I was first introduced to legit Mexican Horchata a few years ago when I visited Mexico with my two kids. We had an amazing trip, but one of my favorite moments was the homemade horchata we received during one of our hikes.

Ever since then I have tried to find a comparitively good one in stores, with no luck. I even tried making my own from scratch a few times a year or so ago, and didn’t like it.

This one finally is the winner! It is so yummy, healthy, and get this – it’s non-dairy/vegan! Whoop!

Most recipes I found since then have been incredibly sweet. In fact, many recipes call for more white sugar than rice (yikes).

This less sweet, but significantly healthier, version skips the white sugar completely and relies on the natural sweetness of Medjool dates and maple syrup instead (two of my favorite, nutritious sweeteners).

Prep time: 15 minutes + time to soak (up to 8 hours)
Cook time: n/a
Serves: 4-6


  • 1 C organic long-grain white rice, rinsed and thoroughly drained
  • 1 small organic cinnamon stick
  • 6 C water, divided
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1/3 C Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2-3 T real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp homemade vanilla
  • ½ C soaked (6-8 hours in the fridge) and then rinsed raw almonds

Optional garnish:

  • 4 long cinnamon sticks
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. Add rice, organic cinnamon stick, and 4 cups of very warm water to a medium-sized bowl. Let soak overnight at room temperature, or until the rice softens and the cinnamon stick is soft enough to break into several smaller pieces.
  2. Transfer the rice mixture to a high-powered blender and blend to combine.
  3. Add 2 cups cold water, almond milk, dates, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almonds. Blend until thoroughly combined and no large solids remain.
  4. Taste and add additional syrup, if desired.
  5. Strain contents of blender with a fine-weave mesh strainer and 1-2 layers of cheesecloth. When finished, discard remaining solids in the strainer and transfer the reserved liquid to a pitcher or other container.
  6. Refrigerate until chilled, or serve immediately over ice with whole cinnamon sticks or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, for garnish.

I hope you try this recipe and love horchata as much as I do! This is an enjoyable treat for Spring and Summer. You’ll feel like you’re getting spoiled while enjoying something that’s healthy.