[Eating Rainbow | Orange | Oranges]
Hopefully we won’t get into trouble for this.
Because we just crack ourselves up over how clever we are.
We were going to follow one of the many “copycat” recipes out there for the Original Orange Julius, but frozen orange juice concentrate is a little hard to find among the rainbow of fruit flavors at the farmers’ market. And don’t even get us started on powdered milk (?!).
So we tried to come up with something that would make the original dessert-disguised-as-a-drink suitable for us during our weeks of healthy Eating Rainbow, and this week’s orange. It took a few (delicious) attempts with varying ratios of different types of orange juices, dairy components, and other “stuff,” and we finally settled on a version that uses thick greek yogurt for creaminess, a touch of vanilla, and Mandarin oranges — that’s where the Orange Chu-lius comes in, get it?
The juice that came out of the Mandarin oranges was so much brighter in both color and flavor, as well as sweeter. We know that sugar is sugar no matter where it’s from, but it made us feel better to add less sweetener than we would have.
As for the health benefits of oranges and their freshly squozen juice? Vitamin C is a given, but oranges also have citrus flavanones, anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids, and a variety of polyphenols. In combination with vitamin C, these phytonutrients give oranges antioxidant properties. Specifically, the herperidin molecule is the most important flavanone in oranges, as it has been shown to lower high blood pressure as well as cholesterol.
Homemade Orange Julius
This recipe requires that you make fresh orange juice “ice cubes” the night before, so plan ahead!
Makes enough to fill 4 tall glasses
2 cups freshly squozen orange juice (see *note* below)
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make small orange juice “ice cubes” with 1 cup of the orange juice by filling compartments of an ice cube tray about 1/3 full. Freeze overnight, or even for about 2 hours to get them “slushy.”
Put frozen orange juice cubes, orange juice, and ice cubes in blender. Blend on high until ice cubes break down.
Add yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract. Blend on low speed to combine, then serve.
*note* It took 1 large orange, or 2 smaller Mandarins to make ½ cup of juice, so about 4 large oranges or 8 small ones (Yes! We can do math!)