Avena caliente

A Caribbean and Latin American specialty, avena caliente literally means “hot oats.”

It tastes creamy and comforting, like a cross between a really good soy latte and a delicious bowl of porridge.

If you’re in need of a bit of extra love right now, this is your ticket.


  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or more, to taste)


Put all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until the oats have almost completely been dissolved into the liquid.

Pour the mixture into a medium pot and cook it over medium heat, stirring frequently until it boils, then turn it down to a low simmer.

Continue to stir it often. Simmer until it has been reduced to about 3/4 of its original volume, or to desired thickness. It should be drinkable but also thick enough to use a spoon, like a good milkshake.

Serve hot and enjoy the warm tummy hug.


I watched a talk recently by trauma specialist Dr. Peter Levine.

He said trauma can be described as a disorder of not being in the here and now.

I thought this was a very interesting way to look at it, especially since I find myself practicing a lot in the Plum Village tradition of being in the here and now.

It follows, then, that whatever can bring you into the here and now can help heal the trauma.

For me, it’s definitely cooking – especially experimenting with new recipes. It takes 100% of my focus. The time flies by while my body and mind have a chance to enjoy the moment and heal.

What brings you back to the here and now?

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

3 responses to “Avena caliente”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    A warm cup of love!

  2. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Instagram comment from Char: Looks delicious! I love Peter Levine’s work. 💖 Yoga, nature, warm showers, cooking and playing guitar bring me into the here and now.

    1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

      @Char Those all sound like very loving self-care activities. I love nature and warm showers too! And dancing around like a kid. 🥰

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