Pinole seems to describe any of a variety of forms of parched or roasted corn, ground into a flour and combined with water and some spices or sugar. It can be made into a drink, an oatmeal-like paste, or baked to form a more-portable “cake.”
Here’s a recipe I made using regular cornmeal; you can change the proportions and spices to suit your taste. If you don’t want to toast your own corn, you can get pinole at Amazon.com. (Note: Masa harina is probably more authentic than cornmeal, since that corn has been treated with lime, the way the Tarahumara maize is.)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal, ground as fine as possible
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar
- chia seeds (optional)
Toast the cornmeal in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it turns light brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, mix in cinnamon, and sweetener or other spices, and desired amount of water (see below).
You can add a lot of water to make a drink of it, but I found this kind of weird because the corn didn’t dissolve. If you add just a few tablespoons of water instead and mix, you get an oatmeal-like consistency that can be eaten with a spoon, or even out of the palm of your hand on a run:
Alternatively, you can bake the paste at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes until it has the texture of a brownie. This more portable form is better for carrying on a long run, and a good alternative to sugary energy gels.
Chia fresca (iskiate) recipe
Chia seeds (yep, the same ones used in Chia Pets) have enjoyed a surge in popularity recently among health-foodies. There are many purported benefits of chia seeds, and legends abound about chia seeds reviving struggling athletes or warriors, with small amounts sustaining men for long periods of time.
As for buying chia seeds, I usually get these, but sometimes I’ll get white chia. White chia seeds, also called salba, are an heirloom variety, so they’re the closest thing you’ll get to what the runners and warriors in the all chia legends were eating.
Chia seeds have the interesting property that when they’re left in water for a few minutes, the water begins to gel. Supposedly this is helpful in digestion. Here’s a a recipe for chia fresca (also called iskiate), a popular drink made with chia seeds, water, and lemon or lime.
- about 10 oz of water
- 1 Tbsp dry chia seeds
- a few teaspoons lemon or lime juice
- honey or agave nectar, to taste (optional)
Stir the chia seeds into the water; let them sit for about five minutes. Stir again, and let sit for as long as you like. The more it sits, the more gel-like the seeds and water become. Add citrus juice and sweetener to taste.
I found chia fresca to be a refreshing drink for the morning, and I swear I felt an energy boost from it. (But the placebo effect can be strong with me, so try for yourself.) But I really don’t like the gel consistency in the drink. I now choose to get my chia in smoothies, like the strawberry-iskiate smoothie from Fuel Your Run with Pinole and Chia.
Superfood Energy Bars
After dealing with stomach issues during my last couple of marathons I decided that I had to make some changes in my nutrition regimen. I’ve done the Gatorade/gel/salt tab combo for years, and in addition to making me feel sick to my stomach, I’ve never felt properly fueled up during my long runs. So I looked to the pros to see what they do. I was intrigued when I read that ultra-runner Scott Jurek no longer uses gels or sports drinks but “real food” for fuel during his races. I felt that if it worked for Scott while running the 250-kilometer Spartathlon or the Badwater Ultramarathon (a 135-mile trek across Death Valley), it could work for me during my little 26.2-mile jaunts.
I set out to make a vegan energy bar that could give my body everything it needed for hours of sustained running. I wanted to combine Aztec superfoods like pinole and chia seed with short-term and long-lasting carbs, protein, and sodium in a calorie-dense and easily digestible bar. It also had to taste good! What I ended up with is a delicious superfood energy bar that has alone fueled me through this entire marathon training season. I haven’t touched a gel or sports drink yet, I just stash a couple of these bars in my shorts and drink plenty of water. I’ve had no intestinal issues and plenty of gas in the tank at the end of my 20+ mile runs. I’ve never felt so good during a long run; I think those Aztecs were on to something…
What keeps you going during your long runs? Share your fueling strategy in the comments section!
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup water
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup pinole (or corn meal)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup Plant-Based Protein Blend
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup almond butter Almond butter opskrift
1/2 cup agave nectar(eller sirup)
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses(eller honning)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 350° (180°c)
Combine flaxseed meal and chia seeds with water in jar with tight-fitting lid, shake well for 15 seconds, set aside to thicken.
Pulse seeds and nuts in food processor until finely ground, but not so much that they start to turn to a paste.
In a large mixing bowl combine nut and seed mixture, oats, corn meal, millet flour, protein powder, and salt. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine flaxseed/chia/water mixture, almond butter, agave, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add wet ingredients to dry,and stir well. Lastly, stir in dried cherries and mix well.
Transfer to a lightly greased 9×17 baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Servings: 12 bars
Per serving: 368 calories (140 from fat), 15.6g total fat, 1.8g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 321mg sodium, 50.9g total carbohydrate (7.8g dietary fiber, 24.6g sugar), 10.4g protein, 9% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 9% calcium, 18% iron
Cup til ml (ca.)
1 cup = 250 ml = 2,5 dl
1/2 c = 125 ml = 1,25 dl
1/3 c = 80 ml = 0,8 dl
1/4 c = 60 ml = 0,6 dl
Vegan Cocoa Pumpkin ChiaNola!
Adapted from Pumpkin Pecan Granola II at Live Laugh Eat
I modified the recipe according to what I have in my pantry, but I also wanted to lighten it up and unsweeten it a little…plus add in a favorite mix-in of mine – puffed wheat!
- 2 cups rolled oats (I used 1 cup spelt flakes, 1 cut rolled oats)
- ¾ cup puffed wheat cereal
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup chia seeds (I used Bob’s Red Mill black chia seeds)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin butter
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 tbsp almond extract
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
- 1/8 cup vanilla almond milk (or another milk/liquid of our choice)
(*Optional*) Ground Mixed nuts or Dried fruit to mix in at the end
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cover a baking tray/sheet with cookie sheet or foil.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the wet.
3. Mix the wet into the dry and coat evenly.
4. Pour granola mixture on tray and place into oven. Bake 50 minutes on top rack, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure granola doesn’t burn.
5. Remove from oven and toss in nuts/dried fruit. If you’re feeling naughty, drizzle extra agave over the top and mix to coat granola evenly.
5 spsk. havregryn
1 spsk. hakkede mandler
1 spsk. finthakket æble
1 spsk. Chiafrø
1 spsk. citronsaft
1-2 spsk. honning
Chiafrø og citronsaft blandes og trækker 10 minutter. Herefter iblandes de øvrige ingredienser. Sørg for at det hele er grundigt blandet.
Massen fordeles i et tyndt lag på et stykke bagepapir og bages ved 150 grader i 20-25 min eller til massen er tør og let gylden.
Tip: Honningen kan erstattes af flydende Stevia. Tilsæt 10 dråber flydende Stevia til citronsaften og bland med Chiafrøene.