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Easy colada morada recipe {Ecuadorian spiced berry oatmeal drink}

This is my simplified and easy version of the traditional Ecuadorian colada morada drink made with oatmeal. This resipe is adapted for those hard to find ingredients and is easy enough to make on a more frequent basis. This version is inspired by the classic Ecuadorian oatmeal colada.

Easy colada morada with oatmeal

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October is colada morada season in Ecuador. It’s an Ecuadorian tradition to have this thick drink, made with purple corn flour and a variety of fruits, spices and herbs, during the celebrations of the Day of Deceased (Dia de los Difuntos) on November 2nd. Even though the holiday is at the end of the month, you can find street vendors selling colada morada during the entire month. Colada morada is served with guaguas de pan or sweet breads that are shaped in form of babies or animals. I’ve already posted the traditional recipe for colada morada. However, it just so happens that my kids (and I) love this drink, so I came up with a simplified version of colada morada that would allow me to make it more frequently without sacrificing the original taste.

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Ecuadorian colada morada easy version with oatmeal

The following photos are links to the recipes for the traditional colada morada and the guaguas de pan or bread figures.

Ecuador Day of the Dead drink Guaguas de pan
This easy version of colada morada is also a good option for those who can’t find ingredients like purple corn flour. My quick colada morada is a hybrid of the traditional colada morada and the popular oatmeal colada. We could also call it a berry colada de avena or oatmeal berry drink. You can make this colada morada as thick as the traditional one, or you can make it less thick and more like a colada de avena. If you are making it during warmer months then I would recommend making it more liquid and serving it cold.

Colada morada or spiced berry oatmeal drink

In this everyday version of colada morada, I left out the pineapple that goes in the classic recipe. However, I do use naranjilla, a citrusy Ecuadorian fruit; you can find frozen naranjilla pulp at most Latin grocery stores. If you can’t find naranjilla juice then you can use pineapple or passion fruit juice. I also included blueberries in this recipe. In Ecuador we have a wild blueberry called mortiño that grows in the higher colder mountains; these berries are usually used in colada morada.

Ecuadorian colada morada

During one of our summer visits we went on a hike around lake Cuicocha in Cotacachi. We found many of these yummy wild berries. I highly recommend visiting this gorgeous area in the north of Ecuador, the landscapes and hiking/mountain climbing is unbelievable and the local food specialties are delicious. Moras or Andean blackberries are also added, you can use regular blackberries. If blueberries and blackberries are out of season then you can use frozen ones to prepare the colada morada. This is also one of reasons why I wanted to make an easier recipe that could be made more frequently: to take advantage of early summer/late summer berry season. Just as in the traditional colada morada recipe I add diced strawberries as the final step before serving the colada morada.

I do encourage you to at least try to make the traditional colada morada at least once during the year, especially during this season. But if you can’t find the ingredients and are craving it more than once a year, then this quick version of colada morada is perfect for you. I used fresh herbs for this recipe, mainly because they were growing in my container garden, so it was a no-brainer, but dry herbs also work fine. You can find lemon grass at many Asian markets and cedron or lemon verbena can also be found at some specialty stores (I’ve bought it at Whole Foods and Central Market before).

Colada morada or spiced berry oatmeal drink

Easy colada morada with oatmeal {Spiced oatmeal berry drink}

An easy version of the traditional Ecuadorian colada morada drink that is adapted for hard to find ingredients and is easy enough to make on a more frequent basis. This version is inspired by the classic oatmeal colada.
4.80 from 34 votes
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Ecuadorian, Latin
Keyword: Easy colada morada, Oatmeal colada morada, Spiced oatmeal berry drink
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8


  • 1 cup raw oats + (the same amount of water for soaking)
  • 8 cups water more or less based on how thick you want it
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 14 oz frozen naranjilla or lulo pulp replace with passion fruit or pineapple if you can’t find naranjilla
  • 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups blackberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups strawberries diced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 all spice berries
  • 2 pieces orange peel
  • A few lemon verbena leaves fresh or dry
  • A few lemongrass leaves fresh or dry
  • ½ lb panela grated or in chunks – if you can’t find panela replace with brown sugar – add more or less based on your preference


  • Place the oats to soak in 1 cup of water
  • In the mean time, combine 8 cups of water, naranjilla juice, cinnamon, spices, and panela in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the orange peel and herbs during the last 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain.
  • Blend the berries, the soaked oats and 2 cups of the naranjilla mix.
  • Strain the blended mix.
  • Mix the strained berry oat mixture with the naranjilla juice mix, return to heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook over low for 5 minutes. Stir in the diced strawberries.
  • Serve warm or cold.
Ecuadorian Day of the Dead drink

Step by step preparation photos for the easy colada morada recipe {Ecuadorian spiced berry oatmeal drink}

Colada morada or spiced berry drink

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