Drinks for Cinco de Mayo

Chef and author, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard is a Latin food expert and says non-alcoholic festive drinks are very popular for the celebration.

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Fresco De Pepita De Ayote

Toasted Pumpkin Seed and Cinnamon Refresher
Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

Serves 4-6

½ cup unshelled pumpkin seeds
1 (1-inch) piece canela (Ceylon cinnamon)
¼ sugar or to taste
5 cups water
Ice, for serving

Dry pan toast the pumpkin seeds in a small skillet over medium low until medium brown, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. The seeds will pop and jump out of the pan while toasting. Just return them to the pan. Break up the cinnamon stick into pieces and pan toast it in the same pan as the pumpkin seeds until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as the pieces can burn easily. Let cool.

Combine the pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and sugar with 2 cups of water in a blender and process on high to a fine consistency. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Pour the remaining water gradually into the sieve to extract more flavor from the seed mixture, stirring and pushing gently with a soft spatula to force the water through. Taste and add more sugar, if desired. Strain again for a smoother consistency, if desired.

Serve in glasses filled with ice.


Ensalada Salvadoreña

Tropical Fruit and Lettuce Punch
Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

Serves 2

½ cup each type tropical fruit, diced into bits (use 3-5 or more: pineapple, mango, papaya, mango, starfruit, coconut, or cashew fruit)

1 cup fresh or frozen fruit pulp (pineapple, passion fruit, or other)
1 cup cold water
¼ cup sugar
5 drops food coloring to match the fruit pulp used
¼ cup finely shredded romaine lettuce


1 or 2 of each:

Strawberries, sliced dragon fruit, sliced starfruit, or other
Mint leaves

Distribute the fruit bits evenly between two tall glasses, cover with plastic and refrigerate.

Incorporate the fresh or frozen fruit pulp into the cold water in a bowl or large measuring cup.. Add the sugar and stir well. Add the food coloring. Chill until ready to serve.

Divide the fruit drink equally between the two glasses. Float half the lettuce on top of each glass. Garnish with the fruit of choice

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