Strawberry Orange Julius

I had a craving for that dreamcicle-like flavor of an Orange Julius from my childhood. [Apparently Orange Julius is still around, but I haven't seen one in a long time. Then again I don't go to shopping malls often.] I'm not sure what is so magical about the orange-vanilla combination, but this smoothie-of-a-bygone-era certainly left an impact on my childhood. And how could it not, when it's loaded with so many healthful ingredients?

Here are the ingredients of the Original Orange Julius from the company's website:

Flavor Enhancer: Modified Whey Solids, Maltodextrin, Egg White Solids, Sugar, Karaya Gum, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Corn Syrup Solids, Guar Gum, Modified Food Starch, Dipotassium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Standardized with Dextrose.
Orange Juice
Orange Julius Sweetener:  High fructose corn syrup, water, citric acid, sodium benzoate.

Ew. Gross.

So how about a healthy, made at home version? Can it be done? Yes, it can.

I started with this recipe. In an attempt to get even more vitamin C into our bodies (we were fighting colds at the time), I decided to make a strawberry version. I used whole strawberries - tops and all - that I picked and froze myself. Some blenders might not be able to handle the whole frozen strawberries, in which case it would be fine to use sliced ones. If they are in season, you're welcome to use fresh ones, but your smoothie won't be quite as thick and creamy. (I like a smoothie that requires a spoon, if you know what I mean.)

Note: I'm not a huge fan of juice as a regular part of the diet, but I do think that freshly squeezed juice has its place in a balanced diet. Fresh juice from organic oranges would be ideal here, but in this busy and exhausted season of my pregnant life, last time I made this I decided to compromise and buy some organic orange juice. It is important to buy organic juice, because if the fruit is sprayed with pesticides the juice has a much higher concentration of them than if you were just eating fruit. Also, orange juice apparently has some nasty chemicals designed to keep the flavor consistent no matter what season or where it's coming from. (They don't put them on the label because somewhere down the line before being chemically altered, they came from oranges. Supposedly.) I'm hoping they leave those out of the organic stuff...

Actually Good-for-You Strawberry Orange Julius

1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, or organic store-bought orange juice
1 cup of frozen strawberries
3/4 c. plain yogurt
1/2 t. vanilla
raw milk, to thin to desired consistency
honey to taste (perhaps about a teaspoon)

A few hours (or days) before you want to make your smoothie, freeze 1/2 cup of the orange juice in an ice cube tray.

Combine all ingredients in the blender, using the frozen juice cubes and the remaining 1/2 c. of orange juice. Taste and add more honey or vanilla if you want. Mmmmm good.

The toddler likes it too...and check out that bedhead!

I recommend Tilty Sippy Cups with Smoothie lids for mess-free smoothie enjoyment!

This is part of Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. Love your addition of strawberries! Do you mean you keep the green tops on and blend those too? I'm all for adding more of the whole fruit in smoothies!

    1. Yep, I left the green tops right on there! I think I learned that trick from Katie @ kitchenstewardship.com

  2. Mmm, my dad used to make us his version of an orange julius on special mornings, with frozen OJ concentrate, a bunch of bananas and vanilla yogurt, I think... I actually had a hankerin' for one a few days ago and was wondering how I could make one!

  3. This looks wonderful and nourishing and perfect for pregnancy cravings. Would you mind posting it to my pregnancy food carnival, superfood sundays?



  4. I would like to get in touch with you but can't find an email address. Can you please email me ASAP at jill@modernalternativekitchen.com? Thanks so much!