Editor's note: We're sharing a new juice or smoothie recipe every weekday in January. Got a favorite juice or smoothie combo? Tell us about it in the comments section! Looking for more smoothie and juice ideas? Start here...

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[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

I recently cleaned out my kitchen, attempting to free up a little counter space in what's a pretty-crammed alcove. Chopping vegetables under a toaster just doesn't work, and splashing ingredients onto the food processor just isn't a good idea. The toaster stayed, the Cuisinart was exiled to a high cabinet. The burr grinder stayed, and the scale went into an easy-access drawer. I hemmed and hawed, but the blender stayed.

Like many folks, I could probably benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables, and the truth is: I love smoothies. Especially since I discovered the easiest smoothie ingredient: kefir. This stuff can be made at home, but if you're not feeling the DIY, it's widely available in the dairy case of health food stores and organic-leaning markets. I'm not into the flavored versions, but I find the plain, unsweetened stuff to be an essential grocery item these days.

Kefir is creamy, tart, and tangy, thick enough to bulk up a smoothie and make it super-satisfying but thin enough to serve as the only liquid in a blended drink. We'll be sharing a new smoothie or juice recipe every weekday this month, but I figured I'd start easy.

Blend up a cup of kefir with a cup of ripe mango (I like the Ataulfo ones, which are also called Champagne mangoes) and a cup of frozen blackberries. You're done. Enjoy.

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is a Senior Editor at Serious Eats, based in San Francisco. She founded Serious Eats: Drinks in 2011. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.

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