This dairy-free strawberry Julius copycat recipe was actually a happy accident. The weather had been sunny and hot, and I wanted to make a refreshing drink for post activity. It needed to be something cool and fulfilling, but still relatively light, and I wanted it to have that 4:1 carbohydrate to protein balance for good recovery. I had some fresh strawberries on hand, and whipped this drink up. It ended up tasting like a healthier version of the Orange Julius strawberry flavor!
This Dairy-Free Drink is Like a Strawberry Julius, but Better!
These days, all of the drinks sold at Orange Julius contain milk. But it’s easy to get that flavor experience at home with recipes like this one! I originally shared this recipe nearly fifteen years ago, but have since given it an update. I also have answers to some of the FAQs over the years.
What’s the Consistency of this Dairy-Free Strawberry Julius?
This copycat recipe is cool and icy, but lightly creamy, and very drinkable. I’d say it’s like a cross between a thin smoothie and a slushy.
Can I Use Other Fruit?
You certainly can. If using seedy berries, like blackberries or raspberries, you might want to puree the fruit first, and then press it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Unless you don’t mind seeds in your smoothie! You could also use juice in place of the water if you want a fruitier drink.
Why Do You Use Egg Protein Powder?
Technically, it’s just egg white powder. It isn’t really a protein extract like other protein powders on the market. It’s one of my preferred protein powders, and is what gives this recipe its frothy “Julius” quality. Traditional Orange Julius drinks were made with ice, sugar, milk, egg whites, and vanilla.
Aren’t Eggs Dairy?
It’s a common misconception, but dairy is defined as milk products, while eggs are from chickens. You can read more here: Are Eggs Dairy?
Will Another Protein Powder Work the Same?
If you substitute the protein powder, it will be more of a straight up strawberry smoothie, and won’t have that “Julius” vibe. But it will still be tasty!
Special Diet Notes: Strawberry Julius
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Optionally egg-free and vegan.
For an egg-free or vegan strawberry Julius, you can substitute plain pea protein powder. It’s the closest I’ve found for the consistency, but still not quite the same as the egg protein powder.
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 cups ice
- ½ cup water (can sub unsweetened milk alternative)
- 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar (can sub sugar)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt (optional)
- 1½ tablespoons plain egg protein powder
- Add the strawberries, ice, water, honey, vanilla, and salt (if using) to your blender and blend until a slushy, smoothie consistency is reached. Add more water or ice, if needed.
- Add the protein powder and give it a few quick pulses to blend it in. It should give that nice lightly creamy and foamy consistency.