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Ricotta cheese is alternatively named “whey cheese” as its is made from reheating the leftover whey produced by other cheese products like provolone or mozzarella. Ricotta is a white cheese that is soft and slightly sweet in flavor. It’s pretty neutral so it takes on any additional flavor added. In this recipe ricotta not only adds protein to the smoothie but it is a great source of calcium, selenium and phosphorus.
Almond milk is derived from almonds that allows a sweet and nutty flavor. The addition of the milk makes the smoothie more fluid, adds a little sweetness and creamy texture.
Dark chocolate is a packed with minerals. Its gives the smoothie a tanginess that helps balance out the sweet agave and ricotta.
Pistachio are filled with antioxidants and anti inflammatory traits. Pistachios are mildly nutty and really add a ton of flavor to the almond milk.
This recipe uses Bing cherries, use whatever cherries you have on hand. Cherries add to the tartness and add a subtle sweetness and a beautiful light pink color. Cherries are naturally sweet so try them before adding to them to the blender. If your cherries are really sweet you may need to ease off of the agave nectar.
Agave nectar is from the agave plant. Its a syrup similar to maple syrup but one and half times sweeter than regular sugar. Agave nectar unless used in excess can be easily manipulated to just enhance the flavors of your dishes not overwhelm. Alternative sugar would be powdered sugar, monk fruit or honey.
this dish is loaded in protein and subsequent fat. ricotta, chocolate and pistachios all add protein to the recipe but all have the additional fat they bring along with them. use the ingredients sparingly. fat can be reduced in this recipe by cutting with almond milk with half water. this recipe can be fortified with additional protein with an added scoop of whey powder.
smoothie can be prepped and even made ahead of time. to make them ahead of time you can pack your fruit, veggies, seeds or nuts into the same bag pre-portioned, freeze them for a longer shelf life and have them ready to dump with a splash of nut milk. Or if you make too much of your favorite smoothie, omit the ice and store in the refrigerator. Once you’re ready to drink it re-blend it with half a cup of ice to taste brand new.
blending is the most important part of making a smoothie. it’s best to place the lid on the blender, start on low, and gradually blend on the highest setting. blend till silky smooth. don’t blend too long or you’ll heat the blender.
you might need to thin your smoothie to help it move throughout the blender. blending with water, milk or alternative plant based milk work the best. if your smoothie is too thin thicken it with ice or freeze the cherries.