Chocolate Cherry Smoothie


chocolate cherry smoothie

This year we’ve had some exceptionally affordable cherries at our local grocery store. As a result, I’ve been buying, pitting and freezing cherries. I needed to find a way to use them, and smoothies are a favorite of mine. With frozen cherries, one almost can’t help but think of chocolate, so I worked up a chocolate cherry smoothie.

Chocolate and cherry are not the only ingredients, of course, but they’re the focus of the flavor. Adding in other frozen berries really does something great for the flavor, however. Keep that in mind, and tweak this smoothie recipe for your own use. I eyeball the ingredients for the most part – it’s a smoothie, not a cake and precision is not required.

This comes out fairly sweet without any help, but you can add some honey to make it sweeter. If you want a bit of tartness, add a dash of lemon juice. It really brightens the flavor. Don’t use too much – you want the chocolate cherry flavor to shine through, not a sour flavor.

To make this healthier, add in a handful or two of spinach or kale, some celery, and a carrot. They don’t change the flavor much, but vegetables generally have far less sugar than fruits, and a lot of vitamins, making this much healthier. I very rarely make a smoothie without vegetables. Too much fruit means too much sugar in the finished product.

chocolate cherry smoothie with carrot

Cacao nibs add a stronger chocolate flavor, but require that you add a fat to control the bitterness. I like what they do. 4-6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt takes care of it.

My husband loves to add bee pollen granules to all smoothies. Just make sure no one has an allergy before serving.

I make this one with milk, although juice works as well. Pick something that won’t overwhelm the flavor of cherries and chocolate.

If we ever have leftovers of this, I’ll make popsicles for my kids from this too, but so far even with a double or so batch, it hasn’t been a problem. It almost tastes like a milkshake, even though there’s no ice cream.

I always make smoothies in my Vitamix blender. The container holds quite a bit, which is nice when you’re making smoothies for 4-5 people and they want fairly large servings. I start on low, then speed it up until it’s at full speed. If any pits were left in the cherries, it breaks them up pretty well.

My kids help with pitting the cherries when we get them fresh. Always wear dark colors when pitting cherries – you don’t want cherry juice stains showing up on light colored clothes. We have a very basic cherry pitter, but there are some available that will pit multiple cherries at once. I don’t think there’s a cherry pitter out there that gets every pit out perfectly every time, so keep an eye on whether the pits come out or not.

Freeze the cherries before making the smoothie, or you will need to use ice in your mix to cool it. That’s not a bad thing – water is a good thing to include, since it doesn’t add calories or sugar. Ice can be especially nice on a hot day when you want your drink to be more cooling.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

1-2 cups frozen cherries
1-1 ½ cups milk (nut milk, soy milk, whatever works for you)
1 4-6 oz container plain Greek yogurt
1 peeled banana
1 tbsp soaked chia seeds
1-2 tbsp cacao nibs
1-2 tbsp cocoa powder


1 carrot
1-2 pieces celery
handful kale or spinach

Throw it all in a blender, blend until smooth. Add more liquid if you have trouble blending. Pour and enjoy!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Chocolate Popping Frogs

chocolate popping frogs

Fans of Harry Potter will remember the chocolate frogs, a popular treat that sometimes moved a little fast. They made a big impression on a lot of kids, so mine were delighted when I decided to have a go at making some at home. These chocolate popping frogs are a huge hit with my kids and their friends.

Obviously, there’s no way to really make them hop, unless you really are a wizard. But you can add Pop Rocks to chocolate, which gets the idea across and is a lot of fun.

We had to experiment a little to figure out which kind of chocolate worked best. In general, a darker chocolate seems to work better than milk chocolate. The Pop Rocks fizzed quite a bit more when being mixed into milk chocolate, which meant less popping when the kids ate the frogs.

You will also want to consider the age of the kids eating these treats. Some may not be up for a darker chocolate, and the milk chocolate will have to do.

And of course, you need frog molds. Amazon has a great selection of candy molds, and what it came down to for us was a combination of a frog shape we liked without it being too large. Yes, the movie ones are pretty big, but that’s not ideal for snacking.

These frogs are great if you want to have a Harry Potter themed party, a Halloween party, or anytime you think you can get away with putting chocolate popping frogs out on the table.

Pop Rocks can be a little hard to find at times, but I have a trick for this treat. When Halloween comes around, the dollar store by me gets bags of off brand popping candies. Pop Rocks by any other name do quite well in this recipe. They’re sold in a pouch with a bunch of tiny pouches to hand out to trick or treaters. Before Halloween, they’re a little cheaper than buying the same amount of Pop Rocks. After Halloween, they go on sale for $0.25 a pack, and that’s when I get my supply for the year.

It’s a bit of extra work opening all the packets, but I don’t worry about mixing the flavors. You don’t really notice the flavor of the Pop Rocks once they’re in the chocolate anyhow.

The first thing you do is melt your chocolate. I use a microwave safe bowl and melt the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring each time.

pop rocks in chocolateOnce the chocolate is melted, pour in the Pop Rocks. It takes quite a bit to get a good level of popping into the chocolate.

Stir them up and spoon into the frog molds. Tap the molds on the counter to get rid of as many bubbles as possible.

Refrigerate until firm, then pop out of the mold. You can keep them in the fridge if the weather is warm, just so they don’t melt too fast when guests grab them. If you want to get fancy you can print up a box for them, but I’ve never had anyone really care about the box. It’s chocolate! And Pop Rocks! In frog shapes! They usually don’t care beyond that.

Chocolate Popping Frogs

10 oz 60% cacao chocolate, chopped (or preferred chocolate)
1-2 oz popping candy

Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between rounds. When chocolate is smooth, add popping candy to taste, stirring until well mixed. Some popping of the candy is normal.

Spoon mix into frog molds. Tap on counter to remove bubbles and get a smooth finish on top.

Refrigerate until firm, about one hour, then remove from molds and prepare for the fun.

pop rocks frogs

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Homemade Pomegranate Truffles Recipe

homemade pomegranate truffles

These chocolate pomegranate truffles are simply amazing. You really can taste the pomegranate juice. Dark chocolate adds to the flavor, and overall these pomegranate truffles have a very rich flavor that is hard to beat.

I make these for most family holidays, but especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. They’re very popular with older children, teens and adults, but younger children may find the flavor too strong. I’ve had people get distinctly cranky with me for forgetting to bring these to a family gathering. I wasn’t disappointed… more for me, although I was embarrassed to have left these at home.

They’re easy to make, but can require a bit of patience. Sometimes the truffle comes out a little too soft to work with easily, even after cooling in the refrigerator for hours. Even then, the taste is amazing. You can melt some extra chocolate if necessary and add it to the melted mix. Stir well, and you should have a thicker truffle to work with when it solidifies. Don’t overdo the chocolate, or you may hide the pomegranate flavor.

You start by gently simmering down the pomegranate juice. I use the lowest heat possible, and it takes about an hour to simmer a cup and a half to a bit below 3/4 cups.

pomegranate juice

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find small bottles of Pom pomegranate juice at the dollar store, and then I simmer down several at once so it’s ready for next time. I portion it back into bottles and freeze until I need them. The frozen batches just need to be defrosted and then heated to a simmer so the chocolate will melt in it.

Remove pomegranate juice from heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir until it’s all melted and mixed.

pomegranate chocolate

Most times I use chocolate molds so that I don’t have to worry about the pomegranate chocolate filling being firm enough to roll. Molds are much easier to use. Fill a mold with melted chocolate (I use 60% cacao, just like in the filling), and tap the mold on the counter to fill in the nooks. You may not get all of them filled, but it helps.

Wait a short time, then pour the excess chocolate back into the bowl. Then add the pomegranate chocolate, and put into the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes.

fill molds with chocolate and pomegranate

Once the filling is fairly solid, you can put more chocolate on top to finish filling the mold. Tap the mold on the counter again to smooth out the backs. The mold is cold at this point, and you have to work quickly, as the chocolate solidifies fast. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes to completely firm up the truffle, and pop each one out of the mold.

Pack them up into a container for your own use, or make them pretty to give away. This recipe makes a lot – I get about 70-75 chocolates out of it with the molds I use. Your results will vary, depending on the size of the mold you use, or if you decide to make rolled pomegranate truffles instead.

Don’t be surprised if the kids or anyone else in the house volunteers to clean the pan out after you’ve made all the pomegranate truffles. My kids get quite messy enjoying those last bits of truffle that don’t make it into a mold.

pomegranate truffles


Pomegranate Truffles

1-1/2 cup pomegranate juice
12 ounces dark chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate (I like 60% cacao, semisweet is acceptable)

Coatings (optional, choose one)

60% cacao chocolate (chopped works better than chips for molding or dipping)
powdered freeze dried raspberries

Heat the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan. Simmer until it has reduced by at least half. I like it a little less than half so that the truffle is easier to work with, as the chocolate is a bit firmer with less liquid. Use the lowest heat possible, so that you don’t burn the pomegranate juice. Remove from heat.

Add the chocolate and to the pomegranate reduction in the saucepan, and stir until the chocolate is smooth.

Now it’s decision time. Are you rolling the truffles or putting them into a molded chocolate shell? Dipping in chocolate or rolling in a coating such as cocoa? Powdered freeze dried raspberries make an excellent coating. Have fun here.

If you’re rolling these into truffle balls, you will need to refrigerate the mix for at least three hours for it to be firm enough to hold shape. You may also need to keep them in the refrigerator or freezer when they aren’t out for people to eat. They can be a little soft and melty at room temperature.

If dipping in chocolate, make the truffle balls, and then freeze them for an hour or so. This will minimize the melting caused by warm dipping chocolate.

If using molds, see the instructions given above the recipe.

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