ok, so let’s start with the most obvious question: in the taxonomy of thick, frozen, slushy, beverages, where do we slot this chocolate cherry smoothie in?
the name gives away where we’re headed, but let’s discuss how we got there. at one end of the spectrum, we have luridly colored frozen confections sold in variously sized buckets at convenience stores. at the other end of the spectrum, we have muddy brown concoctions of kale and hemp protein, perhaps with a splash of apple cider vinegar or whatever previously unloved ingredient pinterest is currently serving up as THE single ingredient that will change your life. ahem.
right. so, somewhere in between those two, we have this chocolate cherry smoothie. honestly, “milkshake” is the best match in terms of expectation setting, but since there is no dairy milk or ice cream here, milkshake seems like a bit of a misleading appellation.
in the end, i opted for “smoothie” because i’m lazy it seems to be a broad category that welcomes all sorts of cold, viscous beverages. in fact, “dessert smoothie” would really be the most accurate descriptor. is that a thing? can we make it a thing?? because while this smoothie isn’t a color not found in nature, it would definitely be disingenuous to leave you with the impression that this is some sort of ‘healthy start to power you through your day’ type of smoothie.
no, this is much more of a ‘yummy dessert that is cold and refreshing and made of ingredients that, while all natural and generally wholesome, when combined land squarely in dessert territory’ type of smoothie. and on warm august nights, i think we’re all the better for it.
ps – if you went overboard with cherries at the u-pick farm, might i suggest chocolate cherry rosemary ice cream (one of my favorite things i’ve ever invented out of an idea seedling in my brain) or cherry and quinoa brussels sprout salad?
what else we’re eating:
all the corn!
corn pesto pasta is a perennial favorite. it *might* just be the best thing to happen to august.
corn and goat cheese enchiladas? just do it. i promise.
and finally, corn, cojita, and avocado panini is super yummy. and there are both chicken and vegetarian (black beans!) options.
- ½ cup (4 fl. oz. / 120 ml) unsweetened almond milk
- 3 pitted dates, soaked in the almond milk for 10 minutes if they are hard
- 2 tablespoons (11 g. / 3/8 oz.) cocoa powder
- 1 ¼ cups (141 g. / 5 oz.) frozen pitted sweet cherries
- ¼ cup (28 g. / 1 oz.) raw, unsalted cashews
- 2 tablespoons (21 g. / ¾ oz.) bittersweet chocolate chips, optional
- in a blender (ideally a high speed one), combine all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. blend on high speed until smooth. if you like chocolate bits in your smoothies, pulse in the chocolate chips until they are broken up a bit but not totally blended in. serve cold. since there’s no ice cream, you can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container and the texture won’t change, since there’s nothing to melt.
tip: if you’re using fresh cherries, a chopstick is an easy pitting tool. if you really want to get fancy, set the cherry on the top of an open and empty soda (or other narrow mouth) bottle and use the chopstick to push the pit down into the bottle while the cherry stays on the rim of the bottle.
tip: when pouring from the 32 fl. oz. cardboard containers that almond milk and chicken broth come in, hold them so the pouring spout is on top, rather than the more intuitive bottom, to prevent the gurgling and splashing that these containers are prone to.
adapted from minimalist baker’s chocolate cherry almond milk and a couple cooks’ chocolate cherry milkshakes.
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