Since those former times when the years were counted as A.C, in ancient Egypt times, it is thought that at the river Nile banks a milky drink made out of Tigernuts cultivated at their riversides was consumed. In fact, some archaeologists have found Tigernuts “Cyperus Sculentus” in the funerary trappings of some pharaohs.
The etymological origin of this word is a bit more complex, as there are different beliefs about its origin, but we prefer the Latin option, which argues this word is a derivation from the Latin “hordeata” (barley).
There are other vegetable milks; in fact some of them are also called Horchata in their origin countries, as the rice Horchata from Mexico. In our opinion are not comparable to Tigernuts Horchata, because these other milks are practically insipid in comparison with the natural sweetness that Tigernuts confer to the product.
Horchata’s secret lies on its simplicity, as its slight composition don’t represent the complexity of the product itself. We will just need Tigernuts, sugar and water, although there’s people who prefers to add lemon rind and stick cinnamon to tinge its flavour.
- 250 grs of Tigernuts
- 200 grs of Sugar
- 1,5 ltrs of Water
- Lemon rind (optional)
- Stick cinnamon (optional)
We soak the Tigernuts for 24 hours before using them. In a saucepan we put the Tigernuts, lemon rind and half a litre of water, we grind up with a mixer until we obtain a fine mixture. Then we add the rest of the water and strain the mix with a cloth strainer. Afterwards we will add the sugar, stir properly the liquid and put the resulting product in the fridge.
Serve proposal: We fill half a glass with crushed ice then we complete the rest with Horchata and sprinkle with cinnamon.
We have also published the recipe with photos here: Horchata de chufas Recipe.
There are a lot of benefits attributed to Horchata, one of the most known is its help to digestion; in former times it was used as medicinal drink because it was considered diuretic and energetic.
It’s an ideal drink for persons with coeliac disease, as there are no traces of casein, lactose or gluten.
- Horchata is not just a refreshing drink, but a really healthy drink
- Helps in the reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides. Reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol because of its high contents in oleic acid and vitamin E, which has an antioxidant effect on fats.
- Good for persons with arteriosclerosis thanks to, in one hand its content in oleic acid and in the other hand because of his content in Arginin, as this element favours the vasodilator effect.
- Horchata drink without sugar can be consumed by diabetics, thanks to his content in carbohydrates based in sucrose and starch (without glucose) and for its high content in Arginin, which liberates the insulin producing hormone.
- Suitable drink for persons with coeliac disease and for persons with lactose and lactose derivatives allergy.
- Highly recommended for those who suffer from difficult digestion, emission of gases and constipation because it contributes to the regeneration of digestive enzymes such as Catalase, Amylase and Lipase.
Different investigations concluded that Horchata possess a high content in starch and amino acids. Horchata is also Rich in minerals and vitamins, especially in phosphorous, potassium and vitamins C and E; it’s good for hypertension patients because of his low content in sodium. Its lipid profile is quite similar to olive oil, so it also has cardiovascular properties as olive oil has.
Horchata: A futuristic and healthy drink
Nowadays, apart of being a nutritive and rich drink, Horchata has been introduced in the kitchens of some well recognised chefs, such as Quique Dacosta, Eva Arguiñano, Bruno Oteiza, Oscar Torrijos...
These chefs are innovating in their kitchens with this "renewed" product inside the creative cuisine. At our recipes section you’ll fin some of their recipes with Horchata and the Horchata de chufas Recipe with photos.