Summers in Phoenix are brutal, but I’m pretty sure Mother Nature tries to make up for it by giving us mild winters with trees teeming with citrus fruit. So what do you do when life gives you oranges in the middle of winter? You make Fresh Orange Juice & Ginger Smoothies, of course!
Out with friends recently, the topic of working in the mall as high schoolers came up. Our friend revealed that he was a toy soldier at a toy store. I was the Easter bunny for a season. Both entailed wearing hot, heavy, stinky costumes. The kind that made you lose 5 pounds wearing it for a shift. The kind that had one eye hole in the spot where, say, the Easter bunny’s mouth would be. The kind that were top heavy and made it hard for you to do anything without another human (sans costume) escorting you around by the elbow (or rabbit leg, as the case may be).
Talking about these crazy jobs also brought up memories of Orange Julius and their famous sweet, orange shakes. From time to time I crave those frosty drinks made with who-knows-what. During our flashback conversation we talked about what you could put in a smoothie to make it taste like Orange Julius. My “toy soldier” friend suggested powdered sugar.
Since my husband and I had just picked a bunch of oranges from our tree, I thought it would be a good time to start juicing them for Fresh Orange Juice & Ginger Smoothies. I wasn’t going to go the copycat-mall-smoothie route, but I did decide to add the powdered sugar to the mix. It didn’t make my version taste Orange Julius-y, so if you prefer, use honey instead.
This recipe is super-simple and serves 4 – unless of course you trip and drop a full glass on the kitchen floor, spraying the cupboards and surrounding surfaces with sticky smoothie (luckily the glass fell on the little rug by my sink and didn’t break!). You can use oranges or orange juice from the store to whip up a batch of Fresh Orange Juice & Ginger Smoothies, but if you’re enjoying the bounty of winter oranges like I am, you’ll want to use the ones straight from the backyard!