The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Healthy Orange Julius

As a kid, I clearly remember the Orange Julius stand in the Eastfield Mall. (Springfield, Mass…represent!)

The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

If we were lucky, we’d get to order one of the creamy, sweet, frosty drinks as we strolled around the shops.

But before we dive into the recipe – which I really wanted to call Faux-range Julius – it dawned on me that you might not be acquainted with this frozen drink.

An Orange Julius is a cross between a milkshake, a smoothie, and juice. Apparently, the concoction was dreamed up in the 1920s (!) by one Julius Freed, and over the years, it spread across the nation from its humble California beginnings.

(I always say the great part about inventing something is you often get to name it after yourself.)

Orange Julius was even the official drink of the New York World’s Fair in 1964.

And the logo eventually became this in the 1980s because the drink was “devilishly good.”

The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Turns out, one look at the ingredients and you’ll know that they’re pretty bad. How fitting.

According to OrangeJulius.com, a large serving (790 mL or about 28 ounces) has 106 grams carbohydrate (101 grams sugar), 0 grams fat, and 0 grams protein.

Let me repeat: absolutely no protein, no fat, and over 100 grams of sugar. That’s 25 teaspoons in case you’re keeping track.

And the ingredients?

The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Now, I don’t think many of my faithful readers are slurping down Orange Juliuses (Julii?) on the daily, but it’s a sobering look at the state of supposedly “healthy” drinks and other fast food / fake food menu items. Yikes.

So where does this recipe come in?

Frankly, I have to admit that I haven’t even thought of an Orange Julius in years.

I’d been monkeying around in the kitchen, squeezing the juice out of some citrus that I cut up for a photo shoot. My mind started to drift – as often it does when I’m chopping and cutting up produce.

 

In a pretty standard game of word associations, I went from oranges to Orange Julius. And then I remember how crappy they are for you even though they may taste good.

How could I replicate the flavors and texture, but make it hella more nutritious?

Well, first, I used whole oranges. (Skin peeled off, obviously.) That right there bumped up the fiber. I happened to have blood oranges left over from a photo shoot. Use whatever oranges are available to you. And instead of adding sugar – in four forms – I used a frozen banana instead.

I also left out the dairy.

The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Then, I added much-needed protein via protein powder…though you could certainly swap it for grass-fed collagen. For healthy fats, I used a single pastured egg.

If you have a dodgy immune system or can’t find pastured eggs, swap it out for about 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk.

Then I tossed it all in the Vitamix – or use whatever powerful blender you have – to whiz it all up.

(Side note: I often get asked if I like my Vitamix. The short answer is yes. I’ve had the same machine since 2010 – actually it predates this whole website – and has endured nearly daily use with excellent performance. There was one time we had to order a new pitcher because someone left a spoon inside and it got blended, cracking the plastic. Other than that, it’s been bulletproof.)

The end result – served in my old standby Mason jar and metal straw – was creamy, cold, orange-y, and had that oh-so-key hint of vanilla.

Does it taste 100% exactly like the sugary original that’s stuffed with gross stuff? Nah. Use your imagination just a wee bit and you’ll be rewarded.

Now, one word about drinking your calories like this. (Here comes bad cop nutritionist Steph.)

If you’re trying to fix things like insulin resistance, lose a significant amount of body fat, get appetite / satiety signals back on track, or otherwise improve your relationship with food, I really recommend not drinking your calories.

However, if you’re doing well, feeling good, and have a healthy body composition, there’s a bit more latitude for the occasional smoothie. I still recommend whole blended fruits and veggies in smoothies because they increase the fiber content versus strained juice with the pulp discarded.

The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Of course, there are multiple ways to modify this recipe to suit your needs, so have fun with it!

The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie Recipe

Course: Drink
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian, Whole30
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 153 kcal
Author: Steph Gaudreau

 

Print

Ingredients

  • 2 large oranges peeled
  • 1 banana frozen
  • 1 heaping tbsp grass-fed collagen* or 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 raw pastured egg optional (sub: 1/4 cup coconut milk)

Instructions

  1. Load all the ingredients into a powerful blender like a Vitamix.
  2. Blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

*I recommend Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Collagen.

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 33mg1%
Potassium 478mg14%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 450IU9%
Vitamin C 74.8mg91%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin this Healthy Orange Julius Recipe for later!

The classic Orange Julius, a frosty, creamy drink just got a totally healthy makeover with added protein, whole fruits, and healthy fat. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

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15 Responses

  1. This is great! I’m going to try it. I have made my own faux-range strawberry julius recipe by happy accident one day. You should try it! 1 whole orange (peeled of course), 75g strawberries (I’m a stickler for having them turn out the same every time :P) 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 drop of orange essential oil (not necessary, but delicious) and if your oranges are on the dry or small side, about 2-3 tbsp water. I don’t add in sweetener but it wouldn’t hurt to throw in 1 tsp maple syrup, blend and enjoy. It is the closest I have ever tasted to a julius! Tell me you will try it! You won’t be disappointed 😉

  2. I’m new to Paleo (first week) and all I read tells me no high sugar fruit, etc. Any chance you can post the net carbs etc in this drink?

    1. Where are you reading that? Fruit isn’t bad.

      I’m sorry but I do not provide macro or calorie counts. If you must know, you can try using something like MyFitnessPal. Better yet, enjoy a little bit of fruit and go about your day without all the stress. Just focus on eating real food until you begin to master this way of eating.

  3. The first time I had an orange julius, I got to watch it being made. I was so surprised at the amount of sugar that was being poured into the blender! It was nuts. Couldn’t believe it. This was before the prepackaged experience and it was made while one watched.

  4. Today I made a smoothie with a small banana, some pineapple, and peeled tangerine. All total, it was 2 servings of fruit, which is what I eat for the day in fruit. I mixed in some sprouted, unsweetened almond milk (Malk brand, which is awesome to have in a pinch), sprinkled in some cinnamon, and added about 1/3 tspn of fresh grated ginger. I blended this together and it tasted like an Orange Julius. Don’t ask me how, since I had all those extra ingredients, but it did. The only thing that was missing from it was the egg. Next time I may try adding in 1 raw egg.

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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