Have you ever heard of horchata? It’s a popular beverage in Spain and Latin America that’s creamy and frothy. The components vary, depending on who’s making the horchata, but I’ve put together a recipe that includes the most nutritious ingredients to make this a delicious and nutrient-rich drink.
To make the healthiest and most nutritious version of horchata, I use sprouted brown rice and medjool dates as the main players in my horchata recipe. I also add in two powerful and beneficial spices, cardamom and cinnamon.
Try this horchata recipe for your next party or celebration or prepare a large batch and enjoy it throughout the week in your coffee or over ice. You will love it!
What Is Horchata?
Horchata is a traditional beverage that’s served in a number of countries, including Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela and the United States. Each country uses different ingredients to make horchata, including ground barley, almonds, tiger nuts and sesame seeds. By blending the grains, nuts or seeds, you get a frothy, milky texture in your drink that’s decadent and refreshing.
A range of spices are also used, depending on the country that’s serving up horchata. Some common additions to a traditional horchata recipe include vanilla, cinnamon, milk and sugar.
For my horchata recipe, I use long-grain, sprouted brown rice because it has a slew of healthy benefits and it’s more easily digested. When the rice is blended, the nutrients inside of the grain open up and create a delicious, milky beverage. I also swap out the sugar and include medjool dates instead because they are unprocessed and naturally sweet.
- 82 calories
- 0 grams fat
- 16 grams sugar
- 1 gram protein
- 21 grams carbohydrate
- 2 grams fiber
- 0.08 milligrams vitamin B6 (6 percent DV)
- 0.23 milligrams vitamin B5 (5 percent DV)
- 0.6 milligrams niacin (4 percent DV)
- 38 IUs vitamin A (2 percent DV)
- 0.33 milligrams manganese (18 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams copper (11 percent DV)
- 146 milligrams sodium (10 percent DV)
- 19 milligrams magnesium (6 percent DV)
- 26 milligrams phosphorus (4 percent DV)
- 0.2 miligrams zinc (3 percent DV)
Here’s a quick glance at some of the top health benefits associated with the ingredients in this horchata recipe:
Sprouted brown rice: There are many benefits of brown rice nutrition, including its high manganese content, which is an important trace mineral for many vital body functions, including the production of digestive enzymes, glycemic responses, bone development and immune system defenses. Brown rice is often the go-to carb for people who follow a gluten-free diet, while still providing fiber and B vitamins. (3)
Medjool dates: Medjool dates are an excellent natural sweetener because they are unprocessed and work to benefit the body by boosting energy levels, relieving digestive issues like constipation and boosting bone health with important minerals like calcium and phosphorus. (4)
How to Make Horchata
The first step to making your horchata is to blend the rice. This opens up the grain and releases the nutrients so that they are more easily absorbed and digested.
Use a high-powered blender and combine 1 cup of raw, long-grain, sprouted brown rice with 1 cup of water. Blend the mixture gently until the rice is crushed but not completely pureed.
Place your rice and water mixture into a glass jar and add your spices.
The first spice that I use for my horchata recipe is cardamom, which will add a unique, sweet flavor to this drink. Plus, cardamom has a number of health benefits, including its ability to freshen your breath and fight cavities. Add 3–4 cardamon pods to the mixture. They don’t have to be ground because we are separating the liquid later.
Next, add 1–2 cinnamon sticks to the mix. Again, just leave the sticks whole because we will be separating them after the ingredients have come together. The cinnamon and cardamom flavors work really well together, and the health benefits of cinnamon make this horchata even more nutritious with an extra dose of manganese and antioxidants.
Once you’ve added your spices, pour in 3 more cups of water and refrigerate the mixture overnight, allowing the ingredients to merry.
Next, use a cheesecloth to separate the liquid from the rice and add just the liquid to your blender. Add in ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and 3–4 medjool dates.
Blend the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy and pour it over ice or add it to your coffee.
And just like that, your horchata is finished! You’re going to love this delicious and frothy beverage — enjoy!
Prep: 5 minutes; Total: 24 hours 5 minutes
- 1 cup long-grain, sprouted brown rice
- 4 cups water
- 3–4 cardamom pods
- 1–2 cinnamon sticks
- 3–4 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- In a high-powered blender, combine rice with 1 cup of water, blending gently to crush the rice.
- Place the mixture into a large glass jar along with the cardamom, cinnamon and the rest of the water.
- Refrigerate over night, allowing the ingredients to merry.
- Add rice mixture, using a cheesecloth to separate the liquid from the rice, to a high-powered blender.
- Add the salt and pitted dates, blending until smooth.
- Pour over ice or add to your coffee.