Avena Dominicana | Dominican Style Oatmeal

by Sahirenys Pierce

One of my favorite childhood memories was of my dad reading personal finance books to me while making his Dominican Avena, Oatmeal. This is one of the most memorable breakfasts my family made that went back to my parent’s upbringing in the Dominican Republic. For me, these mornings were the best learning experiences, because my dad not only taught me about money but also about our traditions. It was the best of both worlds that I hope to experience with my kids once they get a little older. Now, this recipe is a mix of my dad’s famous Avena and my method that I cook for my family.


  • 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal
  • 1 can of carnation evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk or milk substitute
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of butter
  • 4 allspice (malagueta)
  • 4 cloves (clavo)
  • A 4-inch cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 2-inch lime peel
  • 3-4 tbs of sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tbs of raisins


  1. First, boil a 2 tbs of water with 1/4 tsp of butter. Then you can add the vanilla extract, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. At times I like to use the pumpkin spice powder to save time and ingredients when making my oatmeal. I use about 1/4 tsp of the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice powder that’s on sale during Thanksgiving.
  2. Once everything is boiling, I lower the heat to low and add all of the liquids. That’s going to be the whole can of carnation evaporated milk, water, and any milk or milk substitute. For the milk substitute, I like to use soy milk or almond milk instead of using milk, but milk will taste the best.
  3. Next, I like to add the oatmeal and the lime peel. You could also use a lemon peel for a substitute to the lime peel.
  4. You have to stir everything and then I like to add the sugar. I personally like my oatmeal on the sweeter side, so 4 tbs is just right and if you like it semi-sweet then 3 tbs of sugar will be perfect.
  5. For added nutrition, I personally like to add chia seeds flax seeds. This is completely optional and not traditional.
  6. After a few minutes, the oatmeal will start to thicken and this is when I recommend adding the raisins. If you add the raisins too soon they will expand and semi-dissolve.
  7. After the sides start to bubble, your oatmeal is done and it should have a thicker consistency.

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