Cherry-Almond Smoothie


By Cat, Mar 2018 (image, right, is from Wikimedia Commons)

This interesting recipe is from Dr. Alan Christianson, a functional medicine practitioner specializing in hormone and auto-immune issues. This smoothie offers many benefits for your adrenal and thyroid glands.

See also: 1. Beverage Menu; 2. Natural Healing Remedies Menu;  3. Soaking, Sprouting Nuts & Seeds

Cherry-Almond Smoothie

Dr Christianson included this recipe in an email that inclues part 1 of 3 in his article: “3 Things That Wreck Your Hormones (available on the Huffington Post (4)); unfortunately, that version does not include his original recipe.  About his recipe, Dr. Christianson states the following in his email that provides the recipe:

“This nutrient-dense smoothie can protect your arteries and help lower your blood pressure.  Almonds are a rich source of magnesium; in fact, 1/2 cup provides almost 200 milligrams, which is about 50% of the daily value for this mineral.  Magnesium helps your blood vessels relax, improving the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body and relieving headaches or muscle tension.”

One of the reasons this recipe appeals to me is that he pre-soaks the almonds overnight; another option would be sprouted almonds (you don’t need to soak them for the same benefit).

However, another of his ingredients is his one of own products, Adrenal Reset Shake – a protein powder. I’d rather come up with a replacement, because his contains pea protein powder which is a problem for me. His list of ingredients in Adrenal Reset Shake and my preferred replacements where appropriate) are as follows:

  • pea protein (I’d use Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein powder; it is not heat-treated)
  • pea starch (I’d skip this, or use potato starch which is a resistant starch)
  • apple pectin (Instead of 1 whole pear, I’d use ½ pear, ½ apple)
  • natural flavors (I’d skip this, as the almonds and fruits provide plenty of flavor)
  • MCTs (I’d use coconut oil)
  • stevia
  • sea salt (as unrefined sea salt, such as Celtic sea salt)
  • added minerals: magnesium biglycinate chelate, manganese biglycinate chelate, selenium chelate, and chromium chelate*

‘* For the minerals (magnesium, manganese, selenium and chromium chelates), I get these and others every day in my whole food multi (4 tabs daily), so no need to add them to the smoothie. However, if you use a one-a-day multi, it probably doesn’t contain everything it claims (or not as much as claimed, and the minerals may not be chelated), so you may want to add these minerals in chelate form to the smoothie as they are essential for proper thyroid and adrenal function. Or you may want to look for a whole food multi (that you take more than one per day).

For the resistant starch: Dr. Christianson’s pea starch is considered a resistant starch. Other types are potato starch, green banana ‘flour’ and plantain ‘flour.’  Because I have a problem with pea starch, I will use potato starch (Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch (not potato flour) is probably the best brand according to Chris Kesser (3), and the brand I use). Another alternative would be to add a green banana or plantain as whole fruit,  or green banana or plantain flour.  The amount of pea starch in the original recipe is not provided. If using a resistant starch, I’d start with 1 tsp per recipe. Chris also recommends rotating the different types of resistant starch.

Makes 1 – 2 servings.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • ½ cup raw almonds (soaked overnight), or sprouted almonds (no need to pre-soak)
  • ½ cup fresh filtered water
  • ½ ripe pear, cored and cut into wedges (or 1 whole pear and skip the apple, as in Dr. Christianson’s original recipe)
  • ½ ripe apple, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup pitted frozen cherries (if it is summer here in the Flathead, I’d use pitted fresh Flathead cherries)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or MCT oil, as in the original recipe)
  • 1 tsp or more potato starch or other resistant starch (pea starch, as in the original recipe)
  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder or other resistant starch
  • 1 or more drops liquid stevia extract, to taste (optional, for sweetness)
  • pinch of Celtic or other unrefined sea salt
  • minerals: include a good whole-food multi in your daily regimen. Make sure your multi does NOT contain sodium selenite, which is a toxic form of this essential mineral.
  • Equipment:
  • pint jar for soaking almonds
  • blender for mixing the shake


  • Prep Almonds:
    • If using raw almonds, soak them the night before as follows: place them in a small dish or jar; cover with water and set on the counter top (cover the jar with a towel to keep the almonds in the dark) to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain off the soaking water in the morning.
    • If using sprouted almonds, they have already been soaked so you won’t need to soak them again.
  • Place almonds in blender with filtered water; blend on high until thick and creamy.
  • Add the fruit, coconut oil, resistant starch and protein powder, and blend for another minute until creamy.
  • If not sweet enough, add 1 – 3 drops liquid stevia extract, to taste


  1. Dr Alan Christianson’s recipe (from an email) and his Adrenal Reset Shake:
  2. Dr Alan Christianson’s YouTube video about resistant starch:
  3. Chris Kresser on potato and other resistant starch:

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