This is a quickie recipe. It is like a chocolate covered cherry in a glass. You may add protein powder for extra nutrition, if you choose. The recipe has the texture of a soft serve gelato. It goes straight to puree, so it is good for a snack or dessert. It is fast, it is easy and it is delicious. It depends on having the right ingredients on hand, so shop first.
- 1 cup of frozen cherries, pitted, organic if possible
- 1 pint of Dream Gelato in Black Cherry flavor (a non-dairy frozen dessert made from almond milk, available in the freezer section, supermarket or whole foods store)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of Nocciolate chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella but with no transfats)
- 1 packet of instant thickener (see below)
- 1 scoop of whey protein powder, chocolate flavor (optional)
For the Puree
Use the small pitcher of a nutrition extractor (NutriBullet, NutriNinja or Vitamix). Place the frozen cherries in the pitcher and sprinkle with a 4 oz. packet of powdered instant thickener or gel. See below for brand names.
Buzz the cherries until they are liquefied with no particles. Make sure all skins are liquefied in the nutrition extractor. If there are visible particles of skin, please run the cherries through a fine mesh sieve with a silicone spatula to remove them.
Return the cherries to the pitcher.
Add the tablespoon of chocolate hazelnut spread and buzz again, briefly.
Add the pint of softened black cherry gelato. Buzz until the gelato is of pudding consistency. This is where you add the protein powder, if you are using it. You buzz it until it blends and combines.
You now have a thickened milkshake.
Divide into four half-cup servings in glass containers.
Place the portion that will be served immediately in the refrigerator. Allow the serving to thicken. This takes a little time. Instant thickeners reach their full thickening in three to five minutes. If the dessert is prepared correctly, it will remain pudding thickness upon melting and will not return to a liquid state.
Place the other three servings in the containers in the freezer with a label containing the name of the dessert, the date you made it and the Use By date of 30 days.
Here is the scoop on thickeners: They come in two consistencies – nectar and honey. Nectar is thinner. Honey is thicker. Use the level of thickening as it was determined by your healthcare provider. SimplyThick is a gel. It comes in pre-measured packets that allow for fast and easy preparation of beverages, anywhere. Each packet produces either nectar or honey consistency. Two honey packets produce pudding consistency. This is slightly more expensive per serving than the powdered gum thickeners.
ThickenUp Clear, Thick & Easy Clear, and SloDrinks are powdered gum-based thickeners. These, too, come in convenient packaging. The manufacturers include instructions for how to measure quantities, depending on the item being pureed.
These gum-based thickeners may be more expensive than starch thickeners, but they have the virtue of not feeling “heavy” in the patient’s digestive system. According to my mother, the late great, Cathie G, the gum instant thickeners did not have a starchy aftertaste. These instant thickeners are easy to work with and produce a good-looking product. As we eat with our eyes, the look of the pureed dish is important.