Cherry Cocoa Smoothie

We are nearly home from our little family road trip up the California coast and I must admit, I'm a little sad it's over. It started out a little rough and I spent yesterday completely sleep deprived, but it was all worth it. Octavian spent his first night in a tent and swam naked in more bodies of water than I can count. The husband and I have been talking about taking a little trip up the coast for years, and now that we have, we know what we've been missing, so we will be back. Soon. As soon as I regain some order to my life, I will share more photos and stories of the past 3 jam-packed adventure-filled days. They were good ones.

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In the meantime, I have this easy 5 minute cherry cocoa smoothie. A couple weeks ago my dear sweet husband called me from work, "I have a surprise for you when I get home!" My husband and I aren't big gift givers and surprises don't come along too often, but when they do it's usually food.

Boy did he have a surprise for me... 8 kg of cherries, nearly 18 pounds!

You guys it was an entire massive box filled with cherries! My husband, until very recently, didn't even care for cherries. Apparently for $1/kg even my husband, who is usually very anti-bulk buying, can be converted into a hoarder. Sadly, unlike most of my favorite bulk buying items, cherries spoil fast. I mean, I can eat a lot of cherries, but definitely not 8kg worth and my berry loving child could not be swayed into loving cherries like I do.

So I got creative. After spending nearly 4 hours removing the pits from the cherries, I got to work deciding on recipes. Cherries and chocolate go together really well, so driving inspiration from the black forest cake, I decided to make a smoothie. Easy, healthier than cake and definitely MUCH faster to prepare (not to mention less of a mess). After 4 hours removing pits, the last thing I wanted to do was make a cake. Plus, I had a kid to care for and feed (gosh, kids these days, so demanding). So, since Octavian wouldn't help me eat the cherries in their plain delicious glory, then I would just trick him into drinking them. And I would even add spinach to be extra mean.

Sarcasm aside, these cherry smoothies are delicious. Cherries and banana make it sweet, spinach and oats makes it extra healthy, milk gives it protein and helps make it creamy and cocoa powder helps make it taste like chocolate cake.

My favorite part? It only takes 5 minutes to make and I have no guilt feeding it to my child for breakfast. That's right, Octavian drank it right up, spinach and all! I win.

Cherry Cocoa Smoothie

Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 large smoothies, 4 small smoothies

Ingredients

2 cups milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1.5 cups cherries, pits removed (fresh or frozen)
2 frozen bananas, sliced
1 cup frozen spinach
3 heaping Tbsp oatmeal
1 heaping Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp honey (more to taste)

Instructions

In the bowl of a high speed blender, add ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if necessary. Store any remaining in the refrigerator and finish the next day; just be sure to give it a good shake or stir as separation over time is completely normal.

Enjoy!

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