Homemade Orange Julius

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Orange Julius

Ah, the classic mall favorite. As a kid, I would beg my parents for an Orange Julius whenever we went to the mall. I mean, how can you resist the bright counters lined with rows of fake oranges? Or the teenagers standing ready to blend you a delightfully creamy beverage?

Okay, I haven’t had a real Orange Julius in years (they have egg white solids, milk, and lots of processed sugars), but I remember there being something unique about the Orange Julius. It’s so much more than a orange smoothie; the creamy, orangey, frothiness is almost magical. And, it’s very difficult to replicate (orange juice + ice cubes just doesn’t cut it). To make our version as authentically creamy as possible, we’re using a few clever ingredients: dates and vanilla to give it creaminess, and orange juice concentrate with almond milk for the perfect frothy orangeyness (yes, orangeyness is totally a word).

Makes about 4 (8 oz) servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 large medjool dates or 4 smaller dates
  • 5-6 ice cubes

This recipe is so simple it doesn’t even need our traditional “steps” – simply add everything to a blender and blend until the ice is completely incorporated and no date pieces remain. A high-powered blender like a Vitamix will yield better results. A word of caution, however: make sure your dates are pitted. I made that mistake on the first Orange Julius experiment and my Vitamix wasn’t too happy with me.

After 30-60 seconds, this drink becomes incredibly frothy, as you can see in the picture below. It doesn’t keep well, though, the icy frothiness dissolves after sitting for 15 minutes, so plan on drinking soon after you make it.

Variation: Use frozen strawberries in place of some/all of the ice cubes for a strawberry Orange Julius.

We’re done already? I wish I had more steps for you, but that’s it! This is one of the easiest recipes to whip up in under 2 minutes with only simple ingredients you (probably) already have on hand. Enjoy!

Orange Julius Froth

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 Homemade Orange Julius

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13 Comments

  1. Love it! When I was growing up, my folks would take us for an Orange Julius. This will demolish the craving for something sweet, without all the powdered sugar. And I totally agree: Orangeyness is a word. Thanks for this recipe.

  2. Love it. Just PINNED it too!

  3. Caithlin Meave says:

    I wonder what would happen if you swapped coconut milk for the almond milk?…. Yum

  4. I’ve never heard of an orange Julius, but this definitely sounds yummy!

  5. hi, i read you from France, and i find your blog great and amazing…
    can you tell me more about orange juice concentrate…In france it may be a orange syrup, but this is full of sugar so i ‘m not sure you talk about the same thing….Sorry for my english
    thanks for your answer

    • Hi, that’s a good question. Basically juice concentrates are when the fresh juice has the water evaporated and you’re left with a much more concentrated juice that’s typically frozen. Then, you add fresh water to reconstitute. It’s not the greatest product in terms of nutrition, but it is just oranges. They must have something similar in France, though it may be known as something else.

  6. Wendy Burns says:

    Wow!! is all I can say!!!! Wow! That brings back memories!!!! That’s the first time I have ever purchased dates. After we bought them We tried them in the car…..way too sweet for us to eat….we hoped they would be better in the smoothie…..AWESOME!!! Now, I guess I’ll just have to make more smoothies to use up the dates!! Costco sells a big container of them!!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

    • Your first time using dates?! Wow, that’s very cool. I get one of those Costco containers of dates almost every single week, haha. They’re so versatile and actually really healthy. My favorite thing to do is just stuff them with peanut butter and eat them by themselves :p And I’m glad you liked the Orange Julius, too! :)

  7. This morning my baby girl woke up sick. This basically made us homebound. I decided to actually see what other recipes you have on your blog. Well Andrew, I have to say you ROCK!!! I can’t believe how much this tastes like Orange Julius. I haven’t had one in probably two decades, since my teenage years visiting the local mall. The dates didn’t completely mix in, but I blame that on my dinky blender. Next time I’m going to blend them with the almond milk first. I also cut back just a bit on everything so I would use only half the container of orange juice concentrate or 6 oz. She’s never had Orange Julius to compare, but baby girl loved it too.

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