Homemade Healthy Orange Julius

Dairy-free and healthy, this homemade Orange Julius is a delicious and nutritious treat!

Whenever I visit a new spot, try a new restaurant, or whenever someone else cooks something and I get to eat it, I’m inspired to try out a new recipe or flavor combo. All of the things I ate at CR yesterday were things I’ve had before (the gf chocolate chip cookies are what dreams are made of), but two things inspired me: freshness (everything is made fresh on site) and summery/springtime meals. 

So this morning, when we were out of OJ, I remembered the bag of mandarins we had,


and made some healthy Orange Julius copycats to go with breakfast.

healthy Orange Julius copycat

(For the record, I made this to photograph later, long after breakfast. During the actual breakfast ritual, it’s survival of the fastest: I’m frantically pouring, scrambling, chopping and slurping coffee while I get our food ready to eat and morning snacks packed up.)

Healthy Orange Julius

For Liv’s, I blended two peeled oranges with a cup of whole milk, 1/2 cup of ice and drizzle of honey.

Mine was made with two peeled oranges, one cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup of ice, some fresh mint (for a fresh zing!), two tablespoons of hemp seeds (to add some protein/fat since almond milk is fairly low), and some honey.

Blended on high for about a minute, and it was a refreshing and lovely morning treat with our eggs and waffles.

healthy Orange Julius copycat

It TOTALLY reminded me of an Orange Julius, which I loved when I was a kiddo. I think it’s been years since I’ve had one, but I think I like the ingredients in this one better πŸ˜‰

healthy Orange Julius copycat

Homemade Orange Julius Recipe

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!


Homemade Healthy Orange Julius


  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • honey, to taste


  1. Blend all ingredients together at high speed for about one minute.

This homemade healthy Orange Julius is made with almond milk and healthy fats! Dairy-free Orange Julius is a delicious and nutritious treat. fitnessista.com | #homemadeorangejulius #dairyfree

Natural Air Freshener

Our entire house smells like orange and mint now, too!

Whenever I chop up fruit and/or herbs for photographs, I simmer them on the stove in some water (<– an idea I saw on Pinterest). The key is to make sure there is always water in the pot… otherwise the fragrance quickly becomes “charbroiled herbal death.” 

natural air freshener

Hope you have a wonderful day <3

See ya later on the Fashion page!



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  1. jodie on March 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Looks delish.

  2. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on March 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    refreshing! i definitely need to replenish my hemp seed stash.

  3. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on March 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    OH WOW! Orange Julius are my FAVORITE. can’t wait to try this out. perfect for this springy weather.

  4. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on March 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    What a great idea! I need one or more of these in my life pronto. Thanks for another great post.

  5. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on March 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    mmmmmmmm <3 sounds so refreshing!!!!! i get inspired like you when i go to new places and try new things πŸ˜€ <3

  6. Emily @ The Swallow Flies on March 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I worked at Orange Julius when I was in high school, and now looking back, I think it’s a bit suspect that they wouldn’t tell us what was in the product (at least the two random powders that we dumped in). I’m sure I was pumping my body full of disgustingness on a fairly regular basis. Ew.

    • Fitnessista on March 25, 2014 at 11:46 pm


  7. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on March 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    That is such a good idea. I could so use one of these right now!

  8. Rose on March 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    That looks amazing! I’m a bit confused about the simmering/stove thing, do you drink the water as a kind of tea? Or is it just for fragrance? πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 25, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      just for fragrance!

  9. Lisa H on March 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    You make me laugh…”charbroiled herbal death”..ha!!!

  10. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on March 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Looks yummy!

  11. Nicole on March 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I love that idea of orange and mint together. Sounds very refreshing. I really should use my blender more often.

  12. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on March 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Looks so good! Love trying new things.

  13. Melissa on March 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Yum! I have a bag of TJ’s mandarins and a new carton of almond milk at home that are just waiting to be transformed into this smoothie πŸ™‚ Might have to also try substituting a frozen banana in for the ice too πŸ™‚

  14. Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome on March 25, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I used to love Orange Julius! I haven’t had one in years and I’m sure this recipe is much healthier than the real one πŸ™‚

  15. Sarahf on March 25, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    This sounds so good! Oranges are one of the main products around here, so I’ll keep this in mind!

  16. Jackie on March 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I need to try this at home!

  17. Brynn on March 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Having an orange Julius was such a great when I was a kid. I love the orange flavor but love your addition of mint and hemp. I’m sure this one is a bit better in the health department, too!

  18. Sarah (Shh Fit Happens) on March 25, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Oh I LOVED orange Julius as a kid…I forgot about OJul …thanks for the reminder, I will have to try and make some fresh!

  19. kristina on March 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    just curious…how come Livi drinks a different milk? Does she not like almond milk?

    • Fitnessista on March 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      she’s always had cow’s dairy and the whole milk is an easy way for her to get in a good dose of fat and protein. she likes almond milk too, but i usually supplement mine with protein powder for smoothies. i’m not comfortable giving her protein powder

      • kristina on March 25, 2014 at 11:55 pm

        oh gotcha! =)

  20. Emily on March 25, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Looooved Orange Julius as a kid! I was always a fan of the pepperoni pizza hot dog.

    Once I let the water boil out when I was boiling beats. We had to throw out the pan. Beet stink only comes second to broccoli/brussel sprout/cabbage stink.

  21. Cristal on March 25, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Gina, This is a totally unrelated question. Did you read any pregnancy magazines when you were pregnant with Livi? I’m looking to get a subscription and was wondering if you had any faves. I’m looking for something that will give me exercise ideas, healthy living ideas, nutrition, etc. Thanks so much!

    • Fitnessista on March 25, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      i LOVED fit pregnancy. i didn’t subscribe, but should have– it’s a much better deal! πŸ™‚

      • Cristal on March 26, 2014 at 9:06 am

        That’s what I was leaning toward. Thanks so much!

  22. Shira on March 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Hey Gina, I wasn’t sure where to post this question that is unrelated to this post lol, I was looking at your Turbofire review, which I have, and wondering if you’ve tried and what you think of following the actual “schedule”? I have done the workouts here and there, but am looking for something fresh and to motivate me and I am considering doing the program as suggested. It seems like I should be supplementing strength training.. but I won’t have time for double work outs… I will still do yoga a few times a week. Would love to hear your thoughts on the set program!
    Also with a dairy allergy I never got to try an orange julius growing up! Maybe I should give your almond milk version a go πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 25, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      i don’t like the set schedule just for that reason: it skips out on strength, and it’s not realistic to do two-a-days.
      i would do 3 days of turbo fire, 2 days of easy steady state and strength, and one day of yoga. hope that helps a little!

  23. Jamie on March 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    We have so many oranges from our CSA box lately, and this is the perfect way to use them up!!! Especially when I have that little sweet tooth in the afternoons πŸ™‚

  24. Lucie@FitSwissChick on March 26, 2014 at 7:11 am

    This sounds like sucha refreshing drink. I never thought of mixing citrus fruits with almond milk – great idea!

  25. Erin on March 26, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I always make my 20 month old’s smoothies with whole milk too. She is a peanut and needs the extra fat.
    I made a similar smoothie this weekend and added a little bit of vanilla extract. Makes it taste kind of like a creamsicle!

  26. Grace on March 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    That looks really yummy! I love the adaptation for those of us who can’t have milk. And, after a week of traveling, I am looking forward to actual fruits and vegetables:)

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