Whoever came up with the idea of avena caliente (oatmeal and milk hot drink) must have been a culinary genius.
The best part of keeping this blog, and having it become the de facto digital Dominican kitchen, is that we get to show you recipes that may not longer be as popular in the Dominican home, but that definitely deserve a revival. They deserve to be shown to the world, and adopted for the wonderful ideas that they are.
Oatmeal dishes as a part of breakfast are pretty much universal at this point, and researchers nearly trip over each other to reveal an ever-growing list of nutritional benefits. Imagine this in a drink form. Imagine how practical: a warm drink, thick, and full of the flavors of our beloved spices. It warms the soul and satisfies the most voracious appetite. Even those who dislike oatmeal porridge will give oatmeal a second chance.
Avena caliente (oatmeal and milk hot drink):
Often found on our breakfast table when I was a kid. Practical, simple, quick to make and inexpensive, this is just perfect to send the kids off to school with a nutritionally solid meal in their stomach.
And grownups will love it too. Pour into your favorite lidded mug and sip on your way to work if you are short on time.
- 1/2 cup [58 gr] of oatmeal
- 4 cups of water
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt (optional)
- 4 cups of milk (see notes)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons of brown sugar (or more, to taste)
Mix water, milk, salt and oatmeal and mix (in a blender) until the oatmeal is nearly dissolved.
In a 3 quart [3 lt] pot mix with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Heat over medium heat, stir constantly.
Once it breaks the boil, lower heat and simmer until volume has reduced to 3/4 of the original. Add sugar to taste
For a thicker, richer drink use evaporated milk. For a lighter drink, skim milk works very well. If you are lactose intolerant, or vegan, I have enjoyed it with almond milk.
To sieve or not to sieve. That is the question. You'll lose some fiber if you sieve this drink, but not as much as you'd think since most will be blended in, it will only remove the large pieces left. Some like it like that. I'll leave it to you to decide.