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As I try and decipher what a healthy, balanced approach to eating looks like to me one thing is clear: start the day with the best of intentions. Nine days out of ten breakfast includes a smoothie or green juice of some sort.

Smoothies have been a mainstay in our house for years now, and it’s interesting to see how they have evolved from glorified milk shakes to nutrition powerhouses with superfoods like greens, goji berries and protein powder (even though one of us still prefers the glorified milk shakes).

A few weekends ago I woke up craving sunshine and something that was closer to the milkshake side of the smoothie spectrum. To be honest what I really wanted was an Orange Julius. I remember as a kid I didn’t really like an Orange Julius all that much, but the thrill was too much to resist. Frozen orange juice concentrate and milk aren’t really my bag these days but I knew that it would be easy to replicate the cool, tropical creaminess of an Orange Julius.

Frozen mangoes and almond milk are mainstays in our fridge and freezer so I started there and then threw in a couple of dates — my favourite way to sweeten just about anything these days. It was the perfect start to a gloomy Saturday morning and was exactly what I was craving.

Mango Vanilla Smoothie – for two with a second breakfast or one very hungry person


1 heaping cup frozen mangoes

2 dates, pitted

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Water to achieve desired consistency (I used about 1/2 cup)

Put everything in the blend and give it a good whiz!