Thursday, December 26, 2013

Atole de Avena

 Atole is very much a classic winter drink for my family.  It is what we traditionally have instead of eggnog.  Rather than thickening with eggs, the liquid is thickened with a grain.  Typical thickening agents are corn flour, oats, wheat flour or rice.  They can come in various flavors from chocolate to fruit to just cinnamon.  My favorite is simply Atole de Avena or Oat Avena.  This version is flavored with canela, dried apricots and piloncillo. I combined these ingredients in a pot and boiled for about 15 minutes and let it steep for another 15.

After the liquid is done steeping, the piloncillo is melted and the apricots and canela give off all their flavor. 

After straining, I combined with whole milk.  After tweaking the recipe a bit, I found that a 4-5 cups of liquid to 1 cup of oats is a reasonable ratio.  Here you will see I have less liquid and this resulted in a thicker atole. 

I added instant oats and blended with a stick blender to break it down and combine with the milk.  I heated the mixture over medium, stirring occasionally.  I blended a few more times to make sure all the oats where fully incorporated into the drink to make sure it is smooth.

The end result is a warm, thick drink with strong oat and cinnamon flavor.  It is very nourishing and satisfying on a cold winter day.  The apricots are optional, but I had them laying around and found that they gave a nice fruit flavor to the drink as well.

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