Homemade Orange Julius Smoothie is sweet and frothy and somewhat slushy. This healthy version is dairy-free with no added sugar and tastes like an orange creamsicle.
If we’re talking orange smoothie recipes….in my mind there’s really just one contender. The OG Orange Julius…you know the one. Was it a favorite childhood treat of yours while visiting the malls? Yeah..same here!
You’d be horrified to know that the original orange julius recipe calls for multiple types of sugar. The smallest size of the fruity drinks have at least 50 grams of carbs AND 50 grams of ADDED sugar….and that’s the SMALL sized shake.
Well, here’s the good news. I’ve created a copycat version of the Orange Julius Recipe…but this one is made with wholesome ingredients, no added sugar and comes together in your blender in less than 5-minutes!
Yipee! Healthy Orange Julius Smoothies for everyone!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Oranges: A great source of Vitamin C, fiber and phytochemicals. My favorite are Cara Cara (thicker skin, flesh more of a pinkish-orange color, super sweet), or Valencia (thin skin, super juicy), sumatra but any variety of sweet orange will work. A good substitute would be tangerines. Satsuma tangerines are awesome…easy to peel and usually seedless. Use 4 clementines in place of the 3 oranges, since they’re generaly smaller.
- Frozen Pineapple: A sweet addition, so no added sugar is necessary. Plus, it’s loaded with disease fighting antioxidants. A good substitution would be 1/2 frozen banana. The frozen part is important to the slushy consistency of this shake.
- Dates: Just one date is all that’s needed to make this taste similar to the original which called for 1/2 cup sugar! With dates, you get natural, unprocessed sweetness along with fiber to help regulate blood sugar levels. A good substitute would be raisins.
- Unsweetened plant-based yogurt: I used almond yogurt to help make this orange julius smoothie creamy, without dairy. Any plant-based yogurt will work well. Go with a brand you trust, that has some probiotics, and doesn’t have any added sweetener
- Vanilla: gives the illusion of sweetness, and therefore helps curb your sugar intake.
- Turmeric: Curcumin is the active anti-inflammatory ingredient in this root. Curcumin is poorly absorbed on its own, and is used in cooking in combination with black pepper to boost its bioavailability. Turmeric also helps this healthy smoothie have a bright, vibrant color.
- Black pepper: when combined with turmeric, it increases your body’s ability to absorb the curcumin in turmeric to get the inflammation-fighting benefits.
- Ice cubes: The original Orange Julius calls for frozen orange juice concentrate, the ice cubes help this smoothie achieve that slushy consistency without all the added sugar.
Orange Julius was a snack stand that was in many shopping malls. They were famous for their slushy orange drink that was super sweet and tasted like an orange creamsicle. The drink was invented in the 1920s in Los Angeles and named after the company’s founder, Julius Freed.
Definitely NOT! The original Orange Julius mall drink is packed with more sugar than a can of soda!!! Plus, it’s devoid of nutrients.
This healthy version has no added sugar, plus it has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
How to make an Orange Julius Smoothie
- PREP the oranges. Wash and peel the oranges. You can peel them by hand, but I find using a sharp knife is quick and also gets rid of the pith which can sometimes be bitter.
First cut off the ends. Stand orange up on flat end. Use knife to go from top to bottom in one section. Turn the orange and repeat with the next section. Continue until all the peel is off.
2. Place peeled oranges, date with soaking water, plant-based yogurt, turmeric, black pepper, vanilla, frozen pineapple and ice cubes into blender.
3. Blend on high until everything is well incorporated and frothy. Depending on the quality of your blender, it may take a few minutes for the ice to break up and make the shake slushy.
4. Pour into glasses and enjoy!
Why you will love this recipe:
- Childhood nostalgia coming in strong.
- 5-minutes and it’s ready to enjoy
- Healthy plant-based ingredients
- It’s pretty….and (literally) brings in the sunshine
- Absolutely delish, with NO ADDED SUGAR
- A great choice for breakfast, afternoon snack, or evening treat.
Debra’s Pro Tips:
- Wash your oranges well before using. Oranges are a heavily sprayed crop. Your knife will spread those pesticides through to the flesh if they aren’t washed off before you begin.
- Freeze a batch in popsicle molds. Your reward: a healthy creamsicle.
- Did you love the strawberry version as a kid? Add 1/4 cup frozen strawberries to this recipe.
- Use whole fresh oranges to get the benefit of all the fiber, which will slow down the absorption of the natural sugar found in the fruit.
- Cold oranges will made this even more slushy. Put your oranges in the fridge before making this orange smoothie recipe.
More Citrus Recipes you will love
- Orange and Fennel Salad
- Chickpea Lemon Soup
- Roasted Root Veggies + Oranges
- Orange Marmalade
- Lemon Zinger Smoothie
- Rainbow Salad with Orange Bean Dressing
- Avocado Lime Dressing
- 3 navel oranges
- 1/3 cup unsweetened plant based yogurt
- 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 medjool date, pitted and soaked in 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 grinds freshly ground pepper
- Wash oranges and then use a sharp knife to cut the peel off. Begin by taking a thin slice off the top and bottom. Place orange down on flat edge and use your knife to go from top to bottom, taking one section off at a time.
- Place peeled oranges and remaining ingredients, including the water the date was soa into a blender.
- Blend on high until smooth and frothy. It will be a bit icy.
- Drink while still slushy, or store in the ridge in airtight container and serve cold.
- You can also pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
ORANGES: Any sweet navel orange will taste great in this recipe. I like cara cara or valencia oranges best. You can also use 4 tangerines in place of the 3 oranges. They are easy to peel, no need to use a knife.
YOGURT: I use kite hill almond yogurt. Any yogurt you regularly buy/use will work well.
PINEAPPLE: you can sub 1/2 frozen banana for a similar sweetness.
DATE: Medjool dates are best when purchased with the pits still in. They will be more moist and easier to blend. Take the pit out and soak for about 5 minutes, then add both the date and the water to the blender. If your date is dry, you will need to soak for longer, or use HOT water to soften more quickly.
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GREENER CHEF Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board - Lifetime Replacement Cutting Boards for Kitchen - 18 x 12.5 Inch - Organic Wood Butcher Block and Wooden Carving Board for Meat and Chopping Vegetables
Global 8" Chef's Knife
13-piece Measuring Cups and Spoons Set, 18/8 Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Ergonomic Handle with Ring Connector
Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Black
Amount Per Serving Calories 221Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 7mgSodium 86mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 6gSugar 31gProtein 8g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.