Monday, February 22, 2010

Apple and Quinoa Drink

MANZANAImage by PONCE 2007 via Flickr

While in the US we tend to drink soft drinks like koolaid and sodas and ice tea during the warm months, in Peru it's much more common to drink 'aguitas' - drinks made from fruit juice, water and sugar. Lemonade is a common aguita, as is orange-ade. I use the juice of four oranges in a two liter pitcher, then add sugar to taste. I'm trying to wean my guys off of putting as much sugar in it; they like it the way 'abuela' makes it, which is almost syrupy sweet to me.

But one of our very favorites is aguita de manzana, made with apples. It's a delicious and refreshing drink when served cold. But it's made with cinnamon and cloves, which gives it a super homey and warming flavor when served warm in winter, too. I originally made it just with apples, but later found this recipe on the internet and had to try it. It's a wonderful breakfast drink, served hot or cold depending on the weather - gives kids lots of healthy stuff and energy to get through the morning at school.

Apple and Quinoa Drink

* 1 litro de agua. (1 liter of water)
* ½ taza de quinua. (1/2 cup quinua)
* 2 manzanas cortadas en cuartos. (2 apples, cut into quarters)
* 2 membrillos. (2 quince fruit)
* ¼ taza de kiwicha. (1/4 cup of kiwicha)
* 1 ramita de canela y 2 clavos de olor. (1 cinnamon stick and 2 cloves)

Boil everything together for 20 minutes.
Let it cool.
Liquify in the blender, strain and serve.

This is also a really good drink to serve to someone having stomach problems (diarrhea). Cinnamon has been shown to help reduce harmful bacteria in the stomach and intestines, and membrillo (quince) is also believed to help alleviate stomach problems. Of course, in Peru, if you're serving this for stomach problems, you should only serve it warm - never serve cold drinks to someone with a stomach ache!

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