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horchata seeds

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Horchata—opaque, sweet, pleasantly gritty, and creamy but made without milk—is wildy popular in Central and Southern Mexico, especially in Oaxaca and the Yucatan Peninsula. Horchata can be made from such a variety of ingredients–rice, almonds, tigernuts, barley, seeds—that it can be thought of as a technique, rather than a singular product. It is made by soaking, grinding, pulverizing, and finally straining a base ingredient such as rice, tigernuts, almonds or seeds. The resulting liquid is a suspension—tiny, tiny little pieces or globules of starch, protein, and fat floating around in water. The particles are way too small to see with the naked eye, but they are big enough to appear white and opaque instead of clear, giving the liquid its creamy appearance. This horchata is made from pumpkin seeds and laced with cinnamon and allspice.

Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer, pushing out all of the liquid and discarding the solids. Add additional water to thin if desired. This makes about 1 ½ quarts horchata, depending on your desired thickness. The horchata will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 to 3 days. Serve over ice.

Pour the mixture into a blender (this may need to be done in batches), along with the sugar and salt and blend at high speed until the seeds are completely broken down and the mixture is light and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Ecuadorean horchata is probably the most different of them all because it involves no rice or seeds of any kind. Often referred to as horchata lojala, it's made from a mix of herbs and flowers known for their medicinal qualities with escancel giving the drink its distinctive red color. Ecuadorian horchata is also the only horchata that can be served—and enjoyed—either cold or hot.

A refreshing rice drink with evaporated milk, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. "This version does not need to be boiled," says LatinaCook. "Make a slush by adding crushed ice."

The horchata in Puerto Rico is called horchata de ajonjolí and it uses neither morro seeds nor rice. Instead, people on the island grind sesame seeds — either toasted or plain — with water and brown sugar. They then strain the mixture and the resulting drink can be consumed either on its own or mixed with hot cereals or smoothies.

In the 16th century, Spanish colonialists brought horchata to Latin America. But because tiger nuts weren't cultivated there, rice and other ingredients were used as substitutions.

How the World Does Horchata


In El Salvador, horchata is made from the seeds of the morro, a fruit that looks a little like green coconut and grows attached to the trunk or large branches of the morro tree. After drying in the sun, the seeds are ground and mixed with water to make the horchata.

In Honduras, soaked, ground rice is the basis for the drink with other ingredients such as cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla added to taste. In some parts of the country morro (jicaro) seeds make up the prime ingredient with rice added into the mixture.


This tropical horchata is the perfect refresher for hot summer nights and sunny days at the beach. Coconut milk adds richness and body to this classic rice and cinnamon drink, and the vanilla notes make it taste almost like dessert.