Bryanna Clark Grogan

Bryanna Clark Grogan

Posted February 21, 2011

Published in Food, Health, International

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Read More: apple, beverage, hot chocolate, hot chocolate with oats, Latin American, Peru, Peruvian, quinoa, Quinoa and apple drink, South American

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Last May I experimented with a Latin American fruit and oat "smoothie", and we really enjoyed it. I began researching and discovered a myriad of Central and South American beverages made with grains. Indeed, South Americans seem to love grain drinks, and I think it's a fabulous idea to use different grains to thicken and enrich beverages.  So, way back in May, I promised that I would  experiment with more of these drinks, but the book sort of got in the way of much experimentation!  However, I'm on a bit of a Peruvian and South American cooking roll, so I decided to try two beverages today.  I'm very happy with the results and I hope you'll try them!

Peruvian quinoa and apple beverage

Printable Recipe


 Servings: 5

NEWS FLASH: I've decided that this makes a MUCH better hot drink than a cold one!

"Aguitas" are Peruvian fruit drinks, but this one is also made with quinoa. This silky-smooth fruit and grain beverage can be served hot or cold. I thought it was too bland when made only with apples, but I had noticed one recipe online using quince as well as apple. I don't have any quinces around, but I know that they are sour and thought some acidity might add some kick to the drink. So, I added some orange and lemon, and that was perfect. Once you make this, it can be refrigerated and enjoyed cold, or heat up for a "hot toddy". BTW, it contains more than twice as much protein as commercial rice, almond or oat milk, along with a respectable amount of fiber. 

I'd like to hear about any successful variations you come up with!

1/2 lb.    apples, cored, peeled and chunked  

1/2 cup    quinoa  

2 1/2 cups    water  

1/4 teaspoon    salt  


1 cup    water  

1/4 cup    brown sugar  

1 medium    organic orange, grated zest and juice  

1 tablespoon    lemon juice  

1/4 teaspoon    cinnamon  

1/8 teaspoon    ground cloves  


Place the prepared apple, quinoa, 2 1/2 cups water and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

 Peruvian Quinoa and Apple drink 

Turn the heat down to Low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the cooked mixture into a large blender.


Add the remaining ingredients. Put the lid firmly in place on the blender, removing the center plug in the lid (to let steam escape) and cover the hole with a folded tea towel (held in place with your hand), so that you don't get an explosion of hot liquid.

Blend continuously until a smooth mixture results and you can't see the little quinoa "tails" in it. Serve immediately for a hot drink, or refrigerate and serve cold. It can be reheated.

  Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 149.5 calories; 6% calories from fat; 1.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 106.1mg sodium; 276.3mg potassium; 33.9g carbohydrates; 3.2g fiber; 15.2g sugar; 30.6g net carbs; 2.8g protein; 2.4 points. 



The Second Beverage:

Peruvian hot chocolate with oats 

Printable Recipe


Servings: 2

This is my version of a Peruvian hot chocolate recipe made with oatmeal. The original recipe called for bar chocolate and evaporated milk (ubiquitous in South America). But the oats make such a rich, thick drink that lower-fat (and less expensive) cocoa tastes as luxurious as chocolate.

2 cups    nondairy milk  

3 tablespoons    rolled oats, or old-fashioned oatmeal  

3 tablespoons    unsweetened, organic, fair trade cocoa powder  

2 tablespoons    brown sugar  


North American Traditional:  

1 teaspoon    pure vanilla extract (or you could use pure peppermint extract instead!)  

South American Traditional:  

1/8 teaspoon    cinnamon  

2 pinches    grated nutmeg  


   In addition to the cinnamon and nutmeg, add a drop of pure almond extract and a pinch of cayenne pepper!   


Mix the milk and oats in the blender and blend until very smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl or pitcher, forcing the liquid through and leaving behind any solids.

Add the remaining ingredients (but not the Additions yet) to the milk and mix with a hand/immersion blender or whisk until well-mixed and a bit frothy. Heat the mixture gently in a small sauce pan until hot, or in a microwave-safe bowl or pitcher (with room to froth up) in the microwave for a minute.

Beat in your chosen Additions with a whisk or hand/immersion blender and serve immediately.

 Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 156.3 calories; 23% calories from fat; 4.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 138.3mg sodium; 188.6mg potassium; 26.5g carbohydrates; 2.9g fiber; 16.4g sugar; 23.5g net carbs; 7.7g protein; 2.9 points.


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