You guys, you are in for a treat today! Just for you, I’ve plucked the beloved Orange Julius straight out of my childhood memories, veganized it, and added strawberries for a summery twist. I’m super pleased with this version, and I think you’ll love it too.
I was first introduced to the Orange Julius by Jeanette, a.k.a. the best babysitter of all time. She taught me and my brother to speak Pig Latin, took us to the park for rollerblading and grilled cheese sandwiches, and even managed to make chores fun — after folding the laundry, we’d stack it up on a beach towel and sit on the back. She'd pull us around the house at warp speed, delivering clothes to each bedroom.
Once we were wiped out from a crazy afternoon of Laundry Express, Jeanette would make us a big batch of Orange Julius, combining orange juice, milk, ice cubes, an egg white, and a dash of vanilla in our trusty Osterizer blender. I loved the creamy, frothy concoction — it was like an orange creamsicle in smoothie form.
Here, I’ve given the Julius a vegan update. Instead of egg whites, you’ll use ground flax to give the smoothie a slightly thickened consistency. The recipe contains a lot less sweetener than most copy-cat versions you’ll find online, which often call for pre-sugared sliced frozen strawberries, orange juice concentrate, and up to a quarter cup of sugar.
Don’t worry, this Strawberry Orange Julius is still plenty indulgent — agave syrup makes things nice and sweet, and a dash of orange extract dials up the orange flavor without extra calories.
Vegan Strawberry Orange Julius
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup crushed ice
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup orange juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend for about 1 minute on high speed, stirring once during blending if necessary, until the beverage is creamy and frothy.
If you can’t find orange extract (or don’t want to buy it just for this recipe), you can also use a half-teaspoon of orange zest, grated with a fine microplane.
For an even richer, creamier smoothie (or a base for vegan creamsicle pops), substitute coconut cream for the almond milk.