Recipe: Creamy Orange Date Smoothie

updated Jan 29, 2020
Creamy Orange Date Smoothie
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(Image credit: Laura Wright)

This sweet, citrusy, bright orange and vanilla-flecked smoothie calls to mind a certain classic ice pop confection. It’s definitely creamy and mellow, and it almost tastes like dessert, but this blend packs a huge nutritional punch to keep you energized and full all the way to lunchtime.

Our secret weapons here for a filling, hearty smoothie are everyday ingredients that you may already have on hand: frozen orange segments and cooked sweet potatoes. Both ingredients make the drink undeniably orange and sweet, but they also bring their functional attributes to the blend as well. Using the whole orange keeps the fiber of the fruit intact, and freezing the segments gives this smoothie a frothy texture.

Pre-roasting whole sweet potatoes for the week is great for healthy meal prep, and this practice extends to your smoothies as well. The sweet flesh offers a good dose of healthy carbohydrates and vitamin A.

Tahini naturally complements the sweet and citrusy flavor of this smoothie by grounding it with an earthy quality. This seed butter is also a healthy fat that doubles down as a plant-based source of calcium to make this smoothie extra filling and virtuous. Vanilla warms any tart/bitter edges of this smoothie, and the dates bring a caramel-like sweetness.

(Image credit: Laura Wright)

Final Touches

The last component of this blend is a spoonful of bee pollen. It’s the pollen collected by bees from plant flowers, which is pressed and compacted in the hive as a future food source. It’s rich in enzymes and a complete source of protein as well. Since it is collected from flowers, it has a natural floral essence and an overall sweet/lightly bitter taste, making it an excellent flavor complement to the citrus and tahini.

This week we’re teaming up with Laura Wright of The First Mess to flip the notion that a smoothie can’t fill you up. All week long we’re sharing wholesome and hearty smoothies designed with your satisfaction in mind. To see the principles that informed these recipes, check out 4 Steps for Building a Better Smoothie, According to a Nutritionist.

Creamy Orange Date Smoothie

Serves 1

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium orange, peeled and frozen in segments

  • 1 cup

    unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1/3 cup

    cooked sweet potato flesh

  • 2

    pitted Medjool dates

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1 teaspoon

    bee pollen

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Small pinch of sea salt

  • White and/or black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 45 seconds.

Recipe Notes

  • Oranges: If you don't want to fuss with freezing an orange, simply use room-temperature orange segments, and add a handful of ice to the blender to make it frothy.
  • Hydrating dates: If your dates seem dry or hard, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes prior to making this smoothie.