We went to the Dominican Republic back in December and boy am I missing it right now. The beach was so, so beautiful and the weather was perfect. And the fruit! The mangoes, papayas, etc. were really delicious. I drank their juices and ate plates of them every day.

Ever since I got home, I have been buying papaya at the market because I enjoy it so much. While I love a few slices with my breakfast, I’ve also discovered it’s great in smoothies. One of my new favorites is this one with fresh squeezed blood orange juice, papaya chunks, and frozen dark sweet cherries.

I made this smoothie last week hoping to share it with you on Valentine’s Day. But there’s really no reason to relegate this dark red beauty of a smoothie to a holiday! It’s a wonderful winter treat you can enjoy any time.

You don’t have to use blood orange juice; You can absolutely use the juice of any type of oranges. Don’t use bottled orange juice if you can help it, though…it won’t be nearly as good if you do. I’ve also made a version of this without the frozen cherries and I like that one, too, but the cherries add great flavor and a powerful punch of nutrients so I strongly recommend them.

Feel free to change up this smoothie by adding some more fruit such as banana and/or pineapple, greens, yogurt, protein powder, etc.

Recipe for Blood Orange, Papaya, and Dark Cherry Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

*1 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice (or use the juice from any type of oranges)
*1 cup cubed fresh (or frozen) papaya
*1 cup fresh or frozen pitted dark sweet cherries (I used frozen)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender (use a high speed blender if using mostly frozen ingredients) and process until smooth. Thin with water or add ice and blend again to reach a consistency you enjoy, if desired.

Some more recipes I’ve made and loved lately:
Blood Orange Pate De Fruit from Use Real Butter
French Onion Soup from The Kitchn
Cubano Sandwich from Zagat
Sour Cream Fudge Cake from Andie Mitchell