Happy Summer friends! We are soaking up the sun and keeping cool with our favorite smoothie on repeat, all summer long. Before I share the recipe, I’ll give you a bit of the backstory on why I consider myself an Orange Julius connoisseur! 😉 As a child, I could not wait to grow up and get a job (true story). I’ve had a passion for making money for as long as I can remember…which I probably shouldn’t admit publicly. Actually, I’m not entirely certain that emulating Scrooge McDuck is such a bad thing, but either way, my money making ambition started at a young age and earned me the lovely nickname “Greedy Guts.”
Which, just so you know (Dad!), I find a tad bit rude and hopefully completely untrue.
As a little girl, I was desperate to earn a living and made a bargain with my old man in order to do so. Each night after a long day of work, my pops would sit in his chair and relax. My job was to yank and pull with all my might until I finally pried off his cowboy boots. I would then proceed to massage his tired toes for a solid 10 minutes. I earned one quarter each evening for this
horrific honorable task and to anyone who has never seen my Dad’s feet, trust me when I tell you that I was grossly underpaid. (Who’s greedy now?!).
I loved working for my grandparents in their home and yard, cleaning house for a neighbor, etc…but I wanted a REAL job. Unfortunately, the only opportunity I could find (for a kid under the age of 16) was at the mall food court, where I spent most my days washing dishes at Orange Julius. I also learned to make a mean smoothie, bomb Oreo Blizzards, and convinced most of my friends to work there too!
Now here’s the deal: The food court Orange Julius has got nothing on my mama’s homemade recipe. Growing up, we had homemade Orange Julius with our Christmas brunch every single year. I grew up LOVING this special drink and will always associate it with Christmas time. However, it is cool, fruity, and refreshing, and my kids favorite thing to drink all year round. We mostly make it for Saturday morning brunch (a tradition at our house), but with the crazy hot weather these days, we are drinking it on repeat all Summer long.Disclaimer: This IS NOT one of those healthy smoothies. It is made to taste delicious, bottom line. I never sneak in greens or omit sugar. It has always been a sweet dessert-y type beverage in my mind and that is how it will remain. The recipe I’m sharing with you is a combo from my vast experience behind the food court counters (I’m being super sarcastic FYI) and my own mama’s recipe. It is simple, quick, inexpensive, and pretty much the best thing ever. We make the original, or add strawberries for a twist now and again.
Best Ever Orange Julius
- 1 12 ounce can frozen orange juice
- 1 can water
- 1 can milk (or milk substitute)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 12-24 ice cubs
- Optional: 1 cup of strawberries
- Optional: 1 bannana
Combine all ingredients (except ice) in a blender and mix til combined. Add ice to desired consistency and blend until JUST mixed, do not over blend. It should be frothy, but a with nice little bits of ice. Enjoy!