I love sugar. I eat sugar straight out of the bag. I love Mountain Dew cause of all the sugar. Ask my mom, we used to go through a 5lb bag of sugar a week and it was all because of me.
I thought sugar couldn’t get any better….that is, until I learned about
Agua panela is a sugar water concoction used as the basis of many drinks in Colombia. Hell, people don’t even drink water here. Not unless the water has been made into agua panela. Its really simple to make and delicious when used in coffee and hot coca. I finally learned how to make it when I stayed at The Wandering Paisa hostel (thanks to Marabel, our cleaning lady, who helped me get the sugar to water levels correct). So if you want to speed up your onset of diabetes along with me, here is how you make AGUA PANELA.
First, this is panela.
Its basically a giant, round or square block of hardened brown sugar. (I totally bet if your brown sugar at home went hard, you could just throw it in some water and make panela. YEA, no more wasted brown sugar in my house anymore!)
There is good panela and bad panela. The best panela comes from small country factories and sometimes has bees in the middle of the block. (Guess my desire to visit a panela making factory is out now. Damn deadly allergy to bees).
Next, you take a block of panela and put it in a rather large pot of water.
Then you turn the heat on.
The water instantly starts changing color. Yea magic of dissolvtion. (And yes, I just made that a word. Dissolvtion – the act of something dissolving).
Now you dance.
Cause what better way to kill time waiting for the agua panela to be done than by dancing? I mean I guess you could just stare at the water, write a blog post, or read up on ways to manage your upcoming diabetes;
but that’s BOOORING!
Dance. You’re going to need to be in shape to help manage your future blood sugar fluctuations.
Now that you’ve stopped dancing cause you are out of breathe (cause if you were in shape, and one of those healthy people, you would probably be drinking water, juice, or Gatorade; not relishing in the idea of being able to imbibe sugar in liquid form like a bee or a cockroach), look at the agua panela. It has changed to a deep, dark brown of deliciousness color.
It still isn’t ready yet, but almost. Now is the time to go put some milk (about 1/3 of the glass) and instant hot coca into a glass.
Once the water starts boiling,
THE AGUA PANELA IS DONE!
So to re-cap:
1. Put panela in water
2. Heat till boiling.
Sounds so much simpler when I put it that way, huh.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CUP WITH THE MILK AND COCA?
Don’t fret my lovelies…this is what agua panela is for. Add the agua panela to the glass and stir.
You now have DELICIOUS hot coca!
You can keep agua panela for a few days to a week in the fridge or on the counter in a Tupperware or pot with lid. You just cant keep reheating then chilling the whole thing. Just take what you want to use and reheat it in a separate pan on the stove.
Agua panela is also really good cold. You can squeeze the juice from a lime into a glass then pour in agua panela to make a great vitamin C (and sugar) filled tea.
Enjoy!!! Once you get diabetes, this will pretty likely be one of those no-go food items…so enjoy as much as you can now!
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.