Monday, February 21, 2011


Best Blog Tips

Last May I experimented with a Latin American fruit and oat "smoothie", and we really enjoyed it.  I began researching and discovered a myriad of Central and South American beverages made with grains. Indeed, South Americans seem to love grain drinks, and I think it's a fabulous idea to use different grains to thicken and enrich beverages.  So, way back in May, I promised that I would  experiment with more of these drinks, but the book sort of got in the way of much experimentation!  However, I'm on a bit of a Peruvian and South American cooking roll, so I decided to try two beverages today.  I'm very happy with the results and I hope you'll try them!

 Servings: 5
  NEWS FLASH: I've decided that this makes a MUCH better hot drink than a cold one!
"Aguitas" are Peruvian fruit drinks, but this one is also made with quinoa. This silky-smooth fruit and grain beverage can be served hot or cold. I thought it was too bland when made only with apples, but I had noticed one recipe online using quince as well as apple. I don't have any quinces around, but I know that they are sour and thought some acidity might add some kick to the drink. So, I added some orange and lemon, and that was perfect. Once you make this, it can be refrigerated and enjoyed cold, or heat up for a "hot toddy". BTW, it contains more than twice as much protein as commercial rice, almond or oat milk, along with a respectable amount of fiber. 

 I'd love to hear about any successful variations you come up with!

1/2 lb.    apples, cored, peeled and chunked  
1/2 cup    quinoa  
2 1/2 cups    water  
1/4 teaspoon    salt  
1 cup    water  
1/4 cup    brown sugar  
1 medium    organic orange, grated zest and juice  
1 tablespoon    lemon juice  
1/4 teaspoon    cinnamon  
1/8 teaspoon    ground cloves  
Place the prepared apple, quinoa, 2 1/2 cups water and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down to Low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the cooked mixture into a large blender.

Add the remaining ingredients. Put the lid firmly in place on the blender, removing the center plug in the lid (to let steam escape) and cover the hole with a folded tea towel (held in place with your hand), so that you don't get an explosion of hot liquid.

Blend continuously until a smooth mixture results and you can't see the little quinoa "tails" in it. Serve immediately for a hot drink, or refrigerate and serve cold. It can be reheated.
 Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 149.5 calories; 6% calories from fat; 1.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 106.1mg sodium; 276.3mg potassium; 33.9g carbohydrates; 3.2g fiber; 15.2g sugar; 30.6g net carbs; 2.8g protein; 2.4 points. 


The Second Beverage:

Printable Recipe

 Servings: 2  
This is my version of a Peruvian hot chocolate recipe made with oatmeal. The original recipe called for bar chocolate and evaporated milk (ubiquitous in South America). But the oats make such a rich, thick drink that is much lower in fat (and less expensive), and the cocoa tastes as luxurious as chocolate. I've played with this recipe for some time now, and this is the version we like the best.  My granddaughters love it.
PS: I keep a jar of homemade oat flour in a jar at all times so that I can make this at a moment's notice.

NOTE: you can cut the recipe in half if it's just for you, or double it for a group.
2 cups    nondairy milk  of choice (a plain commercial soy or almond milk beverage is good in this)
2 Tbsp   oat flour (To make oat flour, you can simply grind rolled oats into a powder in a dry blender or clean, dry electric coffee/spice grinder-- I keep a jar of this in my baking drawer.)
2 Tbsp    unsweetened, organic fair trade cocoa powder (I like the dark Dutch-process type best)   
4 tsp. brown sugar, packed (you can add more if you like) 
Add after cooking:
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint or almond extract  
South American Traditional:  
1/8 teaspoon    cinnamon  
2 pinches    grated nutmeg  
In addition to the cinnamon and nutmeg, add a drop of pure almond extract and a pinch of cayenne pepper.   
Mix the first 4 ingredients together in your high-speed blender on High until VERY smooth and a bit frothy. 

In a 2 qt. microwave-safe batter bowl or pitcher (it has to have room to froth up) in the microwave on 100 % power for 3 minutes, or until very hot, thickened and frothy on top. (ALTERNATE METHOD: Heat the mixture gently in a small sauce pan over medium heat until hot and thickened, whisking frequently.)

Stir in the vanilla and your chosen Optional Additions (or sprinkle on top), if using, pour into 2 large mugs, and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 124 calories, 27 calories from fat, 3.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 154.3mg sodium, 259.8mg potassium, 21.6g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 16.2g sugar, 2.2g protein, 3.6 points.



Anonymous said...

mmm, yum! Gotta try- thanks!

Krishna said...

Hi, the chocolate drink looks amazing. I'd love to try it. How sweet is it? I'm wondering whether I could reduce the sugar as I prefer a bitter chocolate flavour. Thanks

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

It's not terribly sweet, Anush-- t has less sugar than cocoa-- most cocoa drinks have an equal amount or more. We also are changing our taste to like it more bittersweet.

escalante blogger said...

I gonna make it here and gonna try. Thanks for the steps by the way.

Kelsey Ann said...

Your Peruvian hot chocolate with oats = WOW WOW WOW! yumiiisss <3

shen said...

Delicious! Here in Northern New Mexico, we do something very similar with atole (finely ground blue corn meal). I always add a touch or Chimayo red chile.............

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I've got that on my list to try, Shen! I like the idea of some heat!

Krishna said...

Hi, I just made the oats hot chocolate and it is so delicious. I have never really enjoyed creamy hot chocolates, finding them too rich but this is excellent. I did cut down on the sugar, adding perhaps 1/2 tablespoon less and the flavour was good.

Lyka said...

Wow! That chocolate drinks look's so yummy. I am chocoholic, so I'm gonna try this one..Thanks..

Indian Recipe Book said...

The recipe sounds n look s delicious..thanks a lot for sharing this authentic recipe..will try it as I know my family will love this one :)

Notcathy said...

I am a chocoholic, I am gonna try this one.. Thanks! I am excited to taste it.. Yummmyyy!!!

lori said...

Hi, yep hummy drinks! however, i've been trying to replicate many times the quinoa and apple drink but what I know for sure it's that the quinoa shouldn't be blended together with the mix.
This is a pic of what it should look like, the quinoa is well cooked but still well identified inside:

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Lori, I saw several versions of this drink in my research, most of them blended. To each his own, but I don't like bits of stuff swimming in my drinks, even quinoa!

Food Manager Certification Texas said...

Hi Bryanna! Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes. Really got to try it later. I'll stop by the grocery after work. Thank you so much!