I love adding cranberries to my green smoothies this time of year!
Cranberries promote cardiovascular health 1, support immune function 2, and may help prevent urinary tract infection (UTI) 3. Cranberries are tart on their own, but blending them with a sweet banana in a smoothie moderates the tartness.
Cherries accent the flavor of cranberries nicely, and even though they are not in season right now, cherry flavor is often associated with the winter season. Plus, studies suggest that eating cherries may help reduce inflammation 4.
I use frozen cherries (they sell big bags of organic frozen cherries at BJ’s). Frozen cherries chill your smoothie without watering it down with ice.
If you use fresh cherries, then I highly recommend getting a cherry pitter.
Cranberry-Cherry Immune Boosting Green Smoothie Recipe
- 8 ounces (236 ml) unsweetened almond milk
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1/2 cup whole cranberries
- 1/2 fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like NutriBiotic rice protein powder)
- 2 cups (60 grams) fresh baby spinach
Start by adding the liquid to your blender (see my blender recommendations), followed by the soft fruit. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.
Calories: 289 | Protein: 17g | Carbs: 51g | Fiber: 8.6g | Calcium: 23% | Iron: 4.7mg | Vitamin A: 269% RDA | Vitamin C: 53% RDA
1 – McKay, Diane L., and Jeffrey B. Blumberg. “Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and cardiovascular disease risk factors.” Nutrition reviews 65, no. 11 (2007): 490-502.
2 – Nantz, Meri P., Cheryl A. Rowe, Catherine E. Muller, Rebecca Creasy, Chelsea Chapkin, Sofia Pasqualini, Jillian Lozada, Christina Khoo, and Susan S. Percival. “Cranberry phytochemicals modify human immune function and appear to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms.” The FASEB Journal 24, no. 1 Supplement (2010): 326-6.
3 – Jepson, Ruth G., and Jonathan C. Craig. “A systematic review of the evidence for cranberries and blueberries in UTI prevention.” Molecular nutrition & food research 51, no. 6 (2007): 738-745.
4 – Kelley, Darshan S., Reuven Rasooly, Robert A. Jacob, Adel A. Kader, and Bruce E. Mackey. “Consumption of Bing sweet cherries lowers circulating concentrations of inflammation markers in healthy men and women.” The Journal of nutrition 136, no. 4 (2006): 981-986.