This silky smooth homemade horchata recipe gets a pumpkin pie vibe from pumpkin seeds, maple, cinnamon, and fresh ginger along with the usual almonds and rice. Add a shot of rum or brandy for a festive beverage that tastes like healthy eggnog.
If you don't have blanched almonds on hand, do be sure to take the time to blanch your own as the almond peels will turn the horchata brown and muddy the flavor. It only takes a few minutes to blanch this small quantity: bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the almonds and simmer until the skins are loose, 1-2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water, and slip the almonds from their skins.
For a nut-free version, use all pumpkin seeds in place of the almonds.
For a more classic horchata, use all almonds in place of the pumpkin seeds and omit the ginger.
Nutritional values are based on one of six cups.