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Monday's Food: Rice & Coconut Drink

Here in Irondequoit we have a restaurant called Monte Alban Mexican Grille. I get the same thing to eat pretty much every time we order from there: a half order of cheese nachos, the light veggie quesadillas (with spinach and mushrooms) and horchata to drink.

I was unfamiliar with Horchata until I had it at Monte Alban. It tastes like liquified rice pudding. Since rice pudding just happens to be my favorite pudding of all time, I adore this drink.

I searched for Horchata recipes, and while I found a delicious one on All Recipes, it is time consuming. Patience isn't a trait I really possess, so cooking the rice, whipping it up in my blender, and all the waiting just doesn't give me an instant fix. Do try the recipe I linked to above, though--it really is divine.

In an effort to make a similar drink anytime at home, I tried a few different recipes using Rice Dream Rice Milk. This one also needs a couple hours to chill, but it is worth it and there's hardly any mess. I make this at night and have a pitcher in my fridge. This isn't Horchata, but this concoction is really good!

I use one container of rice milk, 1 cup coconut water or coconut milk, 1 vanilla bean, 1 T. ground cinnamon, 1/2 t. almond extract, and 1 t. buckwheat honey to sweeten (if desired)

The coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and almond flavors taste great together!

Combine them all in a saucepan, stirring occasionally over medium heat.

What I like about this drink is that it tastes great warm or chilled over ice. 

On a warm day, pour into a tall glass with ice.

Even though it is June 1, it's cloudy and 61 right now. I am having mine warmed up for an afternoon snack as we speak. This is a great alternative to lemonade or sweetened iced tea on a hot day...and probably much less caloric than a cremay latte at Strabucks.