Vegan Horchata Recipe

    Many years ago when I first became vegetarian I bought tons of vegan cookbooks. One of the standard cookbooks of the time was Vegan with a Vengeance and then later on the Vegenomicon by Isa Moskowitz. I made the black bean burgers from the Veginomicon so many times I just have it memorized. Everyone loves when I make them! Back in the day I also came across a web series Isa did called the Post Punk Kitchen. In one of the episodes they made a vegan horchata. This was before the days of youtube so while I had the recipe memorized for many years over time I sort of just forgot. Now thanks to youtube I was able to find the episode and rediscovered it. I made this for my boyfriend last night and he basically drank the entire pitcher and when I poured myself the last glass (and my only glass!) he chased after me to get just one...last...sip! If you love horchata, but are vegan or just want a healthier recipe this is for you! 



4 cups rice milk

2 cups water

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup blanched almond powder

1/3 cup rice flour

2 cinnamon sticks

pinch of lemon zest (optional)

   Start your horchata by putting 2 cups of the rice milk, the water and 2 cinnamon sticks into a pot. Bring it up to a low boil. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes to extract all the cinnamon flavor out of the sticks. After 5-10 minutes, take out the cinnamon and add in the remaining ingredients. If you don't have a market that sells rice four nearby you can leave it out. But having either the almond powder or rice flour is essential. You have to have one or the other. {To make the almond powder simply get blanched almonds and grind them up to a fine powder in a clean coffee grinder or in larger quantities you can use a food processor.} Turn the stove down to a low and leave the horchata simmering partially covered for 1.5- 2 hours. 

   This recipe is so easy, it almost doesn't require much instruction. After 2 hours, pour the hot liquid through a strainer into a heatproof pitcher. Add in approximately 2 more cups of rice milk. If you have a nut milk bag or cheesecloth that would work even better for a smoother horchata. But I think a fine mesh strainer works very well and leaves a slight bite and weight to the drink. Let the horchata cool for about 15 minutes before drinking. Serve over ice with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to garnish. Enjoy!