The weekend is around the corner! I love Fridays – well, who doesn’t. I love Fridays even more, if it’s been a productive week. While we normally look to unwind during the weekends, weekends around here are filled with home projects. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen pictures of us trying […]
How do you warm up when it is cold outside? Common remedies include sitting by the fire place, having some hot chocolate, or a warm soup. Today I bring you something even more awesome: Canelazo. Canelazos are Ecuador’s answer to Hot Toddys. While more common in the Andes, this delicious party drink is […]
Juices, smoothies, and any sort of liquid fruit concoctions are an integral part of our Ecuadorian culture. People usually drink a juice with their meal, while sodas are usually left for special occasions – at least that’s how it was for me growing up. This Ecuadorian oatmeal drink known as colada Quaker, or simply Quaker (KWAH-cker) is a staple for all Ecuadorian families. And as it is expected, every family has their own way of doing it.
I made it for the first time this past week, and it turned out SO good! Comparing it with how I remember growing up, it was almost spot on. Almost because I recall that my nana used to make colada Quaker much thicker, so much so that it was almost like “eating” this drink. You can choose to make it thicker by using less water, but the way I will show you is smooth and I know you will love it.
I love how colada Quaker is made, using spices and aromatics. The process is very similar to making Colada Morada. Quaker can be had warm or cold. I tend to lean towards the cold version because it is so refreshing, but the warm colada Quaker is perfect during these winter months. And you know that a drink made with oatmeal is very healthy!
There are two ways to make Colada Morada or Mazamorra as it is also known. The first one, which is the traditional way, is using purple corn flour, or harina de maíz negro. The second one is to use cornstarch, or maicena. It is easier to find cornstarch, and it is quicker. For some history on Colada Morada, don’t forget to check my previous post on El Día de los Difuntos.
The challenge of making this drink lies primarily in the fruits that go into it: blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, NONE which are in season right now in the United States. While I try to be an advocate for seasonal produce, SANK GAWD for frozen fruit! Some may think I’ve committed heresy by using frozen berries, but all in the name of tradition. This drink also has pineapples, which I had no problem finding at the grocery store, but frozen or canned can be used as well. If using canned fruit, don’t use the syrup.
In an effort to adapt this recipe to avoid running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I made a few substitutions from the original recipe in terms of the aromatics used. You see, this Colada is very, VERY Ecuadorian, which means it uses a few ingredients that are native to our country. These are naranjillas, which I’ve talked about before here; ishpingo (scientific name Ocotea quixos); and babaco. Ishpingo is Quechua for Ecuadorian cinnamon tree. This tree is only found in a small Amazonian region of Ecuador and Colombia. In case you are wondering, ishpingo looks like this. Babaco is essentially an Ecuadorian papaya. The good thing about babaco is that it’s optional. Phew! Other things that could be tough to come by are orange leaves, myrtle sprigs and a type of lemongrass called hierba luisa. I have included the original recipe as well as the tweaked one, which is as delicious as the real deal. I think this makes a great year-round drink, and it will be awesome to drink cold during the summer. I’m like Mighty Mouse, y’all! Here I’ve come to save the daaaaayyyyy!!!
Watermelon is probably my favorite food of the Summer. I can honestly say I am capable of eating a small watermelon by myself in one sitting. Several trips to the restroom ensue, but who cares. Although there is nothing more refreshing (at least for me) than eating a cold slice of watermelon, adding a bit of booze to watermelon is not too shabby either.