Orange Sunrise Smoothie
When the sun rises in my small part of the Earth, my house glows; literally. You know those alarm clocks that invite warmth and slowly help you rise from your slumber? Yeah, that's my regular morning with natural sunlight. It's a gorgeous and wonderful way to start my day and I rolled that "orangeness" right into my smoothie. Orange means daybreak, fresh starts, health and happiness to me - so naturally when I spied the big juicy spheres of vibrant citrus on my counter, I just couldn't help myself from building a smoothie with a name from the inspiration: orange & sunrise.
Sustainability Spotlight: Oranges have historically had some "negative" sustainability impacts; mostly, from deforestation activities to make room for citrus groves in Brazil (home to the largest living ecosystem on the planet - the Amazon rainforest). Luckily, the U.S. sources most of its citrus fruits from Florida which has improved the sustainability of their groves exponentially in the last decade. Reducing their reliance on aerial pesticide, herbicide and insecticide applications (which have a high frequency and opportunity for overspray - meaning, floating to other properties on the wind) has been just one update to the grove management process for becoming more environmentally sustainable. The bigger "issue" isn't in the production of the fruit, but rather in the production of products from that fruit. 85% of the oranges grown are used to produce commercial orange juice. This means that the food wastes from orange peels can be substantial in any given year. That's not stopping some scientists from finding "repurpose" or reuse for peels. As of 2019, orange peels were finding applications (or at least research into applications) for use as a source of essential oils, sugars, natural antioxidants, organic acids and pectin (a thickener or stabilizer - replacement for gelatin?!). The pulp can also be dried and used as an animal feed (for these same purposes / benefits). While oranges have a long way to go to be considered sustainable, if more of us consider the current food "wastes" as opportunities for new products and outlets, we can aid in supporting this (and other) fruits moving towards environmental sustainability.
2 cups frozen mango (chunked)
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 scoop protein powder
Garnishes (optional but recommended): more orange slices!
Place all ingredients (mango through protein powder) in the order shown above in a high-powered blender.
If you have a Vitamix with smoothie button, turn on and wait for the blender to automatically stop. Proceed to Step #4.
If you do not have a Vitamix with a smoothie button, turn on blender on low and gradually increase in increments of 20 seconds each all the way up to the highest setting. Use a tamper or scrape down sides as needed and blend until smooth (~4 minutes).
Pour into glasses and top with the optional garnish(es) noted above. Serve & enjoy!
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie