Horchata is an excellent home made refreshment enjoyed throughout Latin America, and lately it has been popping up more often on tables across the US. With a starchy texture that it gets from cooked rice, horchata is popular with young and old alike.
Many of the commercial preparations that are on the market are getting sweeter, thicker, and more like a milkshake. Horchata should be light and refreshing, so I revamped the traditional recipe to knock out the sugar and thick sweetness.
I also cut way back on the prep time by using a cream of rice cereal instead of regular rice, which is traditionally used. Summer days at the ranch can be unbearably hot, so a cool refreshing hand-made beverage that doesn’t require turning on the stove is most welcome.
How Horchata Got Its Funny Name
How did horchata get it’s name? There are plenty of cute myths and urban legends, but I truly believe that horchata got its name from the Latin word hordeum, which means grain. The Romans who lived on the Iberian peninsula (present day Spain) brought their tradition of using wheat and barley in just about every dish and beverage. Eventually one starch was traded out for another, and rice became the signature ingredient in making authentic horchata. Eventually the Spanish made it to the New World, and well, you know the rest of the story, don’t you?
Starchy beverages not only hydrate, but gave the consumer a bit of a carb kick of energy to get through those hot summer afternoons.
If you are trying to cut back on your sugar, this version of Coconut Horchata might be a good choice for you. It’s not calorie free, but if you are out in the hot sun, it would be good to consume some of the electrolytes that coconut water provides. Did I mention that it’s delicious?
Light and Fresh Coconut Horchata
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 min
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Beverages
- Cuisine: Latin American
1 carton 33.8oz coconut water (1 lt)
2 tbsp. shredded coconut (I used sweetened, but unsweetened or fresh is great)
2 tbsp. instant cream of rice cereal, uncooked
2 pks. stevia, or your favorite artificial sweetener
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon.(<1 gr)
Ground cinnamon for garnish
Place 1 cup (240ml) of the coconut water along with the shredded coconut and cream of rice cereal in a 2 qt (2lt) mixing bowl. Heat on high heat in the microwave for one minute. Remove and stir the mixture, and then return to the microwave for 1 more minute on high heat. Remove from the microwave, and allow to cool thoroughly.
Place the cereal mixture in a blender with the remaining coconut water, add the stevia, and ground cinnamon, and blend until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour over ice, and garnish with ground cinnamon.
Keywords: coconut, horchata