Eat Well Nov. 22. 2016

Sweet Potato Julius

Nov. 22. 2016
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

A sweet and creamy dairy-free smoothie with sweet potato, orange, Medjool dates, vanilla, and cinnamon.

The first “real” recipe I ever tried was for the famous orange Julius. It was back in home-ec class and the no-fail recipe instantly became my favorite. Now I’m giving traditional orange Julius an upgrade by combining the vitamins C and A, potassium, fiber, and carotenoids found in sweet potatoes with tangy orange. This is a winning combination, light, and refreshing with pop or citrus, yet dense and filling because of the sweet potato. Enjoy this as a meal or post workout drink, or split it with a loved one for a snack! It’s a  ridiculously good, dairy-free take on an orange Julius for a sweet and creamy dairy-free smoothie with sweet potato, orange, Medjool dates, vanilla, and cinnamon.

The Sweet Potato Julius is actually a recipe from the #NScookbook! There are just so many delicious recipes in the book that I have to share a few on the blog! All of the recipes in the cookbook were developed, tweaked, and then tested to perfection. The whole process took over 2 years (!!) so I have to share a few extras here on the blog. You can check out more exclusives from the NS Cookbook like the Matcha Smoothie Bowl and Avocado Deviled Eggs here on the blog.

Now, if you’re thinking that a sweet potato in a smoothie sounds crazy, hear me out. When baked, sweet potatoes taste really sweet and can be made extra creamy with a high speed blender. The addition of orange, vanilla, and Medjool dates give the sweet potato a slightly sweeter citrusy taste. This smoothie reminds me of those Dreamsicle popsicles I’d have as a kid, except this smoothie is dairy-free and made only with whole food ingredients (win-win!). You can try this smoothie warm (sounds weird but it’s actually really nice) or add in some ice to get a chilled smoothie. This is a smoothie that’s been known to be kid-friendly, too, since it really does taste like a Dreamsicle. (Any moms out there vouch for that?) Just maybe don’t tell them there’s a sweet potato in it. 😉

Plus, this smoothie is the perfect addition to your weekly meal prep rotation since you can bake a bunch of sweet potatoes during your prep, then have ingredients ready to pop into the blender for a delicious vitamin packed treat. This is also a great alternative if you’re in a bit of a smoothie rut. I know, it happens. Check out the rainbow smoothie posts for inspiration on mixing up your smoothie game. So far there’s red, orange, and yellow. Blue and purple are on their way, and look to the Stripped Green Smoothie for all the green smoothie goodness.

Sweet potatoes, like carrots and other orange colored fruits and vegetables, contain beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A is important for hair, skin, nails, vision, and plays a key role in immune function.


Sweet Potato Julius
Recipe Type: smoothies, breakfast
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Tip: This recipe offers the perfect example of how batch cooking comes in handy: Baking up a batch of sweet potatoes to have them ready for use in any application is such a time saver!

What’s your take?

What do you think about sweet potatoes in a smoothie? Have you tried this one before, and if so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments or by leaving a rating! And if you make it at home, be sure to share on Instagram with #nutritionstripped so I can see!

xx McKel

Photo: Katie Newburn

p.s. get over 100 more deliciously simple whole food recipes in the #NScookbook! It makes a great gift 😉 Find out where to get your copy here.

The Recipe




1 cup almond milk

1 medium sweet potato, baked whole

1 medium orange, peeled

1 Medjool date, or to taste, pitted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dash of sea salt

Dash of ground cinnamon

Honey (optional)


In a high-speed blender, combine the almond milk, sweet potato, orange, date, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and blend until smooth. Adjust the sweetness to your desired taste by adding honey or more Medjool dates.

Blend in about 1/2 cup ice to chill before serving.

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