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I recently wrote about how I’ve been making more smoothies for a healthy snacking option and how I’ve settled on what I call my “Smoothie System” for almost every smoothie I make now. It’s a simple layering system where I use three layers in my Magic Bullet container – A fresh fruit layer, a frozen fruit layer, and another fresh fruit layer. Then I add just a little bit of liquid (usually almond milk) and blend. This system works great for almost any flavor combination and it’s a great way to use up leftovers of fruit too. (You can read more here: My Simple Smoothie System).
This system has also allowed me to adapt other smoothie recipe ideas I see here and there that sound tasty. I just make note of the ingredients and use them in my layering system! When I wrote about my Smoothie System I promised I would share a few of these layering adaptations I created and I’m starting today with my Black Forest Smoothie.
My Healthy Black Forest Smoothie
I first heard about black forest smoothies in a plant-based eating Facebook group in answer to someone’s question about what to eat when you have a craving for sweets. A black forest smoothie uses some of the same chocolate and cherry flavors that are used in fancy Black Forest cakes. And now that I’ve made my own black forest smoothies many times, it does indeed mimic those flavors but satisfies that craving for sweets with healthy ingredients instead.
These are the four ingredients I use – a large banana, frozen dark sweet cherries, cocoa powder, and almond milk.
And then I use my layering system. The first layer of fresh fruit is half of the fresh banana that I break into chunks. I use the frozen dark sweet cherries for the middle layer of frozen fruit, and I use about 3/4 cup. Next I add a spoonful of cocoa powder, and then put the rest of the banana in for the final layer.
Finally I add about a scant 1/4 cup of almond milk. (I often use my homemade almond milk that I sweeten with a couple of dates).
A large, ripe banana works best for this recipe. If you have rather smallish bananas, you might need half of another banana to be able to make both your layers.
And when it’s all blended together you have a quick and yummy smoothie with chocolate and cherry flavors that almost make you feel like you’re having dessert. Perfect!
Sometimes during our evening television watching, Bob starts missing the old days when we used to eat ice cream almost every night. When that starts to happen I say, “Hang on, I’ll make us a couple of Black Forest Smoothies!” and off to the kitchen I go. I can have them whipped up in just a couple minutes and it takes care of that hankering for a cold and creamy dessert-like snack.
I hope I’m always able to find the frozen sweet cherries at my local grocery store. I think they’re the special ingredient that makes this smoothie so tasty. I try to always keep some frozen dark sweet cherries in my freezer so that making these smoothies can be an option whenever the craving hits with all the ingredients on hand.
For the sake of writing the recipe below to help you give it a try for the first time, I did measure the ingredients. But as mentioned earlier, I just use my smoothie layering system and a delicious smoothie can be created with no measuring cups or spoons needed. Give it a try – it works!
Black Forest Smoothie
- Blender (I like to use my Magic Bullet)
- 1 Large, Ripe Banana
- 3/4 cup Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries
- 1 Tbl Cocoa Powder
- Scant 1/4 cup Almond Milk (or other plant milk)
- Place half of the banana in a blender. (Break it into smaller chunks for easier blending)
- Add the frozen cherries.
- Add in the tablespoon of cocoa powder.
- Add the rest of the banana.
- Pour in the almond milk. Not much liquid is needed so I use just a little less than 1/4 cup.
- Put the lid on your blender and blend until the ingredients are well mixed together (about 20 seconds).