Orange Vanilla Frozen Kefir

It’s funny how that happens…I took one bite and all of a sudden, I’m 7 years old again, sitting on the back porch with my younger siblings sipping on Orange Julius smoothies. The heat was beating down on us, deflecting off the concrete slab into our flushed faces. Even the breeze was hot, like it often is here in Oklahoma, but we weren’t bothered by it. We had icy orange drinks to cool us off after a long, dusty (and imaginary) wagon trail ride. (I don’t think we ever played with our swing set the way normal kids did. We took the swing seats off, used the swing chains for reins, and had an imaginary draft horse team that took us all over the Wild West.)

I remember having Orange Julius a lot as a child. The combination of milk, orange juice concentrate, and vanilla is unforgettable, but for some reason the recipe faded into the background along with our trusty Belgian horse team, Rusty and Rowdy.

I brought it back by accident, with a tangy twist and in the form of frozen yogurt. The taste is unmistakably “Orange Julius” and SO refreshing as the temperatures push the high 90’s and 100’s.

IMG_0069The milk kefir can be substituted for plain yogurt, better yet, Greek yogurt and, if you’re feeling wild, you can drizzle chocolate sauce on top. It’s amazing!

Frozen Milk Kefir with Orange and Vanilla

  • 3 1/2 c. milk kefir
  • 1/8 c. honey or 1/4 c.  sugar (We like it super tangy, so if you want sweeter go with 1/4 c. honey or 1/2 c. sugar, or more to your taste. To be quite honest here, I prefer it made with sugar. :))
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • juice of 2 oranges

I pour all the ingredients into a jar and just shake it up. You can leave it in the frig until ready to churn. Pour into a 4 qt. ice cream maker and churn until it reaches frozen yogurt consistency. We enjoy eating ours like this, but you can put it in a container and freeze it for harder ice cream.


This would also make great Popsicles. I think I’m going to try that next.



18 thoughts on “Orange Vanilla Frozen Kefir

  1. I used to love Orange Julius! They were in all the malls in the early 90’s. I don’t even think that they exist anymore do they? I love that you use kefir, my kids are obsessed with drinking it in smoothies, yum! Great recipe and photos :)

    • I know! It is so fast and easy. I came up with it out of desperation actually, because I had SO much kefir from trying to use all our raw milk before it soured. Most of my family will not drink kefir, but they love this! :)

  2. I felt as if I was sitting on the back porch with you all when I read this. :) Haven’t had an orange Julius in years but I do love them! :) I may have to make this into pop-sickle form until I can find a big enough ice-cream churn for my family!!

    • I hear ya there! We got a White Mountain Electric several years ago for Dad’s birthday after hand cranking for 20+ years. I’m not impressed with it though. The motor went funky and one of my bros has to jimmy-rig it anytime we want to use it. I love my 4 qt. Cuisinart, but it doesn’t make enough. I need to get another canister for it so I can make two batches.

  3. I love your blog. I love to read your posts…even if I never intend to make the recipes. I hate that I’m not home and able to enjoy all of this goodness.

    And I sure wish I’d bought that orange Cuisinart ice cream maker at TJ Maxx a couple of months ago. Still kicking myself for not.

    • Thank you Sage! I wish you had bought it too! I think you all would enjoy it very much. I’m sending you some vanilla with Joe’s apron. :D

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