5-ingredient “Orange Julius” Creamsicle Smoothie
I haven’t been to a mall in a very long time so I’m not sure if Orange Julius even still exists, but if you’ve never had or been to an Orange Julius, it was a sort of a very early ancestor to the modern chain smoothie place. The signature drink was a very sweet, icy, orangy, creamy, frothy cup of heaven to teenaged me, hanging out in Southcenter mall, getting falsely accused of shoplifting at the hallmark store.
But, like so many childhood treats that I get nostalgic cravings for (twizzlers, anyone?), I feel like having one of those drinks today would be an oversweet disappointment to my adult taste buds. I wanted the idea of an Orange Julius, but made even more delicious using regular ingredients that I would normally eat.
So I worked on whipping up a quick and easy Orange Julius smoothie (the toddler loves it when things Have A Name) (Mom, what’s this smoothie called?” “It’s Julius, sweetie.”) with just a few normal ingredients, and my first try was fine but didn’t quite hit the mark, so I tried again, this time with a little prior thought.
The secret is freezing the peeled oranges. I found several Orange Julius copycat recipes and they taste great, I’m sure, but they called for sugar and frozen OJ concentrate. I usually don’t have that on hand, and I was hoping to not add any sugar or sweetener to our version, so I popped a few peeled oranges in the freezer overnight with a peeled banana and the combo gave it the creamy, orangey, icy taste that was even better than I remembered. From the eight glorious minutes of silence that happened while everyone ate theirs this morning, I’d say that Julius was a big hit. Guess I won’t be going to the mall anytime soon! :)
5-Ingredient “Orange Julius” Creamsicle Smoothie
yield: 2.5 servings (2 adult and 1.5 kid servings)
***PLAN AHEAD: put oranges and banana in freezer overnight or a few hours ahead!!
—2 medium oranges, peeled and frozen
—one medium ripe banana, peeled and frozen
—1-2 c plain whole milk yogurt
—1/4 c- 1 c milk, half and half, cream, coconut milk or cream, or your favorite nut milk or creamer
—splash of vanilla extract
—spinach or greens (optionl 6th ingredient) for a Green Julius
Blend all ingredients on high until creamy and fully blended, pushing down to make sure all of the frozen orange pieces get mixed. Add more liquid if you like a more drinkable smoothie and less for a very thick spoonable treat. You can add maple syrup, honey or sugar if you like it a bit more sweet. Enjoy!