Avena is a South American beverage prepared with stewed oatmeal, milk, water, cinnamon, clove and sugar. In Puerto Rico vanilla, brown sugar, and small amount of butter is added and in the Dominican Republic ginger and orange peels are added. Avena means oat in the Spanish language. It is somewhat similar to horchata, a sweet nut milk drink from Spain.
Avena is prepared using water and milk brought to a boil. Sugar and a small amount of oatmeal is added and cooked. If water is used, some amount of milk may optionally be added at the end of cooking. The oats may then be strained out, blended using a blender, or simply allowed to settle to the bottom of the pitcher. Cinnamon is sometimes used as well.
- ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Place the water, milk and oatmeal in a medium pot over medium heat and cook about 15 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
- Add the cinnamon stick, ground cloves and sugar and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 more minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Place the oatmeal mixture in a plastic container and refrigerate for a least 3 hours.
- Discard the cinnamon stick and place the mixture in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Add more water if you like a thinner consistency.
- Serve cold.