This orange creamsicle drink always reminds me of summers in Washington. The sun is often elusive amidst a stampede of gray clouds that stubbornly loom in place for days – sometimes weeks – at a time.
When they finally lift, the grass is vibrant and blackberries are plentiful and Mount Rainier happily peeks its lofty peak out to say hello to the happy northwesterners. Hordes of tourists fall in love with the lush scenery and swear they'll never, ever leave (until the winter rains scare them back to whatever dry burrow they emerged from).
But on the gray summer days, my aunt would come in her mini-van and trek thirty minutes with us to the mall for some indoor play and my favorite drink in the whole world, Orange Julius. To me, it was like a little glimpse of the sun during those long stretches. I loved having that time with my cousins and my aunt's broad smile and flowery perfume that was fiercely reminiscent of her Hawaiian background. These were the times when I felt totally accepted and part of the family, part of something important.
I was a little bit crushed when Orange Julius finally closed up shop in our tiny mall. Icy drinks probably didn't have a big market in chilly Seattle. My aunt was a fantastic cook so when I asked if she could come up with a homemade version, she didn't disappoint. She got the original recipe out of a magazine, I believe, and slowly tweaked it to her own tastes over several iterations until we all agreed that it was the perfect orange creamsicle drink.
Our Family's Own Non-Dairy Orange Creamsicle Drink
- 6 oz . frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1/2 cup Silk soy milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 10-11 ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until well mixed.
I've seen simpler recipes out there that call for fewer ingredients (and less sugar…this recipe admittedly contains quite a lot of sugar), but this is the only one I've ever tasted that really gets it right.
I was using my trusty old Magic Bullet to blend this, until the motor gave out and I had to transfer everything into my regular blender. I guess my old Magic Bullet wasn't quite so trusty after all.
Aaaand it turns out that my other blender leaks. Yeesh! Time for me to update the kitchen appliances again. I have the best KitchenAid money can buy, a food processor that won't quit, a French press and an automatic coffeemaker that has my coffee ready for me before I even open my eyes in the morning…but it seems I can't blend up a drink without managing to spill half the contents all over the counter.
Anyway, I think that the Silk soy milk is really key here. Something about mixing orange juice and dairy always seemed weird to me, and my aunt's lactose intolerance happily came in handy in concocting the perfect orange creamsicle drink! We've been incorporating more soy milk into our diet at home lately because I like the taste of soy milk in my lattes so we end up having extra on-hand. I was paranoid about using it as a common ingredient for awhile because of rumors about a link between cancer and soy, but more recent studies have debunked that. I love knowing that there's a trustworthy soy milk brand out there that really cares about the health of their customers.
Speaking of lattes…
Silk recently came out with a pre-made soy latte! Heck yes. Now my iced soy vanilla latte fix is just waiting for me in the refrigerator at a moment's notice, and there are no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
You should totally give our orange creamsicle drink a try. You won't regret it. Are there any particular foods from your childhood that you reminisce about?
Have you ever tried to make your own at-home version of an orange creamsicle drink?