Recipe: Sunny Day Orange Date Shake

Oranges and Sunshine – aren’t they the same thing?

I hope so!

Well dear blogging friends, how are you all? I hope you are well!

Here in Vancouver, we are plowing through our coldest June ever on record, with more rain than I (and most Vancouverites) would surely like, and a view to wake to each morning of brooding overcast grey.

I tell you, it’s a (wee) bit of a downer for those itching to get outside, and for anyone hoping to capture a little fun summer lovin’.

But if the sun won’t shine, I refuse to let it dampen my mood. So I decided to catch a little sunshine of my own 🙂

The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you.

~ Unknown

Honestly, if I wasn’t so distracted with chasing my dreams (they are a long way off and it’s a crazy ride), I might just let the weather get to me.

But the truth is, I’ve got a lot to keep me busy, and most of all, an awful lot to be thankful for (and I suspect you might too).

So what if the sun isn’t shining?

I’ve got my health. I’ve got my family. I’ve got food on the table.

And really, what more is there?

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

~ Unknown

The Less:

Less store-bought cooked juice means more live enzymes and vital energy. Less refined sugar and sweets means more natural whole highs. Less high cost sugary drinks means less hit in your pocketbook, so you can put your money towards the real stuff.

The More:

More natural whole sugars means more healthy sustained energy. More well-balanced smoothie mixes means more well-balanced daily fuel. More liquid sunshine in the form of orange juice means more bright vitamins and minerals, so you can get that brightness into you 🙂

Sunny Day Orange Date Shake:

  • 1 whole large orange (navels are so good right now!)
  • (1/2) cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • (6) dates, soaked overnight
  • (1) tbsp tahini (roasted or raw)
  • (1) frozen banana
  • (1/2) tsp grated orange zest
  • (6) ice cubes (optional)

Liquid sunshine in your glass is just this easy..

The night before, put up your dates to soak in fresh cold water to cover, and freeze your banana*.

*I freeze ripe bananas whole in their peels. This makes it easy to pop them in the freezer when they are getting, well, brown and too far gone (but perfect for bread or smoothies). To peel, simply remove the banana from the freezer and run it under hot water for a few seconds. With a paring knife, simply peel the skin off the banana like you would the skin of an apple.

In the morning (whether overcast or sunny) peel your orange. Grate your zest. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and luscious.

You might need shades when you do this, it’s going to be bright!

Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Serve in a cold glass and enjoy. The tahini adds a hint of protein and weight that makes this smoothie feel substantial, without being heavy.

The zest will sit with you a while on your palate and leave a trail of sweetness long after you take the last sip.

Just like sunshine leaves a bit of color and warmth on your face.

I know summer will come.

But for now I’ve got this smoothie.

And I’ve got my dreams. I am all set.

If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.

~ Unknown

Here’s to finding happiness from within, knowing that at any moment you can change your outlook.

I am surely not immune to outside forces wreaking havoc on my moods or emotions, and I too succumb to feelings of frustration and doubt. I am human after all.

But then I get into the kitchen, crank the tunes, and start peeling oranges! Nothing is (ever) that bad, and for that I am grateful everyday.

  • Whats your recipe for getting out of a funk?
  • Got a great rainy day activity to share with us?

I’d love to know your secrets to finding sunshine, no matter what the day looks like outside!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Vegan, Vegetarian

81 responses to “Recipe: Sunny Day Orange Date Shake

  1. Somer

    Sending warmth and sunshine your way! My mom taught me to freeze and then peel bananas the same way, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it! That orange date shake is going on the breakfast menu tomorrow. Soaking my dates now! xoxo

    • Thank you dear Somer! I meet many people who do bananas this way – I didn’t discover it until I got older but it is so handy isn’t it? Feeling the love from here – SERIOUSLY! I needed that too! 😉 I hope you love this one, it’s my new current fave!

      • Somer


        I’m bound to love the smoothie, but I shall report back. 😉 I may also have to make your rice crispy treats for a baby shower I’m throwing for a neighbor!

      • Oooh! Those treats are perfect for showers! I hope they are a big hit! Have a FAB night Somer – I hope you are recovering from your run alright 🙂 So impressed by you..

      • Somer

        I’m sure they will be the hit of the party! I’m hosting it for a neighbor that has celiac sprue so it’s nice to find easy to prepare gluten free foods that don’t cost an arm and a leg!

        Fully recovered from my race! More deets tomorrow in a post! xoxo Night my dear!

  2. Oranges and dates? Talk about bringing sweet sunshine into home 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. This shake looks so scrummy, Shira (and it’s very timely. I’m having a ‘flat’ day today. Unusual for me. No idea why. Maybe just because its winter?). I think I shall have to pick up some oranges tomorrow and give it a go – while vicariously stealing some of your positive energy. Your posts always make me smile… 🙂

  4. This cold rainy weather was bumming me out too… so we packed up the family and drove over the mountains 3 hours to Eastern Washington where it was warm and sunny! Well worth the drive!

  5. Hello sunshine! I love the idea of a little tahini flavor in there. And I never thought of freezing unpeeled bananas–that sounds much less messy than my approach!

    • Hello to you! How are you coping in this Northwest rain Emmy? They do say it is supposed to break Wednesday..wouldn’t that be great?? The banana trick saves a LOT of work and mess! xo!

  6. Change My Body...Change My Life

    So do you use the dates as your smoothiie sweetener? I hadn’t thought of putting tahini into anything but sauces. I’ve been trying to move away from store bought protein powder so dates and tahini sound like a solution.

    Sending you sunshine from Heat Wave Ontario…

    • Yes! The dates make a fabulous sweetener, I soak a bunch and keep them in the fridge for when I need them 🙂 I hope you like this combo, it is very satisfying!
      Thanks…I surely need a little sunshine! So jealous of my eastern friends! Enjoy!

  7. redrabbithunting

    Thank you for always blogging delicious food, and delicious words! Beautifully written.

  8. You have such a great attitude! Don’t let a little rain get you down! As I type this there is a wicked thunderstorm going on and I am loving it 🙂

    This smoothie sounds so good! Dates and oranges just go so beautifully together don’t they?

  9. So pretty and bright! I have a bunch of single bananas rattling around in the freezer and some oranges that need to be used – si I’m going to have a smoothie for breakfast too. I’ll have to skip the tahini paste and dates this time, but would be curious to try it sometime. I might add some chia to mine – I do have that on hand. Happy Tuesday!

  10. Great recipe and post! Smoothies and homemade ice creams are my go-tos for ‘sunshine in the kitchen’. Also, thanks for the west coast weather update…It was a balmy 33C degrees here in Seoul today! I fly back to Vancouver on July 15th and I sure hope it has heated up by then!!

    • So jealous of Seoul! it sounds gorgeous – almost as gorgeous as your homemade ice cream idea 🙂 I hope it warms up here for your visit too! xo!

  11. madisoncary

    gorgeous color! 🙂 and looks yummy of course! i think anything citrus works to get someone out of a funk! it’s so bright and cheery and fresh 🙂

    i’ll have to try the trick with the bananas! i always let them go ripe and then i feel like i immediately have to do something with them before they are FAR too gone! haha

  12. Your sunny smoothie sounds wonderful Shira! Wouldn’t have thought to include tahini, but I sure will now! I find sunshine here my friend, and I’m not alone in that! 🙂 for me the sun shines whenever I contemplate thankfulness. xo

  13. what great perspective!! and what a refreshing drink! way to make your own sunshine:) i’m sorry that vancouver’s so cold and rainy right now! i hope it warms up soon! thanks for sharing Shira!

  14. Mellow Yellow! I’m now feeling groovy. What fantastical shots. Frothy! Foamy! Fizzing! Sudsy! Bubbling! Bubbly! Effervescing! Sparkly! And lively, too! T.

  15. Thank you Shira for bringing me sunshine 🙂
    Love this drink – it is beautiful and I am sure it taste delicious – it will light the inner sunshine, for sure!
    Great idea to add tahini!

  16. Hello, Shira! I’m in fine fettle, thank you! good use of a dodgy banana. This shake sounds wonderful, right up my street. all the way up it, in fact. Though, the less said about that place, the better.

  17. Love the tip on freezing unpeeled bananas – I tried it before but ended up spending lots of time peeling tiny bits of skin off and vowed to never do it again! I’ll have to try your trick. Tahini is also an interesting smoothie addition that I’ll have to add to my repertoire 🙂

  18. My Plant Based Family

    This looks delightful! Sounds like an impressive accompaniment to brunch.

  19. I think you and I are the same wavelength- I also did a citrusy tahini smoothie post today! I like the addition of dates to yours! And all of the gorgeous prep photos! I have to give this one a try too!

    Weird weather for summer here too. Its been gray,overcast, and just plain cold for the last several days. I don’t mind, though- It will make me appreciate the warmth even more when it comes. Have a great day, my friend! 🙂

  20. That Emerson quote is one of my all-time favorites. This sounds amazing. I’ve never tried Tahini in my smoothies before–love, love, love the idea. Can’t wait to try this Shira! Thank you.

  21. Great Post and going to have to give dates a try! Have a Beautiful Day:)

  22. Love this post for so many different reasons. 1. did you get a new logo – the black tomato? 2. love that you used ‘wee’ in your text 3. The smoothie looks amazing – care package on the way in the form of a glass and this liquid good stuff? 4. the quotes – love love! Giving a friend a smile is an wonderful feeling!

    • Hey! Congrats Marina – you are the first to notice the tomato! Check your email for a super secret link…
      Glad you like the smoothie! I always smile when I use the word (wee)…we all know why! 🙂 xox!

  23. Oh my goodness this looks wonderful!! I get the funk days occasionally and I just like to get outside, or eat something that packs a lot of energy!

  24. I love the optimism!! Wish you could share the rain..Colorado could really use it! It has been VERY hot and well we have a fire right now outside of the Ft. Collins area…dry heat and wind don’t help stop it 😦

  25. I cannot wait to try this and thanks for sharing this recipe

  26. Sunshine in a glass – let the brightness get into you; love this!

    It would be hard to to smile with this in hand….favorite rainy day recipes – Grilled Cheeze & Homemade Tomato Soup, this always puts a smile on my face and brightens my mood 🙂

  27. Now that we FINALLY have some sunshine here, this recipe really excites me! Amazing how the weather can dictate your cravings, but it totally does. Whenever I go home (to the Caribbean) I survive entirely on fruit protein shakes and salads. But up here when the weather isn’t good I want chocolate-based protein shakes and heavier treat-style foods all the time. So glad for some sunshine, as is my diet!

    • I am with you Anna – all so true about the weather and food- and let’s hear it for some sunshine finally! Maybe this post just brought it on?! (haha) I hope you like it, it’s my new favorite for sure! I could do with a little salad in the Caribbean, lucky you!

  28. Tell me about cold and dreary weather.. its raining, grey and cold here, got some sun yesterday and i threw a tantrum so hubbs took 2 hours off work(that means he came home at 6:30 instead of 8:30) and we spent some time out.. not the next week is cloudy and rainy again…

    love this sunshine shake! love the color and your mood:)

    • I know right?! It’s really something this weather..glad to hear the 2 of you got out in it – you’ve got to catch it while it’s here! The forecast is looking up though .. they are predicting an actual heatwave! Finally! Always love a visit from you Richa 🙂

  29. I have just been complaining on FB that I don’t mind cold wintery days (winter in Australia) it’s the lack of sun! I had a lot of pottering planned that I was looking forward to last night and today, bluuuh, no sun. Not motivated. Too cold. Too melancholy. And lo I go through my Reader and see the sunshine drink. I happen to have all the ingredients and although I won’t be able to soak my dates it’s emergency enough that I make this smoothie right now and find the sunshine within to commence pottering! lol. Oooh dear.
    x melanie

    • You can try with unsoaked dates, and enjoy the chunks 🙂 Sometimes I do, otherwise a strong blender can make smoothness out of them!

  30. This looks so refreshing! And perfect for our not so sunny weather. 🙂

  31. They say that the smoothie, most particularly the date shake, was invented here in Laguna Beach at the Orange Inn! I bet they’d love this recipe. 🙂

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