Horchata is one of the first things I have a tendency to order at a Mexican restaurant – it’s a combination of refreshing, sweet, quenching, and fragrant.
I never really had horchata growing up… up in my rural farm town in southeast Minnesota, we pretty much had the traditional Minnesota fare – casseroles, brats, cheese curds, and lots and lots of milk.
It wasn’t until I met my husband in 2001 that I had horchata – I instantly fell in love with the drink, and every time we went out for Mexican food I found myself guzzling it down faster than ever.
Horchata relies on the beautiful spice of cinnamon to flavor the beverage while at the same time uses sugar as a sweetener. Lots and lots of sugar. While I absolutely love the delicious taste of horchata, I don’t necessarily want to be swallowing loads and loads of sugar on my quest to find better health.
But I still want horchata 🙂
This easily recipe for horchata relies on simple medjool dates to naturally sweeten the beverage without taking away from the authenticity of what we know is one of the most widely consumed beverages in Latin America. One half cup of medjool dates resulted in the perfect sweetness for us — about 6-7 dates.
Save the pits from the dates – they grow incredibly well in warm weather climates!
Making this horchata is so incredibly easy – I love to soak the rice the night prior, then pour in the blender in the morning along with raw milk, dates and a cinnamon stick. The blender does the challenging work of pureeing it up as best as it can, before being strained through a fine, mesh strainer into a quart-size jug.
Raw milk from pastured cows, in it’s natural form, is one of the most nutrient dense foods around – combined with healthy dates, organic rice and cinnamon makes it a wonderful, refreshing drink that will leave you feeling pretty incredible .. instead of regretful for the splurge!
Once you blend up your horchata, strain it into a jug and give it a good stir to distribute the flavors – serve over ice in your favorite glass, and watch out — because there likely won’t be much left!