Blood Orange Vanilla Smoothie

One of our favorite ways to start the day is with a smoothie. Easy to make, nutritious, and delicious, all you have to do is toss some ingredients in a blender, press a button, and voila: the perfect breakfast for the person on the go. You can use pretty much any combination of fruits and vegetables you desire, but one of our go-to ingredients is one you may not be familiar with: the blood orange.

What is a blood orange? Blood oranges are the primary type of orange grown in Italy. It’s believed they may have been found in Sicily as early as the 9th century, and they have been grown in the Mediterranean ever since. One look at a blood orange and you will know where the name comes from. The outer skin of the fruit looks like any other orange, but the flesh has a deep crimson or maroon color. This color actually comes from anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidant pigments. Because of this high concentration of antioxidants, blood oranges are believed to have more health benefits than other citrus fruits. Unlike most oranges, blood oranges can’t be grown year-round. Blood orange season lasts from December through May, so you might want to look for them while you can!

Flavor is another thing that sets the blood orange apart from its more common cousins. It is less acidic, and sweeter than the more familiar navel orange. It also has more complex flavor profile, containing that familiar orange tang, but with notes of raspberry or strawberry in the mix. This balanced flavor works quite well in harmony with other fruit, such as the banana and pineapple we use in our recipe. A little Madagascar vanilla adds an air of intrigue and creates the perfect finish to our blood orange smoothie recipe.

Blood Orange Vanilla Smoothie

Yields 2 smoothies


  • 1 small ripe banana
  • ¾ cup frozen pineapple
  • 2 blood oranges, juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ½ Madagascar vanilla bean (sliced and scraped)
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 ½-3 cups fresh kale and spinach mixture


Place all ingredients of this blood orange smoothie in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more honey to taste if needed. Serve with a slice of blood orange to garnish.