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Drinking your quinoa?

You may be used to quinoa as being fare you eat with a fork, but registered dietician Cheryl Forberg, author of Cooking with Quinoa for Dummies, recommends transforming the high-protein ingredient into a drink.

According to Forberg, who is also The Biggest Loser nutritionist, quinoa drinks have long been enjoyed in parts of South America, where quinoa is grown abundantly. She adds, “Now that more and more people are aware of the many benefits of quinoa, hopefully they will take advantage of it – even in liquid form.” She includes a few drinkable quinoa recipes in her cookbook, including a Bolivian refresco, horchata, and smoothies.

We love the horchata made with quinoa. Forberg’s original recipe is made with (dairy) milk, but we swapped in rice milk with delicious results.

Horchata recipe

Recipe adapted from Cooking with Quinoa for Dummies by Cheryl Forberg, RD.

Serves 4


  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1/2 cup rice milk (Forberg calls for low-fat milk)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Pour water and quinoa into a jar of a blender and blend until the quinoa begins to break up, about 1 minute (the mixture will look milky).
  2. Let the quinoa and water stand at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  3. Strain quinoa water through a fine strainer into a pitcher and discard the quinoa.
  4. Add enough milk to the quinoa water to measure 4 cups.
  5. Stir in the agave, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  6. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

More vegan recipes

Vegan penne alla vodka
Island black bean burgers with nectarine salsa
Tofu “egg” salad

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