Cherry Smoothie Recipes and Nutrition

Cherries are one of my favorite fruits to use in a green smoothie. Use them as a flavor accent along with creamy base fruits such as banana, mango, papaya and pear.

Cherries are popular sweet fruit grown throughout the world. There are more than two million tons that are grown every year. The cherry has a short growing season however, and is only in peak season in the summer. In North America, most of the cherry crops are harvested in June.

Cherries are not just eaten raw but are also commonly used in pies and other baked goods, jams and jellies, and other recipes due to their sweet flavor.

Cherry Nutrition and Health Benefits

cherryCherries provide a powerful dose of antioxidants and are considered a “super fruit”. Cherries contain beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber. Tart or sour cherries contain more beta carotene and slightly more vitamin C.

Anthocyanins are antioxidants that give the cherry its red color. It is this antioxidant that studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help with symptoms of arthritis. Eating cherries may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers (breast and colon).

Cherries are low on the glycemic chart and are a great choice for those with diabetes. Studies in rats have shown that consuming tart cherry powder gained less weight even when on a high-fat diet (more).

Cherries are among a few foods that contain melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate your body’s sleep patterns and studies show that it may also play a role in preventing memory loss.

Cherry Smoothie Recipes

Cherry-Banana Smoothie

1 cup cherries, pits removed
1 whole banana
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
1/2 cup water

Calories: 205 | Fat: 0.6g (grams) | Protein: 4.7g | Carbs: 52.8g | Calcium: 11% | Vitamin A: 82% | Vitamin C: 65%

Cherry-Apple Smoothie

1 cup cherries, pits removed
1 whole apple
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
1/2 cup water
(Optional) Vanilla bean for flavor.

Calories: 156 | Fat: 0.5g (grams) | Protein: 3.6g | Carbs: 40.8g | Calcium: 11% | Vitamin A: 82% | Vitamin C: 65%

Cherry-Coconut Smoothie

1 cup cherries, pits removed
1 young coconut (meat and 1/2 cup coconut water)
1/2 apple or pear
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)

Calories: 260 | Fat: 3.3g (grams) | Protein: 5.4g | Carbs: 60g | Calcium: 25% | Vitamin A: 81% | Vitamin C: 56%

How To Select Cherries

Select cherries that are in season. Avoid cherries that are shriveled, split or leaking. Cherries rank highly in pesticide residue (73 out of 100) according to research conducted by the Environmental Working Group so organic cherries should be consumed whenever possible.

Sweet Cherries vs. Tart Cherries

Both sweet and tart cherries are high in antioxidants, but tart cherries are higher in beta carotene (26% daily value in 1 cup), vitamin C (17% DV per cup) as well as lower in calories (52 per cup vs. 74 calories per cup in sweet cherries). The recipes above call for sweet cherries, but feel free to substitute sour or tart cherries to taste.

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