If there’s a bowl of ruby red cherries in front of me, chances are I’ll just sit and eat the whole thing. But occasionally I’ll restrain myself long enough to actually pit the cherries and use them in a recipe (see the video below for the easiest way to pit cherries).
This smoothie offers the almost-instant gratification of eating the cherries quickly and can be made for a fast breakfast that kids and adults will love or for a post-workout recovery drink. Cherries contain 3 grams of fiber and 342 milligrams of potassium per cup, which is about as much as a small banana. This sweet stone fruit also boasts anthocyanins, a type of phytonutrient that gives cherries their deep red color and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
I like using coconut milk in this recipe, but you can use any milk you like. The smoothie reminds me a bit of the cherry Coke floats I used to have as a kid. This is a much healthier way to indulge! If you like your smoothie a bit thicker, you can add 1/4 cup of vanilla yogurt.
Only in season from May through August, sweet cherries will be gone soon. Get your hands on them while you can and enjoy!
Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a nutrition expert, writer and best selling author. Her books include Feed the Belly, The CarbLovers Diet and Eating in Color.