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Thursday, May 20, 2010

A DELICIOUS LATIN AMERICAN FRUIT AND OAT "SMOOTHIE"

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Pineapple and Oat breakfast drink

Oddly enough, oatmeal is a staple in many Latin American and Caribbean households, and it is used, most interestingly, in wonderful, cheap, healthful hot and cold beverages. I came across this concept while researching Peruvian breakfast foods for my last post. These cinnamon-flavored oat-and-/milk or oat-and fruit drinks are variously called Avena or Cuaquer (Spanish translation of  "Quaker", for the oats!), Jugo de Avena, Chicha de Avena, Atole de Avena, Colada de Avena, and Avena Caliente, depending on which country of origin. ("Avena" means oatmeal, BTW.)

It is so popular that there is a packaged version (actually several versions) called "Avena", made by Alpina, a South American company.  You can read comments about it here, but I can't find out whether it it has milk in it or not.  If anyone knows, please let me know! (There are also other brands of similar drink mixes.)

Some recipes call simply for oatmeal, a sweetener, milk and/or cream, water, and cinnamon; others contain fruit.  Some are served hot, others cold.  I was intrigued by the idea of a simple drink thickened by grain, so I just had to try it.  I made a cold smoothie-type concoction with canned pineapple, which is what I had in the house.  We love it!  I plan to experiment with other fruits and combinations of fruits (mango, papaya, banana, passion fruit, even North American fruits and berries), as well as the non-fruit version.  Similar drinks are also made with corn or masa flour, barley, and quinoa, so I have lots of experimenting to do.  I'll post future results and recipes as I go!

Do give this a try!  It is refreshing and delicious.  Below is my original recipe, which you can fortify with soy or hemp protein powder, if you wish, and then, below that,  another version made with more nondairy milk, so that it it makes a protein-rich breakfast drink or snack without adding protein powder.

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S VEGAN PINEAPPLE AVENA (OR CUAQUER)-- LATIN-AMERICAN-STYLE OAT “SMOOTHIE” (Version #1)
Servings: 4

Use soy or hemp milk for a decent protein count. Other nondairy milks are very low in protein.  I have listed the nutrition facts for all of the variations based on the options given in the recipe.

NOTE: You need to make this ahead of time and chill it.

1/2 cup rolled oats (regular or quick)
2 cups water
1 cup soymilk or hemp milk
19 oz can unsweetened pineapple chunks with juice (you could also use about 2 cups of fresh pineapple chunks)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar or organic sugar
OPTIONAL:
1 oz. soy protein powder or hemp protein powder

You can cook the oats in the water in a small pot, turning the heat down when it boils and cooking it until it is thick and bubbly. I used the microwave oven-- place the oats and water (or non-dairy milk) in a 2 qt. microwave-save bowl (to avoid boil-overs) and cook on high 2 minutes, then 50% power for 3 minutes. Let it cool a bit.

Scoop the oatmeal into a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Taste for sweetener. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts (These Nutrition Facts were calculated using 1 cup soymilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of agave nectar, WITHOUT the optional protein powder.)
Nutrition (per serving): 150.4 calories; 9% calories from fat; 1.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 36.9mg sodium; 237.6mg potassium; 32.1g carbohydrates; 1.6g fiber; 23.9g sugar; 30.5g net carbs; 3.5g protein; 2.8 points.

NUTRITION FACTS FOR VARIATIONS:

If you use the same amount of sugar instead of agave, they are as follows:
159.7 calories; 8% calories from fat; 1.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 36.9mg sodium; 237.7mg potassium; 34.0g carbohydrates; 1.6g fiber; 25.8g sugar; 32.4g net carbs; 3.5g protein; 3.0 points.

If you use soymilk and agave, and add the optional soy protein powder, they are as follows:
174.3 calories; 9% calories from fat; 1.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 108.1mg sodium; 243.3mg potassium; 32.6g carbohydrates; 2.0g fiber; 23.9g sugar; 30.6g net carbs; 9.2g protein; 3.2 points.

If you use soymilk and agave and add the optional hemp protein powder, they are as follows:
182.0 calories; 14% calories from fat; 3.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 40.4mg sodium; 237.6mg potassium; 33.3g carbohydrates; 2.5g fiber; 24.1g sugar; 30.7g net carbs; 7.1g protein; 3.4 points.

If you use hemp milk and agave, and NO protein powder, they are are as follows:
160.1 calories; 13% calories from fat; 2.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 28.1mg sodium; 237.6mg potassium; 32.3g carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 24.7g sugar; 30.4g net carbs; 3.4g protein; 3.0 points.

If you use hemp milk and the same amount of sugar instead of agave, and NO protein powder, they are as follows:
169.4 calories; 13% calories from fat; 2.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 28.1mg sodium; 237.7mg potassium; 34.2g carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 26.6g sugar; 32.4g net carbs; 3.4g protein; 3.2 points.

If you use hemp milk and agave, and the optional hemp protein powder, they are as follows:
191.8 calories; 18% calories from fat; 3.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 31.7mg sodium; 237.6mg potassium; 33.5g carbohydrates; 2.8g fiber; 24.9g sugar; 30.7g net carbs; 6.9g protein; 3.6 points.

If you use hemp milk and agave and use hemp protein powder with extra fiber, they are as follows:
190.1 calories; 15% calories from fat; 3.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 30.5mg sodium; 237.6mg potassium; 35.6g carbohydrates; 5.2g fiber; 24.7g sugar; 30.4g net carbs; 6.0g protein; 3.3 points.




Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S SOY OR HEMP/PINEAPPLE AVENA (OR CUAQUER)-- LATIN AMERICAN OAT SMOOTHIE (Version #2)
Servings: 4

This is a higher-protein version of my original one, without adding protein powder. Soy and hemp milks contain considerably more protein than other non-dairy milks. NOTE: You need to make this ahead of time and chill it.

1/2 cup rolled oats
2 cups soymilk or hemp milk
1 cup soymilk or hemp milk
19 oz can unsweetened pineapple chunks with juice (or about 2 cups of fresh pineapple chunks)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar or organic sugar

You can cook the oats in the 2 cups soy or hemp milk in a small pot, turning the heat down when it boils and cooking it until it is thick and bubbly. I used the microwave oven-- place the oats and soy or hemp milk in a 2 qt. microwave-save bowl (to avoid boil-overs) and cook on high 2 minutes, then 50% power for 3 minutes. Let it cool a bit.

Scoop the oatmeal into a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Taste for sweetener. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts (Nutrition Facts were calculated using soymilk and agave nectar.) Nutrition (per serving): 185.9 calories; 15% calories from fat; 3.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 99.5mg sodium; 237.6mg potassium; 35.1g carbohydrates; 1.6g fiber; 25.4g sugar; 33.5g net carbs; 6.3g protein; 3.7 points.

NUTRITION FACTS FOR VARIATIONS:

If you use agave and hemp milk, they are as follows: 
215.1 calories; 24% calories from fat; 6.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 73.3mg sodium; 237.6mg potassium; 35.8g carbohydrates; 2.3g fiber; 27.7g sugar; 33.4g net carbs; 5.9g protein; 4.3 points..

If you use soymilk and sugar, they are as follows:
195.2 calories; 14% calories from fat; 3.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 99.5mg sodium; 237.7mg potassium; 37.0g carbohydrates; 1.6g fiber; 27.3g sugar; 35.4g net carbs; 6.3g protein; 3.9 points

If you use hemp milk and sugar, they are as follows:
224.4 calories; 23% calories from fat; 6.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 73.3mg sodium; 237.7mg potassium; 37.7g carbohydrates; 2.3g fiber; 29.6g sugar; 35.4g net carbs; 5.9g protein; 4.5 points.

Enjoy!

13 comments:

Pat Meadows said...

It appears that Alpina's Avena does have milk:

"Alpina's Oat-based Smoothie is made from milk and oats, offering not only fiber but also other macro and micro nutrients which are extremely important such as proteins, fat and carbohydrates." (from Amazon.com - see http://www.amazon.com/Avena-Alpina-Original-12-Pack/dp/B002YDWTQ4 ).

It would probably be an expensive way to buy oatmeal, anyway.

Pat

Courtney said...

That is interesting! I have been putting oats in my smoothies for years, but always *RAW* oats, never cooked. I would imagine the texture would be very different...with the cooked oats, does it get really gummy and thick?

Courtney

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks for that info, Pat! I get the idea that these mixes are very cheap in Latin America and everyone seems to love them!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Courtney, I thought that might be the case, too, but actually, it makes the drink silky and it's not super-thick at all!

julie hasson said...

These smoothies sound fantastic Bryanna! What a great idea. Thanks for doing all of the different nutritional analysis' on them!

Danielle said...

Some of my friends add oats to their protein shakes. I've never tried that because it seems so heavy. I like your method to make bright, fruit-flavored concoctions! Mexican hot chocolate thickened with masa is also on my list to try.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Danielle, I have been fooling around with a Peruvian hot chocolate recipe on that theme, but using oatmeal! I'm just trying to get the amount right!

Marie said...

Mmmm! That's a wonderful breakfast idea for those hot and sticky morning.
I am going to try them. Thanks Bryanna.

Rachelle said...

Hey, I thought I invented this! I put a blob of oatmeal in a fruit smoothie a few months ago and haven't looked back since. It makes it thick and creamy and is a great way to use up the dregs of breakfast oats. I usually cook my oatmeal with raisins and they're great in the smoothies too.

amy said...

I love coming across something I have never heard of before. Can a regular blender tackle the oatmeal, or do you need something like a Vita-Mix to get it truly smooth?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Amy, any good blender will work-- the oatmeal is cooked, so it's softer than raw oatmeal.

David G said...

I make a variation of this with baby spinach, whatever non-dairy "milk" I have open, flakseed oil, ground flakeseeds, frozen or fresh fruit, oatmeal leftover and barley syrup. Great combo!

Samarpita said...

Came to your blog via blogher. I have been making one version of oat enriched smoothie which helps me to keep hunger pangs in check when my classes run for 6 continuous hours :). I put the rolled oates in a bowl and pour some boiling water on it and keep covered while I chop up fruits. We have a version of grain enriched milk drink in India. This is a mixture containing seven grains (or so the wiki says), known as Sattu. We have always bought the dry powder, but this site seem to have a recipe for how to make it. You just need to mix it in milk and add some sugar.
http://www.surfindia.com/recipes/sattu.html