July 31, 2014 at 1:00 am

Vegan Strawberry Julius is still sweet, low in calories

Vegan Strawberry Orange Julius. (Coco Morante)

On many a lucky afternoon, my favorite babysitter would make us a big batch of Orange Julius her version of the well-known mall concoction combining orange juice, milk, ice cubes, an egg white, and a dash of vanilla in our trusty Osterizer blender. I loved the creamy, frothy treat it was like an orange creamsicle in smoothie form.

Here, Ive given the Julius a vegan update. Instead of egg whites, youll use ground flax to give the smoothie a slightly thickened consistency. The recipe contains a lot less sweetener than most copy-cat versions youll find online.

Dont worry, this Strawberry Orange Julius is still plenty indulgent agave syrup makes things nice and sweet, and a dash of orange extract dials up the flavor without extra calories.

Vegan Strawberry Orange Julius

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup crushed ice
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon orange extract (see note)
cup almond milk
cup orange juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend for about 1 minute on high speed, stirring once during blending if necessary, until the beverage is creamy and frothy. Serves 2.

Notes

■If you cant find orange extract (or dont want to buy it just for this recipe), you can also use a half-teaspoon of orange zest, grated with a fine microplane.

■For an even richer, creamier smoothie (or a base for vegan creamsicle pops), substitute coconut cream for the almond milk.

Per serving: 167 calories; 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat; 22 percent calories from fat); 33 g carbohydrates; 28 g sugar; 0 mg cholesterol; 50 mg sodium; 2 g protein; 4 g fiber.