Avena Colombiana (Otmeal Drink)

by Erica Dinho on May 9, 2009

This post is also available in Spanish

Avena Drink
Avena means oats in English and it’s a traditional Colombian drink that is rich, creamy and delicious. It is my mom’s favorite Colombian drink that is great with breakfast or you could serve it at any time of the day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful moms in the world!




  • ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 3 ½ tablespoons sugar


  1. Place the water, milk and oatmeal in a medium pot over medium heat and cook about 15 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, ground cloves and sugar and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 more minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Place the oatmeal mixture in a plastic container and refrigerate for a least 3 hours.
  5. Discard the cinnamon stick and place the mixture in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Add more water if you like a thinner consistency.
  6. Serve cold.
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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sophie May 16, 2009 at 4:46 AM

MMMMMM….souds so lovely!!! MMMMMM….


2 Carol June 17, 2009 at 1:45 AM

I’ve drank it while visiting Colombia; can’t wait to make it for my kids. Thanks for the recipe;)


3 Diana July 27, 2009 at 4:10 AM

I love ur web site! I am really glad i have found it as i was looking for a proper colombian recipe site for ages. My boyfirend is from Colombia and i will definetely suprise him with some typical dishes from his country. I tried a lot of them and love it! Thank u very much and good luck! Looking forward to more info and recipes on mycolombianrecipes.com

I love avena drink, i add a little bit of condensed milk instead of sugar, its delicious.


4 Erica July 27, 2009 at 6:50 AM

Thank you Diana!!!!
Sometimes I add condensed milk to my avena too and is delicious, but my mom prefers to have it just with sugar.


5 Rossy September 17, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Finally! I have been looking all over the web for this recipe. Here in Miami, there is a local colombian bakery that prepares “Avena Fria” and I have been clueless on how they make it and came across this website! thanks:)


6 Gil December 17, 2009 at 4:55 PM

I add milk to blend instead of water, I love avena its refreshing healthy and brings back many memories when traveling through towns in Colombia. I also sprinkle a little cround cinnamon on top and serve ice cold. YUMMM!


7 Nats December 29, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Mmmm thanks for posting this! I love this drink but never quite knew how to make it.


8 Timothy May 1, 2010 at 7:26 PM


I just discoverd Alpine Avena. I am crazy about it. My mate’s mother is diabetic and drinks the skim/no sugar one, Finesse. They are Venezuelan. I thought i would make it and came across your site, which is incredible. Two questions:
Can it be made with instant oats?
Can it be made with fat free milk?
I can use Splenda to taste,
Any tips would be appreciated.



9 Erica May 1, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Timothy- I did not make it with splenda or low fat milk, but you can try it!


10 Anonymous December 10, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Yes you can make it with instant oats. Just put the instant oats in the blender and blend them raw until you see a powder like substance. I usually make a big batch and I add cinamin and sugar to the mix and I store it in a glass container. This way is more convenient to make.


11 Timothy May 2, 2010 at 4:35 PM


I did use ff milk and splenda. Left it overnight in fridge, blended it this morning with a few ice cubes and a drop of vanilla and it came out delicious! I think it taste better than the Alpin brand, plus it does not have any things i cannot pronounce in it. Thanks!



12 Carlos June 28, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Thank you for the recipe. I have followed the instruction 3 times to the ‘t’. Unfortunately it turns our like carpenter glue when it cools down. Have you tested this recipe? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


13 Erica June 28, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Carlos- I make this drink once a week and it is good! You can add more water or milk if you think that is too thick for you!

This is my mom’s recipe and always works for her as well, sorry it is not working for you!


14 Carlos June 30, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Thank you for your reply. I will add more milk. Thank you again.


15 SOKY July 8, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Carlos; it is suppost to turn like glue, this is normal; that’s why you have to add water or milk to the blender and then it will have the consistency that you desire; according to the amount of liquid that you add!!
Have fun!!! this is the beauty of cooking when you can add your own touch!!!
Try it with yougurt and fruits!!!


16 GregYohn February 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I modified the recipe. I use 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup condensed milk, tablespoon of sugar, with cinnamon & nutmeg. I heat in the microwave 2 minutes. Makes a thicker drink, so you use a spoon.


17 Valerie March 20, 2011 at 3:06 PM

oh my goodness! i am making that right now! i just need some quesito to go along with it!…. brings memories of me going to girardot with my family for the weekend!


18 Martin March 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Valerie, I used to travel a lot to girardot and melgar and always try avena helada.
I can’t wait to have to chance to make it this weekend.Hope to hear from you.


19 Gloria July 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I made this avena for breakfast today and we all loved it. The perfect drink for summer. Thank you for sharing your recipes.This is my favorite Colombian drink.


20 Lina July 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

I made this yesterday and It was delicious. Like my mom’s!Thank you!


21 Susan August 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

I made this for the first time last weekend….oh so yummy! Especially after the spices spend a day or two mingling. I take a small bottle to work for a yummy and satisfying morning snack!! Thank you!!!


22 Carlos October 10, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Hey Thanks Erica,I was hoping to make a nice avena and here I am
Cheers desde Australia!


23 nathalia January 20, 2012 at 5:52 AM

Hola Erica.
Gracias por esta receta. Soy colombiana, vivo en Francia con mis hijos y mi esposo y desde que trajimos de Colombia un paquete de avena helada instantanea he querido hacer una version “home made”. Hoy la intento y la pongo a prueba de mis mas duros jueces: mis ninnos. Felicidades por tu blog tan completo y por las fotos muy lindas que expones, bravo!


24 MARGARITA April 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM



25 Erica April 23, 2012 at 4:50 PM

I use old fashioned oats.


26 Lida April 25, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Thank you! I remember having this as a teenager in Bogota. Yum…


27 Conny Nichols May 21, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Tjere could never be a day at the beach without avena helada when I was growing up. Nothing like a tall ice-cold glass of avena helada on ice at the beach. This brings a lot of wonderful memories Erica. And for your information, this mixture make the healthiest, most nutricious and best home-made popsicles. My kids grew up in Florida and I made these for them all the time. They used to bring all their neighborhood friends to share the popsicles with. Try these, they are fantastic.


28 Jessica June 25, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Loved it thank you for this recipe!!


29 Laura July 31, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Made this today and it’s amazing! Thanks for the recipe!


30 Jessica March 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Ya he hecho esta receta varias veces y queda deliciosa la avena. Gracias por la receta.


31 Harold A May 2, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Erica, thanks for the recipe! It just came out perfect… The kids loved it!!! It brought back childhood memories and I’m now building new memories for them! ;-)


32 Gina July 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I remember this years ago made by my extended Colombian family. I would also get in when visiting New York. This is exactly perfect.


33 carina December 2, 2013 at 9:33 PM

But you need to grind the oats first! Must be from powdered oats or it is not autentico


34 Johanna April 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Hi Erica. Thank you for the recipe. My mom made this for me all the time as a kid and on winter days, it’s my favorite treat from the neighborhood bakeries.
– If you have a chance, would you mind adding a comment on how to adapt the recipe for steel cut oats (if possible)? Thanks again!


35 Lisa July 6, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Have you ever tried it with brown sugar instead of white? prefer brown sugar but hope it won’t be too strong!


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