Horchata is a cool, sweet, plant-based drink made throughout Latin America (but with North African origins) from rice milk, cinnamon, sugar and delicious additions depending on the region such as sesame seeds, coconut, and licorice flavored semilla de jicaro. Our version is sweetened with date and full of medicinal herbs to bolster immunity and respiratory health.
Medicinal herbs such as marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) and mullein (Verbascum thapsus) can tone the epithelial lining of the nasal cavity, trachea and bronchi. Keeping this mucosal tissue healthy allows for balanced production of secretory IgA…a powerful antibody that can protect against viral infection. Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) acts as an adaptagen to strengthen functions of the immune system.
This recipe is quite simple but it requires you soak the first four ingredients overnight.
- 1 cup organic brown rice (or rice of choice)
- 1 cup almonds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup marshmallow root (chopped root or powder)
- 3 cups water (or medicinal tea of choice..we suggest mullein)
- 2 Tbs astragalus powder
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice…we also like coconut and oat)
- If using tea in place of water, start by making a strong batch of mullein tea by covering mullein leaves in freshly boiled water. Let stand and cool about 1/2 hour. Strain out leaves.
- Soak the rice, almonds, cinnamon sticks and marshmallow root in the tea (or water) 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender along with all of the remaining ingredients except for the almond milk and blend for 2 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding more dates for more sweetness if needed.
- Pour the blended liquid through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids. Once strained, add the almond milk to the liquid and mix throughout.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Serve in glasses over ice.