Atole de Pinole – Warm Up Christmas Morning
Pinole is made from toasted and ground maize, which is mixed with ground canela (cinnamon) and sugar. As kids we purchased Pinole as a sweet treat from the corner grocer. The grocer would scoop it from a bin and sell it to us in small portions in a paper cone. It cost pennies. I only hope it doesn’t become a food of the past so I’m introducing it to my grandkids. I’ll make an atole of Pinole with Mexican chocolate. It’s delicious, filling and includes nutrients like protein, amino acids, fiber and antioxidants.
Mexican atoles are hot drinks thickened with maize and flavored with just about anything you can imagine. Champurados are atoles made with masa used for tortillas where as Pinole is composed of toasted kernels and usually premixed with canela and sugar.
The Tarahumara indigenous people in the northern sierras of Mexico are super athletes who run 50 to 100 miles for recreation. World runners learned the Tarahumara consume pinole as a beverage and use it as fuel for their runs. Now pinole recipes and power products are advertised in runner magazines. So run to your Mexican grocers and get some Pinole for the winter season. Let’s get started and make us some atole.
makes 1 cup
1 cup water
2 segments of Mexican chocolate wheel (1 to ¾ oz)
2 tablespoons pinole flour
In saucepan boil the water, add the chocolate and whisk to dissolve. In small increments, add the pinole, keep stirring and simmering for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve hot. It’s that easy.
Kids love to lick it from the palm of their hands, it’s that good. You’ll likely find Pinole at you Mexican grocer but if not, health food and online stores sell it. Atoles can be made with dairy, almond or soy milk or plain without chocolate. It makes a great ingredient for cookies and people use it to make sweet tamales.
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