Cinnamon Cherry Blast

Cinnamon Cherry Blast smoothie

My friend Kristen has a very famous smoothie recipe entitled the “chocolate cherry bomb.” This concoction made its way through blogs everywhere a summer or two ago, and with good reason: it’s rich, decadent yet healthy, and totally delicious. In fact, it’s so delicious that it made me into a lover of cherries, which is something I never could have said before (Elizabeth, I know this is a deep affront to you and your summer cherry love affair!). The following smoothie recipe is entitled the “cinnamon cherry blast,” and it’s entirely in homage to Kristen. While not quite as decadent as her shake, this smoothie manages to feel equally worthy of a healthy breakfast or a fruity dessert, and it’s a wonderful way to take advantage of summer produce.

Now, I know that many of us are on budgets, and that organic cherries are not budget-friendly. For this reason, your really should view this smoothie as a special treat, and something to be savored. Do, though, look out for deals and steals on frozen cherries; they aren’t local and seasonal, so your smoothie won’t feel quite so virtuously in keeping with the environment as if you were to use pitted, fresh ones from the farmer’s market, but you may find a good sale at a health food store or Whole Foods (to wit, I once got three packs of frozen cherries for $4.00 each at my health food store in NYC; good thing I was reading the sale labels!).

No matter what, remember that good food is something to celebrate, especially when it’s in season, and so if you happen to take an extra $3 or $4 out of your budget for this or any other cherry recipe, that’s OK. The joys of eating for pleasure and health justify the means sometimes.

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Cinnamon Cherry Blast (raw, vegan, GF, soy free)

Serves 1

1 small banana (or 1/2 large), frozen
3/4 cup frozen or fresh and pitted cherries
1/2 tbsp coconut butter
2 tsps cinnamon
1 cup almond milk
3-4 ice cubes

Optional add-ins: hemp, pea, or rice protein powder, cocoa powder, spirulina, fresh greens

Blend all ingredients on high till the smoothie is creamy and thick. Serve with fresh or frozen cherries on top!

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Delicious. Seriously. Worth making as soon as you can get your hands on some cherries!

Moving on: thank you so much for the incredible outpouring of birthday love yesterday! I was very touched by the tweets and comments, which made celebrating the big almost-30 in a new city a lot less strange and daunting. As I mentioned on Monday, one of the reasons this birthday was particularly nice is that I got to spend it with Chloe and Knud, who are visiting D.C. from New Orleans this week. Chloe made a big point of having dinner together last night, even though I messed up royally in the last two years and missed her birthday date (ack!). That’s Chloe—generous, mature, and graceful, even when I’m a scatterbrained mess.

Chloe, Knud, M and I met up at Busboys and Poets, a D.C. institution that I’ve been dying to try for it’s large selection of vegan and vegetarian food. With its funky, eclectic, artsy décor, wide array of salads and vegan appetizers, and fun cocktail menu, this place did not disappoint. There were a few hitches in the meal—Chloe’s Greek salad, for example, was not, as our server promised, as much “stuff” as “lettuce,” but aside from that, we were all really happy. I began with a yellow tomato gazpacho (raw!):

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It was a little salty, but very good, and I liked the avocado garnish!! I then got a big roast pear salad and order of hummus and whole wheat pita. Someone please report me to hummus addicts anonymous? If they don’t exist yet, I’ll be a founding member.

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Chloe got the ful salad, which was a spin on the Egyptian dish Ful Medames—a delectable fava bean salad that I should post a recipe for sometime. It was great:

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And the Greek salad with not-enough-stuff:

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Knud started with some nachos, and then moved on to a non-vegan dish I’m forgetting (sorry!):

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And M dug into a tempeh panini and sweet ‘tater fries, which looked great:

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Gotta love tasty and cruelty-free comfort food!

So grateful to the special people in my life for a nice day and evening—and that includes you all. Right now, it’s time to cram for my daily chem lab, and then some more house-making back in Hobbit-ville. See you back here tomorrow!


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Categories: Uncategorized, Smoothies

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  1. I just bought organic cherries this morning and remembered you had a delicious smoothie recipe so I looked it up. (I actually ended up making the version with cacao powder and hemp seeds and I also added almond butter. Yum!) When I saw the price for the organic cherries, I hesitated to buy them. But then, as I saw my kids looking up at me with pleading little eyes, I said “Let’s treat ourselves!” They cheered 🙂 It’s true, our enjoyment of food, not to mention our health, requires the occasional indulgence. I want to be an example for my kids, I want them to take pleasure in the food they eat without sacrificing their health. Indulge in organic cherries and raw cacao rather than junk 🙂

  2. Hmm, the smoothie looks amazing. I love cherry smoothies, what I really want to know though is where you got the glass/cup? It’s gorgeous!

  3. Gena, I’m so glad you mentioned the high price of organic cherries! Have you ever done a post about budgets? (I’m a new reader.) I’m really interested in the intersections of food politics and economics and ED. I thought Geneen Roth’s new book on money might answer some of my lingering questions, but it just raised more!

    Thanks for the smoothie suggestion.

  4. I”m also a hummus addict. Have you been to the Hummus Place in the city? That was my first introduction to this creamy dip.

  5. This looks AMAZING, Gena!
    I’ve never seen organic cherries around here, though 🙁
    may have to give it a go with raspberries instead!
    Am happy that you had a lovely birthday (:

  6. So glad to hear that you had a great birthday! You deserve it!! Cinnamon cherry smoothie sounds amazing. I was about to pick up a bag of cherries yesterday at the store… now I wish I had!


  7. Happy birthday! Reading your post, I suddenly remembered for the first time that I ducked into Busboys and Poets on the way back from the Spy Museum in DC in December 2009. Thank you for the memory-smiles!

    Teehee, I also can’t help giggling at the fact that bananas are as expensive a splurge as frozen cherries here in Australia. Pricey but worth it smoothie!

  8. I’ll be co-founder of the Hummus Addicts Anonymous group with you 😉
    p.s. those sweet potato fries need to report to my belly stat

  9. Happy Late Birthday, Gena! Glad you had a nice time.
    Cinnamon and cherries, I never would have thought to combine them but I definitely will.
    I had a less than stellar foul the other night. I’d like to try to make my own, though.

  10. Happy birthday (belated), Gena!

    That meal looks delicious. My husband made me the Egyptian fava bean dish on our third date. He invited me over and cooked for me, and I fell in love…with the beans. Ha! It was my first time having fava beans, but more than that I was impressed that he had already figured out my tastes. Normally he would have made a girl something more visually impressive, like cannelloni or another pasta dish, but he knew I would appreciate the ‘rustic’ quality of beans and rice. What a keeper.

  11. Happy Birthday again–and thanks for sharing the smoothie: sounds a lot like one of my very favorite combinations! I love to add a few drops of almond extract for a special treat sometimes.

  12. i just started adding coconut oil to my smoothies the last 2 months and it’s amazing what a nice taste it adds to round out all the flavors! this looks like a summer delight for sure. glad you had a great bday!

  13. The smoothie looks wonderful and I remember when Kristen’s cherry bomb smoothie made it’s rounds…it was this time, two years ago, summertime. I remember it vividly because I was just starting my blog, and was a new blogger, and remember thinking wow…this is how recipes “spread” like wildfire though the internet as I watched her recipe do just that 🙂

    I love your recipe today and that cup is just gorgeous!

    Glad you had a nice meal out and that Operation Move In to Hobbit House is going well 🙂

  14. I am traveling and missed the birthday post. So, happy birthday Gena! And a big birthday “thank you” for the incredible job you do creating such a stimulating and beautiful space.

  15. Glad you had a great birthday! The dinner looks fabulous. Now I’m craving some tempeh now and sweet potato fries! And Gena, your studious work habits inspire me. You’re cramming for chem lab, and I can hardly study for my finals in culinary school. (Although, can you blame a girl for having absolutely no desire to learn the different cuts of veal?! They do not take the dietary preferences of the students into account. Even though I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan any more, I still take very little interest in meat.)

  16. I love cherries! Here in Seattle they are always local, so I never feel bad about that. I love the taste of berries and cinnamon too. Good call. Here are some tips that I use to cut down on my cost for frozen berries:
    1) trader joe’s–no cherries but cheap organic or no spray blues
    2)save the coupons in mambo sprouts or some other natural coupon place. there’s almost always one for frozen fruit or veggies. then you can get up to a dollar off.
    3) look for sales. for example my coop often has a sale on some sort of frozen berry and I stock up then on a 3 or 4 bags. better get combine the sale with the coupon.

    Hope this helps someone!

    Happy Birthday again!!!!!

    • Thanks Bitt, it helps me (I’m also in Seattle!) I was just complaining yesterday that the Whole Foods organic frozen berries are super expensive for a teeny tiny bag! I usually buy the big bag of Remlinger Farms…but I don’t think they’re organic. I’ll have to check out the TJs.

  17. Yes, I do eat organic cherries by the pound all July long! Which is pretty uncivilized of me, and not how I eat most of the time. Guess it’s my body’s way of storing up flavonoids (anti-arthritic anthocyanins in particular) and antioxidants for the year. I sometimes wonder if our human forebears didn’t do the same thing (go hog wild on cherries, or whatever was in season, or freshly caught) and if it wasn’t a survival mechanism. I think so much “overeating” has a basis in real “hunger” or “deficiency” and that it only repels us because cultural norms (including portion sizes) have usurped our natural tendencies.

    • Ha! That theory gives a highly nuanced meaning to your use of the word “uncivilized.” I was about to say that there’s nothing uncivilized at all about a good heaping portion-fest here and there.

  18. I am SO trying your cinnamon- cherry smoothie…what a creative combo! I seem to be on the cherry- chocolate- coconut kick as of now. 🙂 Sadly though I just finished off my frozen cherry stash, but it will be replenished soon. It’s really hard to find frozen cherries, coincidentally, though, I found them at my Target 🙂

    Looks like a wonderful birthday celebration– Yay!

  19. I’m intrigued by the cinnamon and cherry combination, but that picture almost makes my mouth water looking at it, so I think I’m going to have to try this.

  20. EEEEE I’m so excited that you tried Busboys and Poets! I went there last time and had the vegan quesadilla…holy moly I was in love! I would totally go back to DC just for their food 🙂

  21. So glad you got to spend your birthday with Chloe and Knud 🙂 The food looks fantastic.

    I need to try cherry smoothies. I have never been a cherry fan, but maybe yours and Kristen’s will change that?

  22. I have a really good friend who lives only a few blocks from Busboys & Poets (14th and V St. location), but I’ve actually never eaten there and had no idea they had a good vegetarian/vegan selection. I’ll have to try it! I’m excited now that you’re in the area that I will get to read your reviews of local restaurants 🙂

  23. Looks like a fabulous birthday! And I will have to join hummus addicts anonymous with you! Can’t get enough!!!