A vegan shake that you’ll want again and again, especially if you like strawberries and dark sweet cherries. Try to purchase organic ingredients, which are believed to be better for your health, since they tend to provide more nutrients and are free of chemical pesticides. Some say that organic foods even taste better.
- 1 1/2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 frozen banana*
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked, drained**
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract (optional)
- 6 ice cubes (about 1 cup)
- Blend all the ingredients, except for the ice cubes, in a high powered blender on low speed then high for 1 minute or until smooth.
- Add the ice and blend 30 seconds or just until the ice has dissolved. Immediately pour into 2 large glasses or mason jars, add straws, and serve.
Makes about 2 (16oz) servings.
*Choose bananas that are ripe (with some brown spots on the peel), which will add a creaminess and sweetness to smoothies. If you can’t find ripe bananas, know that green bananas can be put in a paper bag and placed on the counter to speed up ripening. Once ripe, they can be eaten, stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze bananas, simply peel, slice in half or smaller, put the pieces in a ziplock freezer bag, then place the bag in the freezer overnight or until frozen.
**Some recipes may call for soaked nuts or seeds, because soaking neutralize enzyme inhibitors that can cause digestion difficulties, and better digestion means better absorption of nutrients. Soaking nuts and seeds also makes them softer, resulting in a smoother consistency when blended. Different nuts and seeds have different soak times. The more dense the nuts or seeds the longer they need to soak. For example, almonds and hulled pumpkin seeds need to soak at least eight hours or overnight, while cashews and hulled sunflower seeds only need to soak for two hours. To soak nuts or seeds, purchase organic, raw, shelled, unsalted nuts or seeds, rinse them in filtered or distilled water, place them in a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowl, cover any amount with twice as much water, cover the bowl with a clean cloth or towel, then drain and rinse before using in recipes.