I’ve got a delicious smoothie recipe for you that is packed with nutrients your muscles (and taste buds) will LOVE, all disguised behind two of my favs..chocolate and cherry!

I love chocolate, and I love cherries…but not for the reasons you might think!

Yes, they’re both ridiculously amazing in the flavor category, and what you might not know is that they both promote athletic endurance and recovery. I’m seriously in heaven! When you can find foods that satisfy the tastebuds and allow you to perform optimally, that’s pretty much a WIN in my book!

And, it addresses the question I’m asked time and again…”What are the best foods to fuel my run?”

Enter chocolate, cherries, walnuts, beets, greens, protein, turmeric, and banana, all wrapped up into one dessert smoothie. What’s incredible is that this smoothie, in all of its awesomeness, was yummy enough to pass off as dessert for our family! Yes, even our children downed it like it was a decadent indulgence.

If it’s good enough for even my pickiest of eaters, I’m pretty sure you will love it too!

This smoothie makes for a great power-packed breakfast OR post-workout recovery drink. Be warned…it was a few unusual ingredients that will amp up its superpower AND your workouts too!

Here’s a quick rundown of why this smoothie is so awesome:

Tart Cherry Juice – This has been found to speed up recovery and reduce muscle soreness. Plus, some studies show it might actually improve your performance during your workouts! Cherries also contain natural melatonin, so you will sleep better for improved recovery.

Turmeric – This inflammation-fighting spice contains curcumin, an antioxidant that’s been in the news a lot because of its health benefits. It can help ease soreness, pain and swelling.

Cacao – This raw form of chocolate is another surprising source of micronutrients – flavanols, magnesium, and B vitamins – that help your body bounce back from stress and balance your electrolytes.

Beets – These dark-red veggies contain a sweet powerhouse of nutrients to help your body overcome stress. This is great for your muscles … and also your heart!

Walnuts – These are the only tree nuts that contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help fight inflammation.

Spinach or Kale – Dark leafy greens contain a long list of micronutrients (like magnesium) to help support your muscle function and recovery.

Banana – Not only do bananas help make your smoothies sweet & creamy, they contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps your muscles function properly.

Chocolate Epi-Genius Protein Powder – This helps with muscle repair and recovery as well as to improve gut health!

(links include $50 off the concentrated cherry juice, beet juice, and chocolate protein powder I use daily!)

Choco-Cherry Recovery / Energy Smoothie

Makes 1 large or 2 medium servings

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend till smooth or until it reaches your desired consistency. Drink as soon as possible. Garnish with chocolate and/or cherries.

I hope you LOVE it! Please share your creations and tag me when you do! @pacerkristen #pacerkristen