Atole de Vainilla – Vanilla Atole

October is soon coming to an end and there are a few festivities around the corner. Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) which is celebrated between October 31 and November 2.

This is a super simple recipe that can be adjusted for separate needs.

It’s important to remember that while Dia de Muertos falls around the same time as Halloween it isn’t the same holiday. Dia de Muertos is about welcoming the spirits of the departed joyfully.

My mom hasn’t always participated in Dia de Muertos festivities, since we are a small family. However, my mom has started to make altars for people who have passed away in the past few years.

One of the traditional drinks that is often present during breakfast on Dia de Muertos is atole.

I like adding a little cinnamon to the top of my atole and then mixing it with the drink.

Atole is a traditional hot beverage made from masa harina, the corn flour that is often used to make corn tortillas.

My mom likes to make her atole a little lighter with less masa harina. I prefer my atole to be thicker with more masa harina.

Todays helper of the day award goes to my excited dog milky, who always tries helping in the kitchen.

I like the consistency and for me it’s more filling.

Atole can be made with many different flavors from orange to vanilla, there are plenty of ways to make atole.

My family prefers a simple vanilla atole or chocolate atole which is also known as champurrado.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 TBS of vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 small piloncillos (or about 1 cup brown sugar)
  • a mixture of 1/2 cup of Maseca and 1 cup of warm water (can be blended for a better texture)

Method

1.Boil the water, vanilla and cinnamon together. Add a pinch of salt.

The boiling water should be mixed a little to incorporate all of the ingredients.

2. Optional: You can add about 1/4 cup of white sugar for a bit of extra taste.

3. When everything boils, slowly pour in the milk

4. Constantly stir the mixture until it boils. (If it’s not stirred, the milk will stick and burn on the bottom)

5. After it boils again add the masa harina. (If you want the drink to be thicker, add more masa harina)

Careful! The milk makes the mixture boil faster!

6. Stir it again until it boils.

7. Ready to drink!

Horchata de Fresa

Strawberry horchata is sweeter than regular horchata.

My mom has always loved making her own drinks at home, from Agua de Jamaica to pineapple water, if she could make it into a drink, she would.

One of my favorite drinks has always been the classic horchata, a Mexican agua fresca typically made with rice, milk, cinnamon sticks, and water.

It is a crazy simple drink, but it has always been my favorite.

My mom has always stuck with the traditional horchata. She lets the rice soak for a full day before she actually makes the drink.

The recipe remains simple with only 4 main ingredients.

To get the best possible flavor, the rice needs to soak in the water for at least 8-10 hours.

The horchata still tastes great if the rice only soaks for a few hours, but the flavor might not be as concentrated.

While my mom loves to make her horchata the traditional way, horchata can be customized in a few ways.

Horchata de Fresa (Strawberry Horchata) is one of the only Mexican agua frescas that I’ve never tried before.

My mom loved trying this new drink.

After making this with my mom though, I know that horchata de fresa will become a frequent visitor in my own house.

To make this agua fresca you will need a fine mesh strainer and a blender.

Recipe

1 1/2 cups of rice

1 cinnamon stick

1 lb of strawberies

1 cup of sugar

Method

Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer to clean it before using it.

Afterwards, put the rice in a bowl and fill the bowl with water until the rice is covered at least. Usually about 2 or 3 cups of water.

Add the cinnamon stick(s).

Let the rice soak for overnight or at least 1 hour.

I like to take out the cinnamon sticks before blending because cinnamon tends to be a very overpowering flavor.

Blend the rice water together until it is a very fine mixture. This could take a few minutes.

Set this aside and rinse the blender well.

Add the strawberries and 1 cup of the sugar with about 4 cups of water. Blend well.

Put the strawberry mixture through the strainer and add to the horchata mix.

Stir together well and taste for sweetness. If it’s not sweet enough add a cup or two with the ladle and mix together. If it’s too sweet add more water to lessen the sweetness.

All pictures were taken by me.