Chocolate Cherry Milkshake ...With Beets!

Sometimes I make green smoothies that taste like salad, but today I made a chocolate-cherry milkshake!

With all the wonderful greens included in recent CSA boxes, I've been making lots of green smoothies. Not many of the smoothies are actually green in color, especially when I use beets (root and leaves both) instead of kale or spinach.

The smoothies vary. Sometimes I simply want a quick, light meal, so I blend up whatever greens and fruit are available and don't worry too much about how it tastes. My husband loves milkshakes and ice cream, though, so sometimes I create smoothies with the goal of satisfying that craving in a healthy way.

Today's special: Chocolate Cherry Milkshake!

Ingredients:

1 small beet with greens, chopped into 1-inch pieces

3 dates (pits removed)

1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder

1-2 cups frozen cherries

Start by blending the beet, greens, and dates with the milk. If you take the time to puree these ingredients very well, the final smoothie will taste more like a milkshake and less like a beet smoothie. I love how using  beets automatically makes the smoothie bright pink and not green!

Next add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste, and adjust if necessary. You might like more cocoa for a stronger chocolate taste, for example. Or you could add more frozen cherries for a thicker shake.

Optional secret ingredients:

Half an avocado makes for an extra-creamy shake.

A handful of nuts or seeds bulks up the smoothie and makes it more filling. Add them to the greens at the very beginning to make sure they're fully blended.

Bananas, especially when overripe, make a sweet and creamy addition. I like to keep a bag of peeled, broken up bananas in the freezer so I can add a chunk or two on a whim.

Or not-so-secret:

Garnish with shredded coconut, sliced almonds, cacao nibs, bee pollen, pieces of fruit... The possibilities are endless!

What's your favorite smoothie ingredient?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!