Recipe: Cheery Cherry Chai Smoothie

Cheery cherry chai smoothie

Cherries are one of my favorite fruits, and this smoothie packs a nice bunch of that cheery cherry flavor into a cup! In addition to being a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, cherries have been found to aid in reducing inflammation and markers of oxidative stress, making this a great smoothie to whip up after a good workout or vigorous yoga session. The addition of chai and yogurt further enhances exercise recovery, with the ginger in the chai further enhancing the anti-inflammatory benefits and the yogurt providing protein to support muscle recovery and growth. Though the elements of the smoothie will heighten pitta in the body, the cooling, dense quality of the drink along with the sweetness of the rosewater tempers the heating elements somewhat. If you are experiencing a pitta imbalance, try swapping the yogurt for the coconut or almond milk to really make this a cooling treat!

Cherry chai smoothie
Makes about 12 ounces
Vegan alternative listed below

1 cup frozen cherries (not packed, just a loose measurement)
3/4 cup chai tea with rose water (see below)
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup yogurt
A couple of generous pinches cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Chai tea with rose water
Makes about 5 cups
4 chai tea bags (I used Good Earth decaf chai)
6 cups water
1 inch piece ginger, cut into slices
1/2 tablespoon rose water, more or less to taste (my current rose water is very mild)

Boil water. Add tea bags and ginger. Steep tea bags for 5 minutes and remove. Let cool, strain out ginger pieces. Add rose water. Chill.

Note: You can freeze the extra chai for later use. I poured about 1/4 cup into each hole of a muffin tin to freeze. This morning I made a vegan version with lite coconut milk, and I didn’t bother to defrost the tea. The smoothie turned out just perfect!

Vegan & dairy free alternatives: Replace the yogurt with either almond milk or coconut milk. I prefer coconut milk.

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