Cherries are one of my favorite fruits – and if you’re a fan too, today’s recipe is going to be one you’ll enjoy making again and again (with your own variations I’m sure)!
I love to call it “nice cream” because dairy just upsets my stomach, and the amount of sugar in typical ice cream just screams through my system and negatively impacts my sleep and my fitness goals.
This is just “nice” to my system overall, while also being absolutely satisfying and delicious.
Here are a few reasons these wholesome ingredients will both satisfy you and nourish you at the same time:
- Cherries contain Vitamin C (great for your immune system)(1), potassium (which supports your ability to contract your muscles among other important functions) and fiber (which helps keep your digestive system healthy). Cherries have been shown to inhibit inflammation, accelerate muscle recovery and even reduce cancer cell proliferation (2). Such a powerhouse!
- Bananas – especially those on the less-ripe side, are a great source of pectin (a type of fiber) and healthy prebiotic fiber, also known as “resistant starch” which feed the gut bacteria and promote a healthy digestive tract (3,4) – and can help stabilize blood sugar. They’re also a well-known source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.(5)
- Protein (in this case we’re using my whole food, organic plant based vanilla protein) is the most satisfying nutrient. When you include it in a meal (even a small meal like this), you’ll be more satisfied and less likely to keep eating due to the impact protein has on reducing ghrelin (6), your hunger hormone, and boosting peptide YY (which makes you feel full)(7).
Since many of us enjoy treats like this for dessert and it’s evening time, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not eating just a bowl of sugar – which won’t necessarily satisfy you, making it easy to overeat. That’s why I like including protein. Plus, the addition of the fiber from the low-sugar fruit will help move food through your digestive system.
Dark Cherry Nice Cream
Yield: 1 serving
You will need: food processor (blender can work too), measuring cups and spoons
KEY: T= tablespoon; tsp= teaspoon
- 1 banana* pre-sliced (frozen)
- 2/3 cup frozen cherries
- 2-4 T unsweetened almond milk
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 serving (30g) I ❤️ Vanilla Protein Powder
- Add all ingredients to the food processor (blender could work too) and blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a dish and freeze for 2-3 hours or until hardened into a scoopable consistency.
*Tip: pre-slice and freeze less ripe bananas to get the additional benefits of the prebiotic fiber and pectin, plus enjoy a lowered glycemic index (sugar level).
You can skip the freezing part and just eat it at the soft serve texture if that’s your preference!
Optional toppings: I like to add some dark chocolate mini chips or coconut flakes or anything you can think of 😊
…I don’t like bananas? Try subbing mango – you’ll get a similar consistency with the same fiber benefits.
…I can’t have almond milk? Any kind will do; use your favorite, or just use water for a thinner consistency.
…I don’t want to use protein powder? No problem! The recipe will still come out just fine without it!
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- Chambial, Shailja et al. “Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview.” Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. September 2013. Web.
- Ferretti, Gianna et al. “Cherry Antioxidants: From Farm to Table.”
Molecules | An Open Access Journal from MDPI. October 2010. Web.
- Schwartz, S E et al. “Sustained pectin ingestion: effect on gastric emptying and glucose tolerance in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. December 1988. Web.
- Raben, A. et al. “Resistant starch: the effect on postprandial glycemia, hormonal response, and satiety.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. October 1994. Web.
- Seth, Arjun et al. “Potassium intake and risk of stroke in women with hypertension and nonhypertension in the Women’s Health Initiative.” American Heart Association. October 2014. Web.
- Blom, Wendy A. M. et al. “Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. February 2006. Web.
- Batterham, Rachel L. et al. “Critical role for peptide YY in protein-mediated satiation and body-weight regulation.” Cell Metabolism: Cell Press. September 2006. Web.