This dairy free cherry chocolate smoothie is one of my favorite treats to enjoy after a good workout, or if I'm having a craving for chocolate. It has plenty of rich, decadent flavor, smooth texture, and just a touch of natural sweetness. There's plenty of protein to help you refuel after a tough workout, and antioxidants to help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. And, it's absolutely delicious.
The Dairy Free Milk
I use unsweetened almond or oat milk to make this, but any nondairy milk will work just fine. I occasionally substitute the milk with water to reduce calories, and while still delicious I find the milk adds more creaminess.
Some of my current favorite dairy free milk options:
Frozen cherries work great here because they have the benefit of adding some frostiness to the smoothie. If you're working with fresh cherries, just be sure to add in a handful of ice cubes so you're smoothie comes out nice and cold. And of course, make sure you're using pitted cherries.
The Cocoa Powder
The quality of your cocoa powder will play an important role here, since it's one of the star flavors in the smoothie. Choose a high quality unsweetened option, and you'll get that rich, delicious, chocolate flavor. You can also substitute the cocoa for cacao powder (1:1) if that's you're preference, which I do quite frequently. If you aren't sure of cocoa vs cacao, (while similar) they do differ in processing and nutritional content. Cocoa is processed from roasted beans, where cacao is typically kept raw and processed using fermentation. Cacao is said to have more antioxidants, iron, and minerals than cocoa because it's closer to it's original, raw state. Cacao can be a bit more bitter than cocoa, but in this recipe the sweetness from the cherries helps to eliminate that.
My current favorite cocoa and cacao options:
Dairy Free Protein Powder
You may be wondering why I'm choosing to use a vanilla protein powder in this instead of chocolate. I find that it offers just a slight undertone of vanilla in the smoothie, which compliments the chocolate fantastically. Vanilla also happens to be the only flavor of protein powder that I keep in my pantry, due to its versatility. You can certainly use a chocolate flavored protein powder in this, though I find that it offers almost too much chocolate flavor (if that's possible).
My current favorite protein powders:
Dairy Free Chocolate Cherry Protein Smoothie
- 29 grams protein powder about 2 ½ tablespoons. I use vanilla flavored.
- 1 cup pitted cherries frozen
- 2 teaspoon cocoa powder can substitute with cacao powder
- 1 cup nondairy milk I use unsweetened almond
- Add all of your ingredients in to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy as-is or top with a few more frozen cherries and some cacao nibs.