My take on copycat recipes is this — if I want the real deal, I’ll go buy it. If I want to make it at home and eat it all the time, I have to find a way to make it healthier.

Thus began my quest for a copycat Orange Julius recipe. Turns out, my recipe is not just as good as the “real thing,” I think it’s actually better. This may be because I’m aware of the gross amounts of miles on the treadmill I’m saving myself by leaving out the juice concentrate and the added sugar.  But either way, it’s a pretty darn good recipe.

So what is an Orange Julius? If you’re not familiar, you’re in for a treat. An Orange Julius kind of tastes like a Creamsicle. It’s not as thick as as smoothie or as milky as a shake. It’s slightly frothy. Chances are, if you’ve ever been to a mall, you’ve walked right by the Orange Julius stand in the foodcourt.

The drink actually has some history. The original was created in Los Angeles the 1920s by Julius Freed. Freed owned an orange juice stand, but after years of slow sales, he decided to make a less acidic drink. People loved it. Customers would line up at his store and say, “Give me an orange, Julius.” Thus the drink and its name were born.

A Healthy Copycat of the famous Orange Julius Smoothie_2

A Healthy Copycat of the famous Orange Julius Smoothie

Makes 2 smoothies


  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or 2%, or skim)
  • 1 tsp quality vanilla extract
  • 9 Clementines, peeled and frozen 
  • 1  1/4 cup ice
  • 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Pour milk and vanilla in blender and pulse once or twice to mix. Add Clementines and pulse until fully combined.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until ice is crushed and the mixture has thickened a bit. If smoothie is too thick, add a splash of milk (or orange juice) and mix again.
  3. Pour and enjoy!

A Healthy Copycat of the famous Orange Julius Smoothie_4

ALSO TRY, Healthy peaches and cream smoothie recipe.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.