Friday, May 30, 2014

Horchata Smoothie with a Superfood Booster!

When my husband and I lived in San Diego part of our weekly routine was walking down to the OB Farmer’s Market on Wednesday nights. We had our favorite stands for produce, flowers, hummus and fresh pasta that we’d pick up for the week and then there was also our favorite stand for dinner. Yes, dinner at the Farmer’s Market. If you haven’t had dinner at the Farmer’s Market yet – you should try it! Eating amongst fresh produce, artisan foods, handmade jewelry and crafts with live music in the background and the best people watching ever is something truly special. For us, our go-to was the stand Ortega’s Cocina would set up outside their restaurant. We would nosh on fresh tamales, pupusas and the most amazing horchata. It was probably not the healthiest of meals but definitely worth the splurge.

Horchata (or-CHA-tah) is a Mexican or Latin cinnamon rice milk or drink typically made with white rice, almonds or tiger nuts, water, cinnamon and sugar. It is smooth, creamy, sweet and so yummy! While I love horchata in its true form, I also enjoy “healthifying” recipes. It is so fun to transform a recipe into something a bit healthier (notice I didn’t say completely healthy J). This is exactly what I did in this horchata smoothie recipe. If you’d rather just have the milk, not the smoothie, simply leave out the bananaJ. I’ve also added Lucuma Powder to this smoothie as a superfood booster! Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including calcium, potassium and magnesium, plus fiber, protein and antioxidants.

2/3 cup of uncooked brown rice
4 ½ cups of fresh water
1 cup of blanched almonds, skins removed
2 medjool dates, pits removed
1 large banana (if you’re making a smoothie)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon of Sunfood tropical lucuma powder
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Add the uncooked brown rice to the blender and pulverize until you are left with a rice-powder.

Transfer the rice powder to a large bowl; add the raw almonds (skins removed), cinnamon stick and 2 ½ cups of boiling water. Let cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Add the rice/almond mixture, dates, ground cinnamon, vanilla and remaining two cups of water to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Place a large metal sieve over a bowl and line with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Slowly pour the horchata mixture through the fine mesh stirring and using a wooden spoon to press the pulp against the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Lift the cheesecloth or bag and use your hands to squeeze the remaining pulp to get all the liquid out. Discard the pulp.
Pour the horchata into a glass bottle or pitcher and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

If you want to make a smoothie – keep reading!

Pour two cups of horchata into the blender. Add the large banana, Lucuma Powder and a handful of ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into one large glass, or two smaller glasses, and drink immediately! So delicious!!!

**Blanching Almonds**

Add the raw almonds to a large glass bowl. Pour boiling water over the top and let sit for one minute. Pour the almonds and water through a strainer and rinse with ice-cold water. Use your fingers to slide the skins off the almonds. That’s it!


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