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What Is an Orange Smoothie?

By Megan Shoop
Updated May 17, 2024
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An orange smoothie is any smoothie that features oranges as its primary ingredient. Some of these drinks contain only oranges and ice, though most recipes call for additional fruits for extra nutrition and flavor. Many orange smoothie recipes are vegan, requiring only plant materials to give them creaminess and bulk. Other varieties may include dairy products like milk, yogurt, or even ice cream.

One of the best things about an orange smoothie is that oranges work well with many different flavors. The cook might want to use a recipe if he or she is new to smoothie-making, but after a few test runs, experimenting with flavors can become interesting and fun. The simplest orange smoothie may only contain ice cubes made of frozen orange juice, a can or two of mandarin orange slices, plain ice, and a sweetener, like honey. This simple recipe can be jazzed up with a few drops of vanilla extract or some lemon or grapefruit juice.

Citrus usually pairs well with other citrus, so cooks can mix together different families of oranges to find their favorite flavors. An exotic orange smoothie might start with blood orange juice, which is usually darker and richer than ordinary orange juice. The bulk of the smoothie might come from ice cubes made from a mixture of tangerine and Meyer lemon juices. Meyer lemons are usually sweeter than other lemon varieties. Once the smoothie is blended together, the cook might add a final squeeze of key lime juice to bring out the bright sweetness of the other flavors.

Oranges also often taste good with summer fruits, like bananas and berries. Bananas, especially when frozen, give an orange smoothie a creamy texture and intense sweetness. Strawberries give these smoothies a fresh, pink color. Mangoes, pineapples, kiwi, and other tart fruits often underscore the flavors of the oranges. Cooks may mix and match all of these fruits to create a variety of orange smoothies that they enjoy.

If whole fruits aren’t available, cooks may use fruit juices to flavor their smoothies. Flavored yogurt or ice cream can also replace many of these fruits. Two or three scoops of strawberry ice cream blended with orange juice typically makes a delicious, refreshing summer treat. Strawberry yogurt could replace the ice cream to add nutrients and calcium without adding so much sugar and fat. This same recipe could also work well with vanilla, lemon, raspberry, or cherry ice cream or yogurt.

Milk offers another nutritious base for an orange smoothie. Cooks may use whole, low-fat, or skim milk to moderate the number of calories in their smoothies. They may also use flavored milk, such as vanilla, strawberry, or banana varieties. Even vegans can enjoy these kinds of smoothies if they swap dairy milk for soy, rice, hemp, or coconut milk.

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