Black Forest Smoothie: Easy Vegan Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Recipe
This delicious Black Forest Smoothie (Chocolate Cherry Smoothie) is an easy plant based and vegan breakfast smoothie with protein, fruit, and raw chocolate to keep you full and satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way!
Guys, I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself!! This might be my favorite smoothie recipe ever. Since creating it, Cory and I have made this Black Forest Smoothie for breakfast dozens of times, and we just can’t get enough.
You’ve heard of black forest cake, right? That delicious rich chocolate cake drenched in chocolate ganache and loaded with sweet cherries? Or maybe you’re more familiar with black forest ice cream, where the cake is often swapped for brownie bites and the ganache is traded for hot fudge.
They’re both delicious variations on the chocolate cherry dessert theme, but neither of them makes me feel particularly awesome afterwards, what with all the overwhelming processed sugar and dairy my body no longer appreciates.
Since chocolate cherry desserts (really chocolate cherry recipes of any kind) have been an obsession of mine since childhood, and since I love making healthy sweet breakfasts that basically taste like dessert, I figured I should recreate my beloved black forest ice cream in a healthy, plant based chocolate cherry smoothie!
Mission accomplished. Seriously, this is epic, you guys. I’m absolutely ecstatic to share with you my new favorite smoothie of all time: my clean eating, plant based, vegan, dairy free, totally healthy BUT TASTES LIKE FREAKIN DESSERT Black Forest Smoothie recipe! This chocolate cherry smoothie recipe is a breeze to make, easy to prep ahead of time if desired, and actually keeps me full until lunch (unlike some only fruit smoothies that sometimes barely last an hour).
Reasons you Should Make this Epic Black Forest Smoothie TODAY:
It’s freakin delicious.
Seriously, if you use frozen cherries, it has the consistency of an ice cream shake, reminding me perfectly of black forest ice cream shakes and custards of my childhood. Ah, tasty memories.
It’ll keep you fuller longer.
It’ll keep you fuller longer than most smoothies. This healthy cherry smoothie isn’t just a fruit smoothie, but because it’s chock-full of cherries, the fiber in them will help keep you full. The addition of the almond butter and cacao nibs gives you some healthy fats and proteins as well, making this a more balanced smoothie than many and giving it some staying power.
It’s actually a healthy breakfast!
With whole foods, no added sugars and no added oils, this chocolate cherry smoothie actually checks the healthy breakfast box. Make this your go-to plant based smoothie and easy vegan breakfast. It’s an energy-dense smoothie with clean ingredients to keep your health goals in mind while feeling like a delicious splurge and decadent breakfast.
Kids love it!
I mean, what’s not to love? The combination of sweet cherries, caramel like dates, and cacao powder/nibs, you’ve got a sweet-enough-to-be-dessert cherry chocolate breakfast smoothie that kids and adults alike will love. This Black Forest Smoothie might become your weekend family breakfast treat or serve as a special weekday holiday breakfast (perfect smoothie for Valentine’s Day breakfast fun!).
You can prep it in advance.
Just add all ingredients to the blender the night before, pop it in the fridge, and you’re good to go in the morning! Because I do like this black forest smoothie to remind me of a black forest ice cream shake, I personally like to prep all but the cherries in advance. Then I add the frozen cherries in the morning instead for a cold, creamy consistency.
If you’ve got a high powered blender (Vitamix or Blendtec for example), that’s no big deal; it’ll handle frozen cherries no problem (even easier if you blend everything else first then add the cherries last; you might need the tamp otherwise).
If your blender can’t quite handle frozen fruits, just prep it all in advance, and let the cherries thaw overnight in blender in the fridge. If you’re starting with frozen cherries, they’ll thaw a decent way overnight but still might retain a little of that cool, frosty consistency. Note: if using fresh cherries, you may want to back off on the almond milk to keep your smoothie a little less liquidy.
Ok, now that you’re ready for this epic chocolate cherry smoothie, Let’s check out the clean-eating, healthy ingredients:
Epic Chocolate Cherry Smoothie – Ingredients:
Unsweetened Almond Milk
I love nut milks, specifically unsweetened nut milks, as smoothie bases when I’m making the dessert for breakfast style smoothies. They lend a creaminess to the texture that I love. The flavor of almonds complements cherries well, so you’ll often see almonds in cherry recipes. Almond milk lends some natural sweetness, but stick to unsweetened (or better yet homemade!) to avoid added sugars.
You can, of course, trade this for dairy milk if that’s more your thing. If you’re not a fan of almond milk but want to keep this a dairy-free smoothie, I’d recommend macadamia nut milk as the best alternative.
Cherries (Ideally Frozen Cherries)
Not only are cherries super delicious and amazing, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, folic acid, potassium, and calcium. They’ve also got fiber and are known for their antioxidant properties; cherries may even help fight inflammation and reduce blood pressure!
As the focal point of this cherry chocolate fruit smoothie, you want to make sure you have ripe, tasty cherries. I prefer frozen simply because I like the texture of my smoothie best that way (reminds me more of an ice cream shake!), but fresh cherries work just as well! You might cut back on the almond milk if using only fresh cherries in your Black Forest Smoothie. Start with ½ C and add slowly from there as needed to blend easily.
Cacao Powder & Cacao Nibs
The combination of the cacao powder and cacao nibs provide the nice chocolate flavors in this chocolate cherry smoothie; can’t have a black forest smoothie without chocolate, after all. Keep in mind, however, that raw cacao differs greatly from conventional chocolate or cocoa powders.
Raw cacao is a superfood, both in powder and nib form, and has myriad health benefits ranging from cardiovascular benefits to fighting fatigue to lowering blood pressure to mood enhancement, anxiety mitigation, and so much more. The antioxidant levels in cacao are astoundingly high; it contains calcium, the list goes on and on. Just make sure you’re using raw cacao nibs and raw cacao powder; many of the health benefits kind of go out the window (or at best are reduced) if you use the heated, processed, alkalized cocoa powders or replace the cacao nibs with typical chocolate chips.
Again, almonds and cherries pair extremely well together, and using almond extract really gives us an extra boost of that delicious, sweet almond flavor. You can sub vanilla extract if necessary, but trust me, it’s way better with the almond extract here. I do find that ordering my almond extract online was significantly cheaper than buying it at my local grocery store.
Medjool Dates provide sweetness in this recipe (no added or processed sugars in this fruit smoothie, remember?!) and lend a depth of flavor and richness that something like maple syrup can’t quite match. The dates also help provide that rich, creamy texture we associate more with shakes.
While dates are very much carbs, I personally don’t have any problem incorporating them into my diet. I feel much better about sweetening the occasional smoothie or dessert with dates, which remain a whole food, than loading breakfast or desserts up with processed sugars. I still like sweet foods, and dates also provide a decent bit of fiber, antioxidants, and a solid amount of vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, B6, and more. Some data even links dates and improved brain function.
I even eat a date here and there when I’m craving dessert and have no chocolate cherry energy bites (or Cory’s healthy no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies) on hand because dates taste like caramel to me by themselves! If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you may benefit from prepping the night before and making sure to submerge the dates in your almond milk. The skin of the dates will blend up more smoothly this way.
Seeing the almond theme here? Again, almonds and cherries go splendidly together, so for nut butter in this smoothie, stick to almond butter! We get healthy fats and good protein from almond butter, granting this easy plant based smoothie some better staying power. This way, you won’t feel hungry again in just an hour after eating. The almond butter also helps with the consistency in this smoothie, giving us a black forest smoothie more reminiscent of an ice cream shake, especially if you use frozen cherries.
We use the Kirkland brand almond butter from Costco and like it quite well, but you can also easily purchase a quality almond butter online. We try to use brands that have nothing added – just almonds. Homemade also works great!
Ready to blend up this quick and easy breakfast on the go? Toss all your ingredients together in you vitamix, blendtec, or other favorite blender, and blend away! Using frozen cherries, you may need to tamp the mixture a bit to get it going, or you can blend everything but the cherries first then add the frozen cherries a little at a time to ease the blending process.
Enjoy your delicious, healthy, plant based breakfast! This black forest smoothie will truly be the epic chocolate cherry breakfast smoothie you need in your life right now. Make it for your kids, add it to a brunch spread, or just take it with you to enjoy on your car ride into work! (I recommend a smoothie tumbler for easier travel with smoothies!)
Vegan, Dairy Free, Plant Based Black Forest Smoothie – The Epic Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
This delicious Black Forest Smoothie (Chocolate Cherry Smoothie) is an easy plant based and vegan breakfast smoothie with protein, fruit, and raw chocolate to keep you full and satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way! With blended frozen cherries, the texture reminds me of a black forest ice cream shake, and this healthy breakfast actually tastes like dessert!
1 C almond milk (reduce to 1/2 C for fresh or thawed cherries)
Add ingredients to blender, and blend on high until desired consistency is reached!
To make blending easier with frozen cherries, blend all ingredients except cherries first; then add frozen cherries in gradually to make blending easy.
If using fresh or fully thawed cherries, cut the almond milk down to 1/2 C to start; add more as needed/desired.
Prep this smoothie in advance for a super easy breakfast! Add all ingredients to the blender, and place in the fridge overnight. Cherries will thaw slightly, making the smoothie easy to blend but a little less creamy. If you wish, prep everything but cherries the night before; then add frozen cherries in the morning for a shake-like black forest smoothie!
Keywords: black forest smoothie; cherry chocolate smoothie; vegan smoothie; plant based breakfast
Loving this incredibly tasty chocolate cherry smoothie? Need some more recipes for healthy breakfasts or busy mornings? Check out other recipes below to find your next new favorite!
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