Spring is a wonderful time of year. Weather-wise, you can’t ask for more: sunny days, a refreshing light breeze, the smell of flowers in the air, and beautiful butterflies fluttering around. It really can’t get better than this. On days like this, I feel the urge to get outdoors and enjoy nature. For me, this means walking or hiking briskly outside, and stopping every now and then to observe bright flowers and marvel. Today, I went for such a walk, and came back both refreshed and still hungry to be more active. So, I decided to do a 10 minute intense strength training workout. I didn’t do it outside (I really should have – maybe I can find a way to do pull ups on a tree?), but I still enjoyed the burst of energy in the mid-afternoon.
A walk and workout like this need a healthy replenishing and refreshing drink! Since we are at the tail end of citrus season, we have a box of oranges chillin’ on the floor in our kitchen. Well, technically, it’s never actually citrus season in Virginia, because we have no citrus trees growing at any time of year, but I make exceptions to my ‘buying local’ mantra for things like citrus and tropical fruits. I immediately thought of the famous orange julius recipe, usually made with milk, cold orange juice, sugar and vanilla extract. This mixture was actually popularized by the fruit chain store by the same name, Orange Julius, which started in the 1920s. Back then, I bet they used real food ingredients like whole milk and fresh oranges, but nowadays, all kinds of refined sugars, artificial flavors and chemicals lurk in these smoothie joints. Here’s the ingredient list for their classic orange julius … nothing real about modified whey solids, artificial flavors, corn syrup solids, sodium benzoate, etc. This is why I avoid these smoothie places at all costs, and always make my own juices and smoothies at home — especially because it just takes 5 minutes (max!) to whirl everything in your blender!
Today, I wanted to experiment with making a homemade orange julius. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’m never happy keeping the recipe as is, since I’m always looking for ways to make it healthier and add my own creative touch. Same with this recipe — instead of the now-recognized-as-toxic white sugar, I used local raw honey (awesome for naturally combating spring allergies, by the way!). I also used fresh oranges — with the pulp – instead of refined, pasteurized and preserved orange juice sold in cartons. For milk, I used fresh raw milk that I picked up from the farmer yesterday (check this post on my raw milk conversion). If you don’t have access to raw milk, you can use whole unhonogenized organic milk (not ultrapasterized), or for a dairy-free version, just use a homemade nut milk (almond milk is just one option).
Since I like to be different, I thought to add fresh ginger in there and two heaping tablespoons of chia seeds!
Ginger is a superduperfood (like the new buzz word I created?): certain studies have found its anti-inflammatory properties to be useful in inhibiting cancer growth, alleviating gastrointestinal distress and nausea, soothing sore muscles, and healing sore throats. The little spicy kick they give this otherwise sweet, lightly zesty and creamy drink is a nice touch too. Chia seeds don’t have a taste, so I add them liberally to parfaits, smoothies and even … water! They’re chock-full of good stuff — I outline some of their benefits in this post.
As I mention in the recipe below, you can also add a pastured egg or egg yolk to the mixture (though I didn’t add one this time), for extra protein after a taxing workout. Either way, it’s really a refreshing and nutritious drink that is suitable as a post-workout recovery drink or just to sip on to add some zest to an otherwise beautiful spring day. And best of all — it takes just 5 minutes to put together! Enjoy!
Raw Milk Orange Julius with Ginger & Chia Seeds
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: none
Keywords: raw blender beverage snack gluten-free low-sodium soy-free vegetarian vegan orange raw milk chia seeds ginger winter fall spring
- 2 fresh navel oranges, peeled (don’t bother de-veining to include the healthy pulp)
- 1 cup fresh raw milk from grass-fed cows (If no raw milk on hand, you can use whole unhomogenized organic milk, or for a dairy-free option, use a homemade nut milk like almond milk)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1-2 tablespoons raw honey (preferably from a local source)
- 1 tablespoon fair trade vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
- 2 tablespoons raw chia seeds
- Optional: You may choose to add 1 or 2 pastured egg yolks for extra protein.
(1) Peel and slice 2 navel oranges, and chop fresh ginger.
(2) In a blender, add the chopped oranges, 2 tablespoons chopped ginger, 1 cup raw milk or dairy-free homemade nut milk of choice, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons raw honey, 2 tablespoons chia seeds and 1/2 cup of ice cubs, and blend for 30 seconds to crush ice, and liquefy. If you wish, add the egg yolks and blend to incorporate.
(3) Drink and be merry!
* This post has been shared on Whole New Mom’s Allergy Free Wednesday, The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday and Real Food Freak’s Freaky Friday.