Super Orange Dream

Boy, it feels good to be back at the blogging! My last two semester of classes have been harder than normal – or maybe it is the fact that I have a two year old. Either way, playing in the kitchen wasn’t my first priority. Unfortunately. I really love to cook. :) Sometimes, when I am really stressed out, I dim the lights, turn on Enya and retreat to my kitchen. Something about cooking just relaxes me, lets me think, and helps me recharge myself. 
 
So can I re-state: Boy, it feels good to be playing in the kitchen again! This week I have enjoyed both making mistakes, and making masterpieces in the kitchen! Like the coconut popsicles I tried to make. They were supposed to taste like the Outshine Coconut Popsicles. Nope, didn’t happen. So I tried to turn them into a coconut lime slushie. That didn’t work either. Actually it was pretty awful. I will spare you the gruesome details. 
 
But this recipe today, on the other hand, has been one of my favorites! It makes a smoothie or popsicles, depending on your preference. This is the third time I have made it, and it is still as great as the first time. And the best part? It is very healthy! I will let you in on the secret. The “Super” is an adjective for “Orange” not “Dream”. Still confused? It is twice as orange as normal, because it has carrots in it! But if you tasted it before you saw the ingredients, you would never know! 
 
This smoothie/popsicle has orange juice concentrate, yogurt, vanilla and CARROTS. Yes, I am just reveling in this veggi-riffic fact. Before adding all the other ingredients, I blend the carrots with a little water, for a minute or two, until it is totally smooth. Then I add the other ingredients, and voila! SUPER ORANGE Dream. 
 
The difference between the smoothie and popsicles is ice versus extra yogurt. I usually blend the basic ingredients together, pour some into popsicle molds with glops of extra yogurt. Then I add ice to the remaining mixture in the blender to finish making my smoothie. Then we can enjoy the smoothie right away and a cold treat later on. 
 
Just a note about the yogurt. I have tried this with both Vanilla Greek Yogurt and Yoplait Vanilla Yogurt. Although both are good, I think that the Yoplait Yogurt is better for this recipe. It freezes a little nicer, with smaller crystals. But by all means, use the yogurt that you like best. 
 

Ingredients:

Base:
10 baby carrots
1/2 cup water
6 oz orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
Popsicles:
6 oz vanilla yogurt
Smoothie:
Add ice to desired consistency.

Directions:

Put the carrots and water in a blender. Pulse until the carrots are chopped, then puree for 1 minute until smooth. Add the orange juice concentrate, yogurt and vanilla and blend until well combined.
If making popsicles, pour the smoothie into popsicle molds, adding small glops of extra yogurt as you pour. Slightly swirl the yogurt and base together, insert popsicle stick and freeze.
If making the smoothie, add ice to the base and pulse until all the ice is incorporated. Serve immediately.

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