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:
|Orange Julius Sweetener: High fructose corn syrup, water, citric acid, sodium benzoate.|
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.
|This is part of Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Simple Lives Thursday.|