When I was younger, my mom used to take my brother and I to the mall for after school snacks: Orange Julius and Dairy Queen. They lived right next door to each other and it was the best after school treat there was…aside from homemade strawberry banana smoothies and nachos. I was a plane jane kinda kid and all I wanted was a vanilla cone–no dip, no sprinkles, just vanilla in a wafer cone. And my brother always wanted Orange Julius. I’d always ask for a taste. Sometimes we’d get lucky and my mom would make homemade Orange Julius shakes at home too. Man oh man, after school snacks are the best! Now it’s more about getting snacks and proper nutrition in when we can fit it into our busy adult schedules…adulting is hard. This Tangerine Creamsicle Protein smoothie will bring you back to Orange Julius days without the sugary, over-sweetened, dairy filled guilt. You’re welcome.
Tangerine Creamsicle Smoothie Inspiration
I don’t think I’ve had an Orange Julius in YEARS. And when I drink smoothies, rarely do I put so much sugary, processed juice. My go to smoothie: almond milk, spinach, frozen blueberries, almond butter, chocolate vegan protein. No added sugar, no fruit juices.
When a client came to me with a basket full of fresh citrus the other day, my first thought was “what can I make with all of these lemons and tangerines?!” Lemons are a little easier to think of recipes: savory citrus dishes, lemonade, lemon cookies, lemon bars. But the tangerines had me a little thrown. I didn’t want to waste the quality and they were so juicy and sweet. I let them sit on the counter for a few days to inspire some creative ideas. Then, as I was driving to the gym to get a quick Saturday morning workout in, I recalled the sweet citrusy taste of the Orange Julius. It was like an orange creamsicle popsicle with fruit popsicle outside and creamy vanilla ice cream inside. Although, I’d really like the ice cream, I settle for an creamsicle-inspired protein shake! And from the Orange Julius dream was born the Tangerine Creamsicle Protein Shake!
One of my top nutrition rules for myself is always eat FRESH WHOLE foods. Avoid packages as much as possible. Of course, there are some things that need to be purchased for my sanity (I’m not about to make my own almond milk and I applaud those who do). And when I do buy packaged items, I am sure to check the ingredients. As long as I know what those ingredients are and they are limited to about eight to ten ingredients, I think it is safe to eat. (If you need a little inspiration on nutrition goals, I love Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules.)
Tangerine juice: Fresh squeezed juice is the best of the best. However, if you don’t have a plethora of tangerines or oranges hanging around in your house (which I highly recommend you do have), try to find the freshest, least processed juice at the store.
Almond milk: I am not strict to any diet but I do like to pull inspiration from all around. I have a sensitive stomach to dairy, whey, and gluten so I use a lot of vegan and paleo products. Option to use regular milk for this recipe as well.
Vanilla protein powder: As mentioned above, although not truly vegan, I do use vegan products for my sensitive stomach. Vegan vanilla protein powder is tasty and easy on the tummy. Option to use whey or other preferred vanilla protein here.
Tangerine Creamsicle Protein Smoothie (Vegan)
As with most of my recipes, have fun with it and be inspired to make your own flavors! Maybe a strawberries and cream or blueberries and cream inspires you! But if you’re looking for the fond flavor memories of Orange Julius, give this smoothie a try.
- 1/2c (4oz) fresh tangerine juice (or quality store bought juice)
- 1/2 tangerine (seeded)
- 1c (8oz) almond milk
- 1 medium frozen banana
- 2tbsp vanilla flavor protein powder
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!