A delightful – and delightfully refreshing almond rice drink originated from Spain. Originally, Horchata is made with Chufas, or tiger nuts, a tuber superfood widely available in Spain and South America, and widely used for baking and drinks. They all happily drink Horchata de Chufa. And because we grew up in Morocco, which neighbors Spain, we eagerly waited for school to let out to buy it from the vendors who hawked it at the top of their voices.
Tiger nuts are gaining popularity in the United States as well. They still err on the expensive side. Tiger nut flour is wonderful for baking too: highly nutritious, delicious and gluten-free. are gaining popularity in the United States as well. They still err on the expensive side. Tiger nut flour is wonderful for baking too: highly nutritious, delicious and gluten-free.
Then there’s the small problem of soaking the Chufas for a full 24 hours. You know me, if there’s a simpler way, I am there! So, here’s the result of my tinkering with rice and almonds:
Horchata Sans Chufas
I was very excited with the results I got with almonds and rice. I will include all variations I played with, to arrive at a super nutritious and super nutritious drink, like a perfect mini meal.
Love the inclusion of the grain it makes it thick and creamy. Traditionally it is rice, but oatmeal is great too.
Get Yourself a Professional Blender
A pro blender is worth every penny!
I should tell you I am not soaking or straining or anything. Rather, I am using a professional blender and highly recommend same. You will be amazed at all you can do with it: one of the fantastic things you can do with it is throw all the veggies and fruit you usually throw in the juicer. Here you would obtain a perfectly smooth smoothie with losing any of the valuable fiber we usually leave behind with the juicer.
Same with almond and other nut milks, oat milk etc…
I’ll start with the basic Horchata I made, and suggest a few variations; pretty soon you’ll be including your own!
Makes about 5 cups. Enough for 5-6 iced drinks
- 1 cup almonds
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup cooked white rice
- Juice and zest of a lemon
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3-4 tablespoons honey
Blend all ingredients at high speed in a professional blender.
Pour the mixture into a pitcher, and complete with ice. You can also store the basic mixture in a glass jar, and use it as needed, adding ice in your glass.
Variations on Horchata
- Use roasted almonds and add a whole layer of flavor.
- Use other nuts, such as hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts.
- Use cooked brown rice instead of white rice. Or use 1/3 cup instant oats soaked in boiling water.
- Play with spices: cardamom, ginger etc, but be sure to leave the cinnamon in, it’s too amazing in the mixture to leave out.
- Make it even richer! Reduce the water to 21/2 cups, and add a can of full fat coconut milk.
- In a pinch, use whole almond meal
instead of almonds.
- Use silan instead of honey
- Add a splash of orange blossom water for a distinct Sephardi flavor.