Homemade Orange Refresher (Vegan, Sugar free)

Healthy Homemade Orange Julius Recipe (Vegan, Sugar Free)

Homemade Orange Refresher

A Healthy Version

Not only will this homemade orange refresher give you that sweet vanilla orange taste but it will save you calories, give you health benefits and it cuts out all the refined sugar.

Homemade Orange Refresher

Healthy Homemade Orange Julius Recipe (Vegan, Sugar Free)This recipe is based on Orange juice and you are very welcome to use a carton of shop bought orange juice, but bear in mind there will be very little nutrition left in the orange juice.  And orange juice in cartons has usually been stored for a very long time.  You may find this post interesting to read on the Secret Ingredient not in your orange juice carton.   If you use a carton of orange juice, this drink will be extremely quick to make. However, as I am all about promoting good health, I obviously recommend that you make your own orange juice.

You might be there for a fairly long time using your manual citrus Squeezer for this amount of orange juice, so I’d recommend you get hold of a cheap electric citrus juicer.  It will only take a couple of minute to make enough orange juice for this recipe and they are very quick to clean afterwards and don’t take up too much room in your kitchen.

There is actually another option if you don’t have a citrus juicer.  You can just blend your oranges straight in the blender.  I tried this option first and did use my Vitamix, so I can’t guarantee how smooth your drink will be if you don’t use a high powered blender.  If you are using a standard blender, try chopping your oranges small and blending them first before adding the other ingredients.  I still enjoyed the taste of this version but it actually took me longer to peel my oranges and remove all the pith than it did to juice the same number of oranges.

You can sweeten this drink with any healthy sweetener you like.  I added date syrup as it’s quite neutral tasting.  You can easily make your own date syrup too.  I also tried this recipe with maple syrup but didn’t like the taste. I thought it overpowered the oranges.  If you’re not vegan, you might want to try honey.

Health and Diet Inspiration: Don't eat anything your great great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food

Homemade Orange Refresher (Vegan, Sugar free)

Rating: 51

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Number of servings: 2

Homemade Orange Refresher (Vegan, Sugar free)

This homemade orange refresher recipe gives you that sweet vanilla orange taste but saves calories, gives you health benefits and cuts out refined sugar.


1 and a half Cups Orange Juice (Freshly Squeezed is healthier and tastes nicer)
½ Cup Almond Milk (Like this)
½ cup of Ice
½ teaspoon of Date Syrup (1 date, or use your own healthy sweetener to taste)
¼ teaspoon of Vanilla extract (or to taste) (Like this)
½ Tablespoon of Orange zest (Optional, especially for high speed blenders)
1 Cup Spinach, tightly packed or 2 cups loosely packed (or any other mild greens)


Blend the ingredients in the following order:

1. Blend the dry ingredients and liquid first for a short time

2. Blend the greens next for a short time (if using)

3. Blend the fruit and the rest of the ingredients until smooth (or as smooth as your blender will allow. High speed blenders may need 2 minutes for a Green Thickie, less powerful blenders may need a lot more, sometimes 5-10 minutes)

More tips:

Blending this way allows the dry ingredients to be blended for longest, it means the greens will fit in your blender and your fruit gets less blending so it doesn’t become too hot.

- Add more water if required to thin it out.

- Substitute any of the ingredients for whatever you already have.

- If your smoothie is too warm, you can cool it down in the fridge or freeze some of your ingredients before blending. You can also replace half of the liquids with ice. Add the ice at the end. It is better to add frozen ingredients at the end to cool the smoothie down.

How much should I drink to replace a meal?

- Only use a meal replacement if you’ve added the oats/quinoa.

- This Green Thickie serves 2 so you should DRINK HALF OF THIS RECIPE. But if you have higher calorie requirements you may need to drink more.

Suitable for Special Diets:

- Gluten free (Use GF Oats or Quinoa)

- Raw (Use raw oats/quinoa)

- Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, wheat free, soya free (don’t use soya milk or tofu),

- Salt free (don't add salt)

- Nut free (replace nuts with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. This doesn't include coconuts)

More information about making the perfect Green Thickie

If you are new to Green Thickies and have more questions about making the perfect green thickie, please read this guide on How to make a Green Thickie


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  1. Nice to see you back my friend, what a refreshing recipe :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Rebecca Hall says:

    Can you please tell me how many oranges I should use if I am not just getting the juice? I have a powerful blender and can just put the whole orange in. Thanks!

  3. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  4. Yes, sorry about that. I’ve added a link now. No it’s quite scary isn’t it the amount of junk in them. You never quite know what you’re eating unless you make it yourself.

  5. Just made it for my kids and they love it. I made a thickie for myself and love it as well. Thank you!!!!!!

  6. Thank you for the advice and recipes. I started drinking green smoothies and eat granola cereal. I don’t think I want a really thick drink and I can’t get my hubbie to drink something thick.

    We may have met by chance…but we become friends by choice.

    • That’s great you started drinking green smoothies. Thick drinks aren’t for everyone, I see it as more of a meal than a drink. I used to separate my food and my drinks but ran out of time after my baby was born. Green Thickies are a convenient way to get my calories and my nutrients in the same glass.

  7. I made this today and it was very easy and tastes pretty authentic. Instead of date syrup I used a pinch of stevia, and soymilk instead of coconut milk. Very delicious and refreshing start to the day!

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