Do you remember the days of wandering the mall with friends, eating at the food court and catching a movie in the late afternoon to prolong your independence from your parents? I know it wasn’t just me.
Now, I hate stepping foot in the mall without a plan of action to get me in and out in the shortest amount of time necessary. I think fondly back on days of meandering with an Orange Julius in hand- creamy, frothy orange juice blended with milk, vanilla, powdered sugar, and ice- the perfect sugar buzz to keep me alert while navigating Forever 21.
- 1 navel orange
- 1 and ½ frozen bananas
- ½ cup vanilla yogurt
- ¼ cup soy milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon orange zest
- 4 ice cubes
- 1 cup packed spinach
- Optional: granola for garnish
- Cut the skin and the pith (white part under the skin) off of a navel orange. Save the skin and remove some orange zest. Picking a good juicy orange is vital to this recipe!
- In a blender, combine orange, frozen banana, yogurt, milk, vanilla, orange zest, ice and spinach. Blend until smooth and frothy.
- Taste and add a tablespoon of honey if necessary - I usually need to do this if the orange I used was not juicy and sweet.
- Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with an orange wedge and top with granola for crunch if desired.
This recipe was created out of a recent craving for that same sweet and frothy drink, but without all the sugar. Using a whole orange and some frozen banana adds texture (fiber!), and adding yogurt and spinach bulk up the nutrition of this smoothie so you can treat it as a real-food snack instead of a mall treat. Especially if you add some seedy & nutty granola on top.
Though I can’t remember the last time I had an Orange Julius (RIP to the original stand-alone restaurants in food courts, it looks like they are now merged with Dairy Queen), this healthy version ends up being more satisfying and filling: a win-win in my book.
Do you have a food that brings you back to food court memories? Maybe bourbon chicken samples, or Greek chicken gyros? Yum.