthy fats.
Since all you need are 6 ingredients, 1 blender and 5 minutes, it makes the perfect quick breakfast for busy mornings or a sweet afternoon snack.
And the good news is that you don’t need to wait for cherries to be in season to enjoy it, because you can use both fresh and frozen cherries.
PS - This recipe is naturally gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, vegan, vegetarian, and paleo friendly. And can easily be made nut free just by swapping any other milk in place of the almond milk!
🍫 Ingredients you need to make it
Cherries: I used frozen dark sweet cherries but you could also use fresh cherries. Just be sure they’re pitted cherries with the stems removed before adding to your blender.
Cocoa powder: I used cocoa powder for more of a milk chocolate style smoothie but you could also use cacao powder for more of an earthy, dark chocolate flavor (with added nutrients!).
Banana: I love the natural sweetness and the thick & creamy texture that frozen bananas add to smoothies, but fresh banana also works great.
Almond milk: I used almond milk but you can use any milk you like (including regular dairy milk or other non-dairy options like oat milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk or hemp milk). You can also use water instead for a less creamy smoothie.
Maple syrup: In testing this recipe, I found that a little bit of sweetness helped bump up the chocolatey flavors with the cocoa powder. You could also use honey, agave, liquid stevia drops or blend in a pitted date.
Lemon juice: Anytime I’m working with fresh fruit in a smoothie, I like to add a little bit of lemon juice. It helps brighten and lift up all the flavors so you get that little bit of tartness to balance out the sweetness. I used bottled lemon juice but you could also use fresh squeezed lemon juice.
To make a chocolate cherry protein smoothie: Simply add 1-2 scoops of any chocolate protein powder you like (highly recommend this variation if you’re enjoying this for breakfast or pre/post workout!).
💭 Top tips
Whenever possible, use frozen fruit instead of ice: Frozen ingredients make your smoothies thick and creamy, without watering down the flavors..
If using fresh fruit, you can add ice for a thicker texture & colder temperature.
For a thinner smoothie add more milk: I’m into thick smoothies but if you like an easier-to-sip smoothie, simply add a little more almond milk.
Ways to adjust sweetness: Cherries & bananas can vary in ripeness and sweetness, so you can sweeten to taste with maple syrup, honey, pitted dates or liquid stevia drops.
🥥 Add ins & variations
For a boost of fiber & healthy fats: Add in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or ground flaxseed, 1 tablespoon of almond butter or ¼ of an avocado.
With yogurt: For extra creaminess or for an extra boost of protein (that isn’t from protein powder) add ½ cup of plain unsweetened Greek yogurt.
With greens: For an easy chocolate cherry spinach smoothie add 2 cups of baby spinach (or kale for a kale smoothie) before blending.
With coconut milk: Simply substitute the almond milk for coconut milk.
Without banana: You can swap out the banana for frozen riced cauliflower or even frozen zucchini for a low sugar smoothie. Or for another creamy, sweet fruit option try frozen mango.
With tart cherry juice: For an even fruitier smoothie (with the sleep support benefits and extra anti inflammatory goodness of tart cherry juice!) substitute half or all of the milk for tart cherry juice.
🍨 How to make a smoothie bowl
You can turn almost any smoothie recipe into a thick and delicious smoothie bowl just by adding a little less liquid to the blender.
To make a chocolate cherry smoothie bowl, reduce the amount of milk down to ¾ cup and be sure to use frozen cherries and frozen bananas (helps make it thicker!).
You can use any toppings you like, but here’s a few that go really well with this smoothie:
- For texture and crunch: cacao nibs, chocolate chips, chocolate granola, sliced almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, shredded coconut
- For fresh fruit: cherries, pomegranate arils, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Fun extras: almond butter, nutella, coconut cream, chocolate shavings
🧊 Storage, meal prep & freezing tips
This smoothie is very easy to prep ahead, just add all your ingredients (except the milk) for grab and go freezer smoothie packs that you can blend fresh each morning.
Of course, smoothies are at their best when enjoyed right after blending but it is totally possible to store leftovers in the fridge and freezer:
- For the fridge: Store it in a tightly sealed lidded container (or pop cling wrap or beeswax wrap on top of your smoothie glass). Re-blend it if there's any natural separation, adding ice or more frozen fruit as needed.
- For the freezer: Freeze in an ice cube tray and store the frozen smoothie cubes in a ziptop bag for up to a month. Then when ready to use just pop them into a blender and add more milk to blend again.
💬 Answering your smoothie FAQ’s
Can you blend cherries?
- Yes! As long as they’ve been pitted with stems removed first, sweet cherries can be a delicious and healthy addition to your smoothies.
How do you put cherries in a smoothie?
- You can use fresh or frozen cherries to make a smoothie - frozen are usually the easiest since you can find them year round (and because they’re already pitted with stems removed). They pair well with a variety of other fruits including banana, strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate and more - so the sky’s the limit!
What’s in Jennifer Aniston’s chocolate cherry smoothie?
- According to Vital Proteins, Jennifer Aniston’s favorite smoothie recipe uses chocolate almond milk, banana, cherries, chocolate collagen peptides and ice. So if you want to tweak this recipe to be closer to hers, simply add in 2 scoops of chocolate collagen peptides!
Chocolate Cherry Smoothie (Easy & Healthy!)
- 1 cup cherries fresh or frozen, pitted
- ½ cup banana fresh or frozen
- 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder or cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 cup almond milk or any other milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Add all of your ingredients to a blender.
- Cover and blend until smooth. Sweeten to taste with more maple syrup if you like.
For added protein: 1-2 scoops of chocolate protein powder or ½ cup of Greek yogurt
For a healthy fat & fiber boost: 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground flax seed or rolled oats
For a green smoothie: 1-2 cups of baby spinach or baby kale Nutrition information was calculated using almond milk and cocoa powder, and without the optional add-ins. For a nut free smoothie: This smoothie is already naturally dairy free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free and paleo but for a nut free version simply swap in any other milk in place of the almond milk (like oat milk or regular milk). For a thinner smoothie, add more milk. If using all fresh fruit, you may want to add ice for better texture. For more ingredient swaps, modifications, variations and storage tips (like how to turn this into a smoothie bowl!) - see the full blog post above.
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