Holy cow holy cow holy cow.
I have had a long love affair with Orange Julius’s. It all started when my Grandma would take my sister and me school clothes shopping at THE MALL. We lived 2 hours from the nearest mall and it felt like magic every time we went. I don’t remember my first one but I remember the frothy orange drink and its delicious power over me. I moved on and grew up – sadly without my beloved Julius. Even before my diet makeover I had a hard time ingesting that much sugar in a drink (I could eat like 2 packs of M&Ms instead!). The problem was I knew what went into making that glorious flavor – and it wasn’t liquid sunshine (which is calorie-free you know).
Now? Problem solved! Oh, is it ever. Looking around the web for days trying to find a vegan/paleo orange creamsicle recipe yielded too many variations. Lots of the recipes used orange juice (too much sugar) and bananas (which are actually very hard frozen and I didn’t think would give me that soft sorbet fruit popsicle texture). So I decided to wing it with the recipe using the leftover coconut milk I had had in the freezer. Lucky you, this tastes so close to the real thing you have to taste for yourself. I wanted to drink it, but I abstained and made the popsicles. Good thing I have more coconut milk…
Orange Julius Creamsicle (makes ~10 pushpops)
- 10 oz. (1 1/4 cups) full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 8 oz. crushed pineapple in juice (I don’t think the way it’s cut will matter, rings/crushed/cubed)
- 1 med-lg orange, peeled
- 1″ piece of orange peel or 1/2+ tsp orange zest
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of pink salt
- Blend all ingredients until smooth. If you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix then the chunk of orange peel will puree, no need to zest.
- Pour the mixture over ice or blend with ice. For popsicles, pour into your popsicle molds. (I use a push-pop mold that is fantastic). You could also use toothpicks and an ice tray for old time’s sake.
- Freeze for at least 4+ hours. Enjoy!
These babies come in under 100 calories, 10 g of sugar and 13 g of carbs a pop. Compare that to a small Orange Julius with 210 calories, 50 g sugar and 52 g carbs!
Would you like to know what the super sweet secret ingredient to this unbelievable delicious and easy chocolate dessert is???
The crazy “weird” dried fruit that is kind of like a raisin… maybe you’ve had it in gross fruit cake or cereal as a kid, maybe you’ve never seen them but you don’t even know what you would do with them when you found them. Well relax and take note – dates are more common than you think, forgiving and as sweet as can be. Ever had a bacon wrapped date? You’re missing out. Dates do contain a lot of sugar but they also contain calcium and magnesium in a near perfect ratio (1:1), they have 1.5 g fiber, potassium, vitamin A and other minerals; that’s per date! When dates were tested for their antioxidant content, they scored 3 times higher than red plums. The recipe below can be used as a pie filling, push pop popsicle mold, eaten solo, or even as a parfait – layered with berries and Tru Whip.
Fudgesicle Filling (makes ~3 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups medjool dates (about 16), pitted and chopped (soak in water for easier blending)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup softened coconut butter
- 2-3 tsp coconut oil, melted
- heaping 1/3 cup raw organic cacao powder
- 1 1/3 cup purified water or leftover date water from soaking
- Soak dates in purified water for 30 minutes or more. Soak them longer if they aren’t very fresh and moist.
- Blend or use a tamper and Vitamix – all ingredients until it has a thick pudding-like consistency, add more water if necessary.
- Smooth into push pop popsicle molds. You will have plenty for 4 molds.
- Freeze for 1 day. Enjoy!
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (makes 4 large cups)
- 4 T cacao
- 4 T coconut oil, melted
- 2 T grade B maple syrup
Peanut Butter Filling:
- 3-4 T peanut butter (without oil added, I love Santa Cruz)
- Optional: 1/2 tsp raw honey for added sweetness
- Mix chocolate sauce in a bowl until smooth.
- In a small or large cupcake baking cup, pour enough chocolate sauce in it to cover the bottom. Placing your cups in cupcake pan will help keep the roundness. Freeze for 5-10 minutes until hardened.
- Dollop peanut butter onto frozen chocolate base. (Make as thick as you want, I used about 1 T per cup.)
- Top with chocolate sauce until peanut butter is covered and freeze for 5-10 minutes.
- Store in the freezer for a harder cup or the fridge for a softer one.
You really cannot go wrong with the mixture so feel free to use different molds and/or change the filling type or quantity. Any oil-free nut butter can be substituted (cashew, almond, walnut, coconut) – even non-nut butters like sunflower butter would be great. Eating 1/2 of 1 cup was plenty to satisfy my sweet tooth at that crucial moment. As we approach the end of the 4th sugar-free month I can gladly say I’ve had a few slips and the resulting headaches really keep me honest! With tricks like these up my sleeve I’m not afraid of being refined-sugar free forever.