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This thick, creamy, indulgent plant-based cherry chocolate smoothie tastes like a dessert but is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and beneficial nutrients. A more-ish dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan breakfast or snack that’s ready in just 5 minutes!

completed Cherry Chocolate Smoothie against a light surface
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Creamy, Decadent, and Nutritious Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

We love smoothies for their ability to make us feel like we’re enjoying a treat while loading up on beneficial nutrients and macros. We’re already obsessed with this pineapple kale smoothie, peaches & cream smoothie bowl, and orange creamsicle smoothie. Still, this dairy-free, creamy, indulgent cherry chocolate smoothie recipe tastes the most like dessert so far!

By combining cocoa powder and cherries, this smoothie tastes like a slice of black forest cake without any of the not-so-healthy ingredients. Instead, the combination of cocoa powder, cherries, banana, and nut butter creates a sweet and dessert-like chocolate cherry smoothie that tastes great (and child-approved) and is packed with nutrients.

Is This Cherry Smoothie Healthy?

This cherry smoothie is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, plant-based protein, and several beneficial plant compounds and micronutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, and copper among others.

Combined, these boost exercise recovery, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and may improve sleep quality (thanks to melatonin!). Plus, unlike actual dairy-based chocolate, you’ll enjoy an endorphin rush without an impending sugar crash.

You can even toss in extra nutrient-boosting ingredients too, like omega-3-rich chia seeds, a scoop of your favorite plant-based protein powder, or even a handful of leafy greens (trust me, you won’t be able to taste them!). Keep reading for our favorite add-ins.

The Ingredients

This recipe uses 5 simple ingredients for a flavorful, sweet, dessert-like, healthy black forest smoothie.

ingredients for Cherry Chocolate Smoothie measured out against a white surface
  • Cherries: They taste great and boast a heap of health benefits. You can use fresh (pitted) or frozen cherries, though we use the latter for the thickest cherry shake (and to enjoy it year round!).
  • Banana: Use a slightly overripe banana to add natural sweetness to the berry chocolate smoothie. It can be fresh or frozen, though the latter will be thicker and more dessert-like. For a banana-free smoothie, try replacing it with ½ an avocado or ½-¾ cup frozen cauliflower, though you will likely need to add sweetener.
  • Plant-based milk: You can use any dairy-free milk based on your desired creaminess and flavor. I.e., almond milk (our favorite pairing with cherries), cashew milk, oat milk, soy milk, etc. Use a little vegan yogurt for an even thicker, creamier frozen cherry smoothie.
  • Cocoa powder: To provide the chocolate flavor, use unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder (the latter is less processed, which means more antioxidants and nutrients like magnesium and iron, but it’s more bitter, so it may require added sweetener).
  • Nut butter: This adds more belly-satisfying protein, fiber, richness, and heart-healthy fats. We used peanut butter, but almond butter or cashew butter also works. For a nut-free cherry smoothie recipe, use sunflower seed butter.
  • Sweetener: (OPTIONAL) If the banana isn’t sweet enough (or you replaced the banana), you may need more sweetness. You could add 1-2 Medjool dates, date syrup, maple syrup, agave, or even a sugar-free option like erythritol.

What Could I Add To A Cherry Smoothie?

  • Vanilla extract: Add ½-1 tsp for extra dessert-like flavor when combined with the cocoa powder.
  • Almond extract: A small amount of almond extract will enhance the cake-like flavor of this berry chocolate smoothie.
  • Cinnamon: Added to taste for extra flavor and several health benefits.
  • Sea salt: Just a tiny pinch of salt will enhance the flavors of this smoothie.
  • Strawberries: Use a combination of cherries and strawberries if preferred.
  • Protein powder: Add 1 scoop (about 30g) of unflavored, vanilla, chocolate, or cherry-flavored vegan protein powder for a protein cherry shake.
  • Oats: ¼ cup of rolled oats adds fiber for a filling, meal-replacing cherry smoothie.  
  • Ground seeds: Add 1 tbsp ground flaxseed, chia seeds, or hemp seeds for fiber, plant-based protein, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation.
  • Spinach/kale: Adding 1-2 handfuls of greens will pump up the nutrients and antioxidants, but you won’t be able to taste them at all.

How to Make a Chocolate Cherry Smoothie?

This cherry chocolate smoothie is simple to prepare, low-budget, and ready in minutes for a nutrient-dense breakfast, snack, or mid-day pick-me-up.

  • 1) Add all the ingredients, starting with just ½ cup of plant milk, to a high-speed blender (liquid and soft ingredients closest to the blade) and process until smooth and creamy.
process shot of ingredients added to blender
  • 2) Add more plant-based milk, if needed, to your desired consistency.
  • 3) Transfer the chocolate cherry smoothie to a glass, optionally top it with any toppings (like cacao nibs or grated vegan dark chocolate), and enjoy!
process shot of pouring blended smoothie into a glass

If using a low-powered/old blender, first blend the plant-based milk and ¼ cup of the cherries, then slowly add the remaining ingredients. This will make it easier on the blades. You may also need to give the machine breaks to scrape down the sides.

Top Tips For The Best Results

  • Adjust the consistency: Add more plant-based milk or use fresh (not frozen) ingredients for a thinner smoothie. For a thicker one, add some ice cubes or ground oats.
  • Tweak to your liking: We’ve included several optional add-ins that you can experiment with based on if you’d prefer more fiber, protein, antioxidants, etc.
  • For a lighter smoothie: Replace half the banana with frozen cauliflower or omit it entirely and adjust the amount of liquid accordingly.
  • Tips for best blending: Always add the liquids and softest ingredients closest to the blades.

Storage Instructions

We highly recommend keeping a stash of frozen fruits (like frozen banana, which is the base of so many smoothies) in your freezer at all times, so you can make a smoothie at any point.

Smoothies primarily made with frozen ingredients are best consumed immediately for the best texture. Fresh fruit smoothies will last a day in an airtight/lidded container. However, note the nutrients are at their highest when first blended. Shake/stir the smoothie before drinking it.

You can also freeze leftover smoothies for up to 3 months in Ziplock/Stasher bags to re-blend from frozen (with extra liquid if needed) or thaw first. Alternatively, pour the leftovers into a popsicle mold for a healthy vegan ice-cream-like treat.

More Smoothie Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

4.92 from 58 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
This thick, creamy, indulgent plant-based cherry chocolate smoothie tastes like a dessert but is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and beneficial nutrients. A more-ish dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan breakfast or snack that's ready in just 5 minutes!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of frozen cherries
  • 1 large ripe banana (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
  • ½ cup to ¾ cup of plant-based milk

Instructions 

  • In a high-speed blender, combine the frozen cherries, banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and plant-based milk, and blend until it’s completely smooth. Start with ½ cup of milk and if you want a thinner smoothie, add the remaining ¼ cup.
  • Note: If you’re using a standard blender (instead of a high-speed blender), start with the plant-based milk and ¼ cup of the cherries and slowly add in the rest of the ingredients. It’ll be easier on your blender.

Video

Notes

  • Adjust the consistency: Add more plant-based milk or use fresh (not frozen) ingredients for a thinner smoothie. For a thicker one, add some ice cubes or ground oats.
  • Tweak to your liking: We’ve included several optional add-ins that you can experiment with based on if you’d prefer more fiber, protein, antioxidants, etc.
  • For a lighter smoothie: Replace half the banana with frozen cauliflower or omit it entirely and adjust the amount of liquid accordingly.
  • Tips for best blending: Always add the liquids and softest ingredients closest to the blades.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 7gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 233mgPotassium: 899mgFiber: 8gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 175IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 184mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Breakfast, Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Method: Blender
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto
4.92 from 58 votes (44 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    daaannng.. this was better than expected. the cacao & pb really shines through. Wish cherries were sold in the freezer aisle in NYC. i had to buy the fresh and do the deseeding/freexing myself…GRRR

  2. 5 stars
    I love a good smoothie and this combination, banana and cherry is absolutely smashing. I’m so glad I’ve tried it it will become a regular no question about it.

  3. 5 stars
    I was in a bit of a hurry and made this cherry banana smoothie. It was so delicious and quick to prepare. I just loved the flavor.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness!
    I’m not a fan of eating breakfast so I always look for quick recipes that are delicious also.
    This cherry banana smoothie hits both marks.
    I actually have a chocolate peanut butter protein powder that I added eliminating the tablespoon of peanut butter.
    This is going to be my “go to drink”. I will enjoy this anytime of day. THANK YOU