Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

This recipe is a favorite in our home and can be very low sugar if you want it to be. I usually make it as a smoothie but will often freeze leftovers in ice pop molds for popsicles the next day. In fact, sometimes I make it very thick (by leaving out some liquid) and it’s more like a fruity ice cream that can be served in a bowl. This recipe even works for Phase 1 of the Veritas Basic Healing Diet if you use stevia for a boost of sweetness. Strictly speaking, you would also leave out the banana and make sure to use coconut milk or almond milk instead of dairy milk.  You could enjoy 1 or 2 of these a week on Phase 1 without a problem! I purchase frozen, organic berries in large bags from Costco for this type of thing. They always carry cherries, blueberries and they also have what they call an ‘antioxidant blend’ which is a mixture of dark berries. You can really pack the nutrition into a smoothie like this. Don’t let the avocado scare you. They don’t affect the flavor of the smoothie and actually lend themselves nicely to a great smoothie consistency. Plus, it’s a great way to get some healthy fat and other nutrients into your (or your kids) diet. This is also true for the coconut oil. Even if you do not like the coconut flavor in this (like my son), usually if you add just a bit you can’t taste it. *Note – Coconut oil will get very hard and won’t blend well if it’s placed into the blender touching the frozen fruit. To avoid this, I will usually try and place the coconut oil in last on top of the avocado chunks or you can drop it in while the blender is running through the opening in the lid which is designed for this sort of thing. A word about raw egg yolks – if raw egg yolk is just a hump you can’t get over right now, that’s OK. I am comfortable eating raw egg yolks from pasture-raised hens from a source I trust. We’ve all been warned about raw foods of this type and words like “salmonella” sound very scary. Contaminated eggs come from sick chickens in sick living environments where it is difficult to keep these types of bacteria under control, sometimes even with antibiotics. The eggs I purchase I am confident are from healthy chickens and, therefore, are also highly nutritious.  You can tell by the dark yellow, and sometimes almost orange, color of the yolk that they are nutrient-dense. I encourage patients to try to source good eggs in their area. Here in Lubbock, Natural Grocers carries several brands of “pasture-raised” eggs. My favorite is the Vital Farms brand but if you or someone you know raises backyard chickens this is probably your best bet. When purchasing eggs from the store look for the words, “pasture raised” or “pastured.” If they are also organic, this is a plus. The words, “cage free” and “free range” are now bankrupt terms that mislead the buyer. They do not mean what you think they mean. Lastly, look up and research the company and what others are saying about the product. If you call the company, they are usually happy to answer your questions. Here are a couple articles that may interest you if you would like to read more: “Organic, Cage-Free, Free-Range, or Pastured…Sorting Through the Confusion On Egg Labels” Read about Vital Farms eggs HERE Now, on to the good stuff! This recipe makes enough to serve 2 or 3 people a smoothie and more than enough for a dozen or so medium-size popsicles.

ingredients

  • 2 C frozen cherries OR
  • 1 frozen banana peeled and cut into chunks + 1 C frozen cherries
  • 2/3 C of either coconut milk less if you’re going for an ice cream consistency, almond milk, regular milk or milk kefir
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Juice from half of a fresh lemon don’t skip this ingredient! It really brightens the flavor
  • 1 whole ripe avocado
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. coconut oil optional
  • 6 drops stevia
  • 1 or 2 raw eggs yolks from pastured-raised hens optional

instructions

  1. Put all your ingredients in the bowl of your blender. (You may want to try a food processor if you are going for the thick ice cream consistency. Sometimes a food processor has an easier time blending very thick mixtures.) 

  2. Take care to keep the coconut oil and egg yolks off of the frozen fruit. I put the egg yolks in first with the liquid so the they are down in the bottom and not on top of the cherries and/or banana. Also, put the coconut oil in last on top of the avocado so it doesn’t get very hard from being cold and then not blend well. 

  3. Pulse and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula, especially if you are mixing it very thick. 

  4. Enjoy! Whether you’re eating it right way or freezing it in ice pop molds, I think you will like it. If you don’t love it, tweak it for your taste and do it a bit differently next time. Let us know what you do! 

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