Cherries have a number of health benefits. You probably guessed they contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but did you know they also contain the hormone melatonin which helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle? Cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes, and cherries are lower than other fruits on the glycemic index, meaning they are less likely to cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar. Now, on to the smoothie recipe!
· 1.25 cups fresh sweet red cherries, pitted (organic if possible)
· 1/2 cup 100% red tart cherry juice (organic if possible)
· 1/3 cup organic vanilla bean nonfat Greek yogurt
· 1/2 tsp. organic Ceylon ground cinnamon
· 1 tsp. organic ground chia seed or chia seed
· Filtered water and 2-4 cubes of ice, as desired, to adjust consistency
Combine all ingredients except water in a blender or mixer. Blend for 20-30 seconds. Pour into a glass and enjoy. If too thick, add a few tablespoons of filtered water and re-blend for 5 seconds. Makes approx. one pint (16 oz.) of smoothie.
Examples of substitutions:
Frozen pitted cherries can be substituted for fresh cherries. The ground cinnamon does not have to be Ceylon cinnamon, although Ceylon cinnamon in particular is used to spice up desserts and sweet beverages. If you’ve not had Ceylon cinnamon in your spice cabinet, now might be a good time to try it! (Be sure to protect your cinnamon from light and moisture in an airtight container.) A non-dairy yogurt alternative can be substituted for those who don’t eat dairy, such as Trader Joe’s Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative. (By the way, maraschino cherries are highly processed and stored in a brine of sugar, FD&C red food dye and other chemicals that make them a Frankenfood—do not substitute these in this recipe.)
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