February is heart month. It’s when millions profess their love via Valentine’s Day AND when numerous organizations band together to promote heart health. So I thought it a very fitting time to celebrate these sweet, pink, healthy tart cherry smoothie bowls.
“Heart-healthy eating can be delicious and on-trend with vibrant colors and sweet-tart flavors. There are simple ways to add nutrient-rich ingredients to your favorite recipes that add depth of flavor and texture, too,” said Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian. “Packed with beneficial phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, research shows Montmorency tart cherries may help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation and reduce belly fat – all factors linked to heart disease risk.”
These beautiful cherry smoothie bowls incorporate that wonderfully healthy fruit in two ways. Tart cherries are infused in the smoothie and dried tart cherries are added to the easy, homemade granola topper. If you can only find sweet frozen cherries at your local store, just omit the sweetener in the cherry smoothie bowls. You won’t need it!
Special Diet Notes: Tart Cherry Smoothie Bowls + Cherry Granola
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
For nut-free cherry smoothie bowls, be sure to use an allergen-safe milk beverage for your needs. To make the cherry granola nut-free, simply use an extra 1 cup oats in place of the almonds.
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- ½ cup pepitas (unsalted pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat your oven to 325ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the maple syrup mixture, and stir to evenly coat.
- Spread the granola onto your prepared baking sheet in a relatively even layer.
- Bake the granola for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes. Watch carefully in the last 15 minutes and stir more, if necessary. Let cool 5 minutes.
- Roughly chop the dried cherries and stir them into the granola along with the pepitas.
- Let the granola cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
- Place the tart cherries, milk beverage, banana, lemon juice, and maple syrup in your blender and puree until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk beverage for a smoother consistency.
- Scrape into 2 bowls and top each with ¼ cup of the cherry granola, to serve.