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
- 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!