If you love the tangy, sweet taste of creamy, frosty orange smoothies that are often quite popular in mall food courts but aren’t crazy about the fact that these smoothies are typically a total sugar bomb, this lightened-up version is worth a try! This dairy free orange smoothie is packed with fruity flavor and made with fresh orange zest, vanilla, Trop50 juice beverage ice cubes, creamy coconut milk and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Thank you so much to Trop50 for sponsoring this post!
When I think of frosty, creamy orange smoothies, I think of Christmas morning. I think of cozy flannel pajamas, digging through over-stuffed stockings and pulling off a sticky-sweet piece of monkey bread to eat. My mom always served a similar breakfast on Christmas morning when we were growing up and up until my sister and I were able to drink and mimosas took over, a sweet and frothy orange smoothie could always be found at our place at the table. I loved, no wait, LOVE orange smoothies, but not the kind you might usually make at home with bananas and other fruits. We’re talking the not-so-good for you orange smoothies you find in mall food courts. (You know, the ones that area total sugar bomb… but so ridiculously delicious!?) Since my mom’s version of these popular orange smoothies has always been synonymous with Christmas (and Easter) morning in my eyes, something about them always feels nostalgic and special.
The last time I tried my hand at replicating one of these orange smoothies was on Easter morning back in April of this year. Since we stayed in Charlotte for Easter and didn’t have big plans for the day, I wanted to do something that felt a little special for our family and whipping up an at-home version of a mall food court smoothie for us to enjoy sounded like the perfect simple solution, especially since I know Ryan shares my love for the creamy citrus drink. I initially made the drink with orange juice concentrate, milk, sugar, ice and vanilla because I wasn’t feeling too creative (and that’s what Google told me to do!) but I knew in the back of my mind there had to be an easy way to revamp this classic drink and make it less of a sugar overload.
I wanted to reduce the sugar in the drink but keep it tangy, flavorful and creamy. The traditional mall food court smoothies are made with up to 1/2 cup of refined sugar in them. So how was I going to get around the sugar but made sure the drink still tasted sweet? The first thought I had for naturally sweetening the smoothie was to use a frozen banana but as someone who has been making smoothies for years, I know that the minute a frozen banana is added to the mix, it totally takes over the flavor of the smoothie, so that option was out. I wanted the orange flavor to reign supreme!
The first step to making my reduced-sugar orange smoothie involved swapping the orange juice concentrate base of the recipe for frozen ice cubes that I made with Trop50. Trop50 is made with real, fresh oranges and no artificial sweeteners. It has 50 percent less sugar and one 8-ounce serving is packed with a day’s worth of vitamin C and is a great source of potassium.
Once I placed the Trop50 ice cubes into the blender, I added one peeled frozen orange and its zest, full-fat coconut milk (for extra creaminess) unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a splash of vanilla extract (important!) before blending everything together. As it turns out, the sweetness from a freshly peeled orange and the Trop50 ice cubes made this dairy-free orange smoothie plenty sweet on its own… no additional sugar necessary!
The end result was a perfectly frothy, lightly sweet and incredibly delicious dairy-free orange smoothie… Christmas morning in a cupPrint
This dairy-free orange smoothie is packed with fruity flavor and made with fresh orange zest, vanilla, Trop50 ice cubes, creamy coconut milk and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- 6 frozen Trop50 ice cubes (approximately 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 orange, peeled (with any seeds removed) + zest
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients into a high-powdered blender.
- Blend and enjoy!
This recipe freezes very well into popsicles. Just pour the mix into popsicle molds, freeze and enjoy for a citrusy treat!
If you prefer a creamier almost milkshake-like drink, swap the almond milk for additional coconut milk.
If you do not like any pulp in your smoothies, you may omit the frozen orange from the recipe but may need to slightly reduce the amount of almond milk to keep the smoothie relatively thick.
Question of the Day
Is there a certain beverage or food you associate with a favorite holiday?