Introduction: Cherry Almond Verbena Smoothie

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I was originally going to make this a hot and cold smoothie.  After struggling to dissolve the agar agar flakes, though, I decided I didn't like the idea of a hot smoothie... even if it was only hot on one side.

I was able to use the concept to make a dual colored smoothie, though, keeping the almond and cherry sides separate.  You don't need the agar agar for this, since the smoothie is thick enough without it, so I'm leaving it out of the instructions.

You will need:

A small handful fresh lemon verbena leaves (I wish I had more but I didn't want to kill my tiny plant)
1/3 C turbinado sugar or your favorite sweetener, more or less to taste
1 C fresh cherries
1 C almonds, preferably raw
1 C plain greek yogurt
1 1/3 C water

Chop the lemon verbena leaves.  Put them in a small saucepan with the sugar and 1/3 C water.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer the liquid.  The longer you simmer, the more lemon verbena flavor it'll have.  Because you'll be blending this, you don't need to strain out the leaves.

Pit the cherries.  Blend them in a blender (or in a food processor if you don't have a blender... *cough*) with the greek yogurt and half of the lemon verbena syrup.  Chill mixture.

Blend almonds with remaining water and syrup until smooth.  Chill mixture.

Cut some thin craft foam, a piece of parchment, foil, or whatever to fit inside your cup.  Place the foam divider in the cup and spoon the almond mixture into one side and the cherry mixture into the other side.  Carefully pull out the divider and serve.

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