When I think of a quick breakfast, I immediately go to smoothies. You literally dump all the ingredients in and mix it up. It's also the perfect way to get kiddos to eat fruits and vegetables that they normally wouldn't be willing to try. Insert this Cherry Chia Banana Smoothie. The fruit adds the perfect amount of sweetness without any added sugar, and the chia seeds add fiber and protein to keep you feeling full.
Frozen Cherries: The best option is to pit and freeze your own cherries when they are in season and ON SALE. You can find fresh cherries at their lowest price from June to August. Your next best option is to pick up a bag of frozen cherries. I recommend checking at your local Dollar Tree. This is my secret weapon for frozen fruit. What may cost $3-4 dollars at your usual grocery store is only $1.
Banana: If you're like me, you have a stash of overripe bananas in your freezer at any given time. These work perfectly in smoothies. If not, you can use fresh bananas or pop one in the freezer for an hour before adding to the smoothie.
Milk: You can use any variety that you like. I am lactose-intolerant, so I have lactose-free milk on hand. Feel free to use regular milk, or even a milk alternative like almond, oat or soy milk.
Yogurt: Again, whatever you have on hand will work. I say to use a plain or vanilla variety so that the flavor for the cherries and banana come through, but don't make a special trip to the store just for that. Also, feel free to substitute soy or coconut yogurt or make your own yogurt.
Chia Seeds: These tiny beauties have really come to popularity in the last few years. They are considered a super-food because they contain antioxidants and a good amount of fiber and protein. I'll give you fair warning if you've never used them before: they will absorb moisture in the smoothie and turn into almost like tiny tapioca. They make a fantastic egg substitute for those with egg allergies.
How to Freeze Bananas
Remember those overripe bananas we were talking about earlier? Well, there are multiple ways to freeze them to eliminate food waste from having them turn to mush on your counter.
First, you can stick the whole banana (in the peel) in the freezer. This is usually what I wind up doing because I'm just in a hurry to salvage the bananas. When you're ready to use them, cut off the top and bottom of the banana and you'll be able to peel off the peel. If it sticks to the frozen banana, you can cut the banana into 2 inch pieces so that you are peeling off smaller pieces at a time.
Second, you can peel the banana and then put it in a freezer bag. This eliminates the potential difficulty of peeling while the banana is frozen. You can either leave the bananas whole or slightly mash them to form a kind of puree to fill the bag. When needed, you can either take out a whole banana or cut off a section of the banana puree.
Lastly, you can peel and slice the banana into 1 inch rounds. Lay those rounds on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the pieces to a freezer bag. This method helps keep the pieces from freezing in a solid block. You'll be able to take out handfuls of frozen banana pieces as needed.
Cherry Chia Banana Smoothie Recipe (with Dairy-Free Options)
- 1 cup frozen Cherries
- 1 banana, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup Milk (or milk alternative)
- 1/2 cup Yogurt, plain or vanilla (or dairy-free yogurt)
- 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (optional)
- Place cherries, banana, milk and yogurt in the blender cup.
- Blend until smooth, adding additional milk if necessary. This should take 30-45 seconds.
- Once blended, add chia seeds and stir to combine.
- Pour into a serving glass or portable drink container.
Dairy Free: To make this recipe dairy-free, use almond milk or another milk alternative and coconut or soy yogurt
Large Batch: You can easily double, triple or quadruple this recipe depending on the size of your blender.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 18gProtein: 10g