We love that store in the mall, Orange Julius, that sells all those yummy, fruity shakes and smoothies. It's one of the few ways I can get fruit into the kids. Xander requests a "julius" nearly every time we hit the mall, and he loves them so much he doesn't even care that he's drinking something that isn't completely bad for him!
I still have all these strawberries to use (sorry if you're getting sick of all these strawberry-centric blog posts, but that's just what I've been using a lot of lately). This time, when thinking of new ways to use them, I remembered that I had: 1) been nagged by Xander recently to make some "julius" at home, and 2) seen a nifty recipe on Recipezaar for a strawberry variation on the original orange drink. I love that this recipe uses real berries, rather than using a fruit juice concentrate. I'd done that several times in the past to duplicate these beverages at home, and while it works, it's not entirely feasible all the time.
First things first: I wanted to strain out the seeds from the berries. I whirled them up in the blender with a bit of water, and pushed the puree through a sieve.
After all the straining was done, I had this lovely, bubblegum-pink, frothy liquid that was both gorgeous and seed-free! I threw this back into the blender, along with some milk, sugar, and a bit of vanilla extract. I tossed in about 5 ice cubes, let it rip, and just like that I had Strawberry "Julius!"
Seriously, this is about as simple as it gets. The only way I could have made it simpler would have been to save myself the trouble of straining out those pesky seeds. Most people would probably leave them in, but I'm just strange and happen to hate them. Plus, I figured the kids would probably appreciate the effort, and the silky-smooth consistency.
I think you can probably tell, these little smoothies were a huge hit with my kids! Above is Evan, relishing the last few drops of his glass.
Below is Xander, enjoying the remains of his serving. He posed especially for this picture; he wanted an action shot of him drinking. Very cute!
These went over so well, in fact, that there was none left for Daddy when he got home from work. Oops. No worries, though. I do believe I see more of these Strawberry "Julius"-es (how do you pluralize that? Who knows?) in our near future. Next time, there may even be enough for all of us!
makes 2 (6-ounce) glasses
1 cup strawberries, sliced (can use fresh or frozen; it's also equivalent to 100-125 g on a kitchen scale)
1/2 cup milk (any kind is ok)
1/2 cup water (or use half water, half ice, as I did)
1/4 cup superfine sugar (since I did not have this, I used 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. Place strawberries in blender. If you wish to strain seeds, add about 2-4 Tbsp. water to the blender, puree, and then pass the puree through a mesh sieve to collect the seeds. Place strawberry puree back into the blender. Proceed with step 2.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the blender. (If you've already strained the seeds, you need only add water until the total you have used, both before and after step 1, equals 1/2 cup. Otherwise, I found that 1/4 cup total water, plus 5 ice cubes, was perfect for an icy, frothy consistency.)
3. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.