Oh cinnamon, how I love thee. Obviously, both of us have a sweet tooth. Garett prefers creamy and rich desserts, like ice cream, Crème brûlée, and French pastries. Personally, I prefer a fruit crumble, pretty much anything with chocolate, or, wait for it, cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls are my dessert dream and would be part of my last meal. And if that meal was in the summer, it would be these Cinnamon Caramel Horchata Popsicles.
This time of year we both want something cool and refreshing. Which is why we began experimenting with one of our shared favorite treats, Horchata.
It highlights all our favorite things. A creamy slightly sweet beverage laced with warm aromatic cinnamon. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about it.
A traditional beverage, horchata has a rich history. It is a staple in Spain, Latin American and Mexico, with each country having their own variation. In Mexican cuisine, it is made from rice milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Which is usually the variety you will find across the U.S.
If you have ever sampled homemade rice milk you will know it is in many ways superior to dairy milk. For starters, it is missing the lactose that many people have trouble with, and instead, imparts a natural sweetness. Also incredibly easy to make at home, with only a few simple ingredients, you cannot go wrong.
Rice is a grain, of course, so those with IBD or allergies/intolerances should substitute this version with an allergy-free option. Califia Farms makes a wonderful Almondmilk Horchata that we absolutely adore.
But let’s not be cute and assume that this recipe is about anything other than the cinnamon. All you fellow cinnamon obsessed fans know exactly what I mean. Sure the other ingredients matter, but the real star is obvious.
And because it is all about the cinnamon, we had to feature it in not one but two ways. Caramel makes all things better, obviously. This is especially true when you marry it with cinnamon. I just can’t with this stuff. I could drink it by the cupful.
Fortunately for us, cinnamon is a healthy superfood. Treating everything from diabetes, to high cholesterol, to Alzheimer’s, it is nothing to be ignored. The compounds in cinnamon contain antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which is why it is has been used as a holistic remedy for centuries. It is also essential to treat inflammation, due to all the antioxidants. Even positively impacting conditions such as PCOS, and acting as an anti-cancer treatment. Seriously, what doesn’t this tasty little spice do?
Which is why, friends, you should enjoy cinnamon in (nearly) any form. Especially in popsicle form.
What are your favorite summertime treats?
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup maple sugar (see notes for substitutions)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- (See notes for Paleo option)
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup reserved cooking liquid (if needed)
- 4 cups coconut or almond milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup or coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Popsicle molds
- Cinnamon Caramel
- 2-4 cups Horchata (depending on the size of your molds)
- Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add maple sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir to combine.
- Whisk in coconut cream and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent burning.
- Remove from heat and whisk in sea salt. Set aside to cool. Caramel will thicken as it sits.
- (See notes for Paleo option)
- Combine rice and water in a large saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a boil, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Strain rice, reserving the water in a separate bowl, then transfer rice to a high powered blender or food processor. Add milk and blend to combine. If the mixture is too thick, add reserved cooking liquid ¼ cup at a time until milk is thin enough to drink.
- Strain milk through a cheesecloth into a separate medium bowl. Discard solids. Add sweetener and all seasonings and whisk to combine.
- Transfer to refrigerator to cool until ready to use.
- Pro tip: Freeze popsicle molds for 30 minutes before proceeding.
- Holding each mold at an angle, use a small spoon to drizzle the caramel around the inside perimeter of the molds. Try and cover the entire mold as much as possible, instead of lumping the caramel at the top or bottom. Freeze molds on their sides, to avoid the caramel from sliding to the top, for 15 minutes.
- Once the caramel is firm, pour horchata into molds, splitting evenly. Freeze 2-4 hours, or until solid.
- Remove popsicles from molds, drizzle with extra caramel if desired, and serve immediately.
**If you don't have maple sugar for the caramel, you can use a combination of half honey and half coconut sugar. The flavor will differ, as will the consistency. Maple sugar creates a thicker caramel where honey/coconut sugar is a bit thinner.
Items Used In This Recipe:
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