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Sugar-Free Rice Milk Tigernut Horchata

Our friend and reader Jean-Baptiste Selfa, from Germany sent us this really interesting recipe proposal not too long ago. His grand-mother used to make tigernut horchata, though she preferred to use rice milk instead of water, which is actually a clever way to make horchata sweeter without having to add extra sugar.

We obviously thought it was a fantastic idea, so we decided to give it a go! Granted, making this kind of drink is slightly harder, since you’ll need to prepare not one, but two plant drinks: rice milk and tigernut horchata. However, the final drinks, a smooth, sweeter, “gourmet” horchata turns out so nice that it’s 100% worth the extra effort.

Moreover, this horchata is completely free of gluten and nuts, which makes it perfect for people who have an allergy to either. Plus, natural, freshly made horchata is high in phospholipids, arginine and biotin – as shown is recent research, which you can read about here.


  • 1 litre of hot water (80ºC)
  • 40 grams of rice (white or brown)
  • 200 grams of tigernuts
  • A pinch of salt
  • A teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)


First step is to make the rice milk following these instructions:

  1. Rinse rice well
  2. Put half a litre of hot water (80ºC) in the ChufaMix glass.
  3. Place the filtering mesh inside the glass, add raw rice and salt and blend everything for 2 minutes, using the strongest setting on your hand blender.
  4. Add the remaining half a litre of water (can be hot or lukewarm) and blend for 10 seconds to make sure that milk is smooth.
  5. De-attach the filtering mesh and press the pulp with the morter so you can squeeze the last drops of milk.
  6. Pour milk into a saucepan and heat on low for 7-10 minutes, stirring often.
  7. If not drunk straight-away, it’s best to let it chill and then keep in the fridge.
  8. Leftover pulp can be used in soups and stews, adding it to the pot in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Let rice milk cool for a bit before continuing with the second part of the recipe. It’s not advisable to use hot rice milk when making horchata since tigernuts are rather sensitive to heat.

Another option would be to make the rice milk in the morning and wait until the afternoon to prepare the horchata. However, you shouldn’t wait more than 24 hours between these two steps, or else the final drink will go off soon.

Here’s how to make horchata using rice milk as a base:

  1. Soak 200 grams of tigernuts between 8 to 24 hours.
  2. Fill the ChufaMix glass with a litre of homemade rice milk.
  3. Place 100 grams of soaked tigernuts inside the filter.
  4. Optionally, you can add cinnamon or lemon zest.
  5. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes and squeeze the pulp using a morter.
  6. Cover glass with the lid and keep in the fridge.
  7. Let it chill for a couple of hours and shake before serving.

*If you want to use ground tigernuts, you must use freshly grounded ones to avoid obtaining a rancid drink. In this case, you can skip the soaking part and put all 200 grams in the filter in one simple step.

Tips and tricks

  • It’s important that tigernuts are kept under 20ºC while they’re soaking to prevent them from fermenting. It would be wise to soak them in a bow kept in the fridge, then.
  • You can use 200 grams of tigernuts to make a more traditionally Mediterranean drink or use only 100 grams to make a thinner version. Both are fantastic! If you decide to use 100 or 150 grams, you can blend tigernuts in only one step instead of two.
  • It’s also possible to carry out a second pulp extraction, adding half a litre of water and a bit of cinnamon and lemon to flavour this lighter horchata.

  • Tigernuts are really sensitive to heat, so it’s best to keep horchata in the fridge at all times. However, you could still add it to your tea or coffee. It can also be used in smoothies, mylkshakes and alcoholic cocktails.
  • It’s best not to eat tigernut horchata pulp alone, as it’s rather coarse. However, you can add it to salads, yogurt, muesli, etc… Check out our pulp index for more ideas on how to use leftovers.
  • This recipe can be used with other nuts or seeds of your choice.

Thank you Jean-Baptiste for your comment and brilliant idea on how to make horchata evolve using traditional methods. It was a brilliant one!

Homemade tigernut milk vs storebought: A scientific study on nutritional differences Coconut milk banana date popsicle
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