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A Healthy Copycat of the famous Orange Julius Smoothie

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…

Cranberry, orange, almond smoothie

You may think of cranberries as a fruit option only between Thanksgiving and Christmas when popular dishes like cranberry sauce and cranberry baked goods prevail. But there are plenty of reasons to eat the fresh, ruby red fruit all year long. Cranberries have long been known to help reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections. They also contain important vitamins such as C, E, K, manganese, fiber, and loads of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to limit the damage caused by free radicals in your body, and help reduce signs of aging as well as helping to fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cranberries may also reduce bad cholesterol, help fight gum disease, and boost your immune system. Get the picture yet? Eat more cranberries! You can add fresh or dried cranberries to any number of salads, salsas, smoothies, or dishes, but eating them fresh delivers the most health benefits. This…

Sweet and spicy glazed bourbon carrots

These carrots are simple to make but pack tons of flavor. All you need is a stove top and five easy ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and you have yourself a delicious side dish for any holiday meal. I like to use baby carrots because they save time and always look pretty, but feel free to clean and chop whatever else you have in the fridge. The whole dish can be ready in under 30 minutes. You’ll love this glaze so much, you’ll start imagining what else you can smother in it — salmon? Chicken? Swedish meatballs? Ice cream? But you’ll have to make more, but there is no way you won’t want to lick the bowl clean. Make sure you choose a liquor you like, because the flavor combo comes across pretty strong — in a good way. The sweetness from the sugar and the heat from the cayenne…

Watermelon orange carrot ginger turmeric juice

Blending fresh watermelon with other ingredients makes for a refreshing, fruity beverage. This glowing orange recipe will keep you hydrated while helping you sneak in a few servings of fruits and veggies — what’s better than that? Plus, while researchers are still discovering the benefits of turmeric, it’s widely accepted that it has major benefits to your body and brain including such health heavy hitters as lowering risk of heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease. Five simple ingredients make this a truly delicious, super healthy recipe to whip up and enjoy any time of year. Watermelon Carrot Orange Ginger Turmeric Juice Serves 4 Ingredients 6 oranges About 1/4 of a large seedless watermelon 2 large carrots About 3 inches of fresh ginger root 1 tsp ground turmeric Directions Set juicer to citrus setting (or soft fruit setting), and juice the oranges and watermelon. Set juice to medium and juice…

Earthy orange, date power smoothie

The simplicity of smoothies is what makes them the most perfect anytime food ever; All you really need to do is throw a few fruits in the blender and you have something delicious. But sometimes it’s nice to mix up something that has a little more depth. This power smoothie has a great earthiness from the hemp seeds, dates, and cinnamon but the lemon and orange juices keep it light and bright. The carrots add a warm welcoming color, and the Greek yogurt will help keep you full for longer. Best yet, it’s not an overly sweet blend, so you’ll love making this one time and time again as a replacement for any meal of the day. Earthy Orange, Date power smoothie Ingredients 1 small banana 1 apple, roughly chopped 2 carrots, scrubbed 5.3-ounce Greek yogurt 1/4 cup fresh squeeze orange juice 1/2 of a lemon squeezed 1/4 cup filtered water 1…

Mandarin orange Jell-O pretzel salad is refreshing and fun

If you’re a fan of foods that are crunchy, salty and sweet, there’s no way you’re not going to love this mandarin orange Jell-O pretzel salad recipe. The irresistible dish makes many appearances at many Midwest potlucks, but it’s just as easy to make for a backyard weeknight dinner with family or neighbors. Strawberry is the most common fruit used on this classic dish, but the cool, citrusy combination of mandarin and pineapple makes for a delicious update. Notes: I probably make this dish about once a year — not because I don’t love it, but because I can’t be trusted. I will eat the whole pan by myself if left without supervision. It’s just THAT GOOD. In no way is this a healthy recipe, but I do what I can to cut out unnecessary calories if possible. That said, if you like a creamier salad, add a full three or four cups of whipped…

Springtime lime cookies

These lime cookies are buttery and bursting with tangy citrus flavor. They’ll remind you of a pleasant spring day. Enjoy alone or with tea or milk. Just enjoy them before some else does — These cookies never last long! Springtime lime cookies Ingredients Icing 1/3 cup confectioners sugar 2 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp butter, room temperature 1 tbsp lime zest Cookies 2 tbsp lime juice 1/3 cup milk 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 3/4 cup white sugar 1 egg 2 tbsp lime zest 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda Directions Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small cup, combine the milk and 2 tbsp of lime juice. Let stand for up to 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add 2 tbsp lime zest and the…

Carrot cake pancakes are perfect for spring brunch

If you’re a fan of carrot cake, these orange-hued silver-dollar pancakes will hit the spot. With all the spices of traditional carrot cake, and a sweet cream cheese drizzle on top, these tiny breakfast bites taste just like the real thing. Try them for an Easter brunch or even just to celebrate a bright, spring morning. *Note: Pancakes don’t cook that long, so it’s important to only have extremely fine pieces of carrots in the batter. Use the fine side of a cheese grater to get the right size texture. Carrot Cake Pancakes Serves about 4 Pancake Ingredients 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup light brown sugar 3/4 cup buttermilk (or substitute Greek yogurt) 1 tsp vegetable oil 2 eggs 2 tsp quality vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups carrots, finely grated 1/4 cup walnuts,…

Citrus, pistachio, pomegranate salad

This time of year, the citrus brought in from across the southern states is at its peak. And wow, is it good. It’s the perfect balance between tart and sweet, and it helps brings a bright pop of color and flavor to those of us living under grey winter skies. An orange at anytime is a pretty good snack, but sometimes you want something a little more special, or something fun you can share. This unique citrus salad checks both those boxes. Make it as a side dish to dinner or prepare a platter for your next party. Either way, it will be a big hit, and it will most certainly be something different. * Feel free to mix up the citrus. The salad works great with anything from tangerines, blood oranges or even limes. Citrus, pistachio, pomegranate salad Ingredients 2 grapefruits 2 oranges 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arils) 2 tbsp water 1…

The sweet heat of carrot coconut soup

The thing that Thai food gets just right is the balance of sweet and spicy. While the chili sauce raises the heat, the coconut cools it down. This soup takes notes from the Southeast Asian cuisine, but it’s completely accessible to everyday cooks. After becoming a huge fan of Carrot Ginger soup last year, I thought I’d expand my carrot cuisine, and try a different take — Carrot Coconut soup. While this soup would be good all year long, the colors and flavors make it perfect for fall. I served it with a gooey brie grilled cheese on multigrain bread and a smear of apricot jam. The consistency of this soup is perfect for dunking. Carrot Coconut Soup Serves about 4 Ingredients 1/4 butter 1 pound carrots, washed, chopped 1 large onion, chopped salt pepper 2 cups (1 can) vegetable broth, (chicken broth if non-vegetarian) 14 oz (1 can) coconut milk 3 tbsp…