My mornings are typically reserved for green smoothies but with the cooler weather -- and pie season and flu season -- already here, I've been craving sweeter and more substantial snacks throughout the day. The standard afternoon dose of an apple (as much as I love them) seems woefully inadequate in these times of aggressive pumpkin and sugar consumption.
In the interest of satisfying my cravings while remaining reasonably healthy, I developed this smoothie: a cherry/apple/pear/hemp concoction that sort of reminds me of a cherry dessert. To be perfectly honest, it tastes nothing like cherry cobbler and it would be completely absurd for me to claim that it does. Nor would I dare suggest that you abstain from pies and other tantalizing desserts during the upcoming holidays. All I can say is that this is a very sweet and delicious little drink to savor now, early in the month, before the onslaught of poultry and pumpkin spice.
The best thing about this recipe is that it makes use of seasonal, dried, and frozen fruit, which is a completely respectable combination in the colder months. Frozen organic cherries are my favorite item in the frozen food aisle and I always have some in the freezer. It's a great and ridiculously overlooked product. And the hemp seeds are a solid addition to basically anything. I really like them in smoothies because I avoid synthetic protein powders and hemp is a great natural source of plant protein. (By the way, if you find yourself with an abundance of hemp seeds, put them to use in a salad or chocolate bars).
Hope you like it -- happy snacking.
Cherry Hemp Smoothie
Serves approx. 2
1 large organic apple (or 2 small), peeled, cored, and chopped
1 large organic pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 organic celery stalks, chopped
1 lb. bag frozen organic cherries
1 frozen banana, chopped
3 tbsp raw shelled hemp seeds, plus more for topping
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
water or coconut water, as needed
unsweetened dried cherries, for topping
In a large blender, blend apple, pear, celery, and lemon juice with enough water to roughly combine the ingredients. Add the hemp seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, frozen cherries, and frozen banana. Blend until fully incorporated, adding water as needed.
Evenly distribute the smoothie between two 16 oz. jars or glasses (you may have some leftover) and top each smoothie with a teaspoon of hemp seeds and a small handful of dried cherries. Serve.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a day.
Note: Take the cherries out of the freezer about 20-30 minutes before you prepare the smoothie and allow them to slightly defrost on the counter. Peeling the apples and pears is optional -- I usually don't.
Music this week? I've been toggling back and forth between the new Arcade Fire album and vintage Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed but I will leave you with the latter.