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Breakfast is said to be the most essential meal of the day. This classic breakfast recipe by the Haitian people is known as Akasan.
Akasan is a trendy Haitian shake made with corn flour. Unlike regular shakes, this one starts with maize flour that has been cooked.
What makes Akasan interesting?
The traditional way that the Haitian people make this beverage is very different than the recipe. They use fresh spices instead of already prepared ones you can purchase in a bottle at the grocery store, so the drink already has more flavor.
The Haitian people consume the beverage for breakfast in place of eggs or cereal. It is considered breakfast food. In the U.S. and other countries, it is consumed any time of the day and is as a “treat” or a snack.
Akasan is a culinary treasure and a part of Haitian culture. If you were to visit Hati and have breakfast, it would be the first thing you see on your menu.
- 1/2 cup cornflour
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 + 1/2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp Anise star extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt optional
- In a medium-sized pan, boil the 2 cups of water, anise star salt, cinnamon, and salt to a boil.
- Use a mixing bowl, to mix the cornflour and the remaining 1/2 cup of water into a paste.
- Gradually add the paste to the boiling water and stir constantly to get rid of any lumps.
- Turn the heat down to medium and cook the cornflour for 4-6 minutes; constantly stirring.
- Add the vanilla and evaporated milk to the anise star extract.
- Stir well, mix thoroughly and serve warm or cold.
- In place of cornflour, you can use wheat flour.
- Whole milk, 2% milk, skim milk, coconut milk, and even soy milk can be substituted for the evaporated milk – this makes the shake healthier and not as sweet.
- You can substitute the spices for ones you like better, such as other extracts, add lime or orange peel, ginger or nutmeg, whatever fancies your taste buds, and toss in about a quarter cup of plain yogurt and turn it into a smoothie.
Success Tips for Making Akasan
- Use a whisk to make sure all the lumps have dissolved. No one wants to drink a lumpy Akasan shake or smoothie.
- Use a sweetener such as Stevia (use half the amount of the regular sugar in the recipe) if you are diabetic or are watching your weight.
- Always use a heavy bottom pan so you don’t scorch the drink because if you do, you will have to toss your tasty shake and start all over.
Learn how to create this vegan version of the Akasan to bring a flavor of Haiti into your home. Corn flour, cinnamon, star anise, and plant-based milk are used to make this delicious porridge-like beverage.
What Exactly is Akasan?
The Akasan drink originated on Haiti’s island. This porridge beverage is perfect for individuals on the go, and it may be served hot or cold. It’s a great for breakfast beverage or it can be consumed as a snack.
I was immediately drawn to this dish when I first saw it. Each Caribbean Island, whether a Spanish, French, or a Holland or Dutch colony, has some characteristics in common. Breakfast is particularly important to the native people, with porridge (not plain oats) being a popular option.
Akasan looks a lot like the porridge I grew up with. Its use of star anise and the absence of sweetened milk as a sweetened, and the thinner texture are the main differences.
Cornmeal vs. Cornflour vs. Cornstarch
When it comes to these two items, there sure are a lot of misconceptions. It all depends on where you are in the world because both words can be used simultaneously.
Here is a quick definition so we are on the same page.
- Cornflour – This is the outcome of milling the cornkerts. It’s the best cornmeal you can get your hands on. This is so fine it can be substituted with wheat flour in some recipes.
- Cornmeal – This is a coarser form of cornflour that’s made out of dried corn. It is then used to make polenta, cornbread that is commonly made in the United States, and cornmeal porridge in the Caribbean.
- Cornstarch – is a white powder made out of the starchy section of maize kernels. Because it contains more starch than cornmeal and cornflour, it can be diluted with water used as a thickener. Cornstarch and cornflour are frequently interchanged in the UK, which is one of the reasons why there is so much uncertainty when a recipe calls for it! Now, that you understand the three corns, you will have a much easier time making a delicious Caribbean Akasan beverage.
It is a very popular drink in several countries, not just Hati. Each country makes it slightly different, but none the less they are all equally delicious. This beverage is extremely easy to make and even easier to enjoy!
There are several substitutions as you read above to create the perfect Akasan drink for your taste buds and your waistline. If you are watching your weight, remember everyone, once in a while everyone deserves a nice, sweet treat!