Dominican Style Avena aka Oatmeal is hands down one of my favorite things to have in the winter. It reminds me so much of my grandmother that it actually brings me to tears. As soon as the weather dropped, my grandmother would make this drink which would give you immense strength and energy for the rest of the day. You knew your day was going to be spectacular whenever you saw the large pot with dark brown caramelized drippings on the side. It was Avena and with it toasted Pan de Agua with butter. Mm..Mm…Mmmmm
Dominican Style Oatmeal can be made a few different ways. You can:
- Have it with Chocolate or No Chocolate- I like both!
- You can choose to have with the oatmeal chunks or without
- You can also have it super sweet or semi-sweet.
- Lastly, you can also choose to have thick or runny
As you can see, Avena Dominicana varies quite a bit and it honestly tastes different from house to house. However, one thing is for certain, you MUST add the Lime Peel, cinnamon, and cloves for it to taste like Dominican Avena. Skipping out on these ingredients, just doesn’t feel right. Aside from this, all of the other ingredients are to taste. You can choose to make it as sweet and as thick as you want. In fact, this is where Avena will become personal. I honestly like to have mine somewhere in the middle. Not too thin, not too thick. Right in the middle, just right!
Now before you run off and make this classic drink, know that Avena can sometimes be tricky! To start, it thickens up as it cooks so you want to be sure to always be stirring. This recipe also calls for sugar which will also have the tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot. Milk + sugar typically have a love-LOVE relationship so you want to be extra careful. The last thing you want is smokey-burnt Avena!
You also want to take the time and blend your Avena. When you blend it is also up to you. You can blend it in the beginning after it’s been sitting in water for a bit and softening it up. Or you blend it when I do it, after I’ve added all of the milks but before I’ve added the sugar. You can also choose to use a regular blender or a handheld blender to minimize mess and dishes!
The best part about Avena is that you can make this drink ahead of time and warm it up every morning before work or school. However, like all things sweet and creamy, Avena will thicken in the fridge. Therefore, when you warm it up, it’s important that you add extra water or milk to loosen it up. You may also want to add extra sugar and cinnamon. The choice is entirely up to you. My advice is to taste it before adjusting any flavors. Chances are, you’ll be luck.
Last but not least, you can also choose to run your Avena through a sieve. This is mainly for people who like their Avena silky smooth. If that’s the case, know that the oatmeal left behind is delicious! Before throwing it out, taste it and enjoy with a little extra cinnamon over top. This is honestly one of my favorite parts about making a fresh batch of Avena!
If you’d like to watch an easy to follow step-by-step video on How to Make Avena Dominicana TWO Ways | Dominican Style Oatmeal, be sure to visit my YouTube Channel: Chef Zee Cooks
- 2 Cups Raw Oatmeal
- 1 cup Sugar or to Taste
- ½ cup NesQuick Chocolate
- 3-4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 tbs Lime Peel (~½ Lime)
- ½ tbs Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Cloves
- ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 4 Cups Milk
- 3 Cups Evaporated Milk (2 cans)
- 4 cups Water