By Jocelyn Ramirez
Recently, my friend Elisa, a core member of the Boyle Heights Bridge Runners, asked me to consider a smoothie that features Pinole. The recipe consists of toasted corn that is finely ground with Mexican cinnamon and raw cane sugar. A pinole smoothie was always intended to be a part of Todo Verde’s menu, and this was the push to perfect our new Correle smoothie that includes spinach, banana, chia seeds, coconut milk, dates, and of course, pinole. Since including this new smoothie on our menu, people have been asking for our pinole recipe.
Recently, pinole has become popular in running communities because of people like Christopher McDougall; an avid runner and writer of “Born to Run.” In the book, the writer describes his experience running with Tarahumara natives of Chihuahua, Sonora and Durango, Mexico. The Tarahumara are legendary for their capabilities to run long distances. To fuel their running, the writer was surprised to “discover” Tarahumara natives using pinole.
While pinole is now becoming trendy for endurance athletes by providing a good source of carbohydrates, this recipe has been used for generations in Mexico. I remember eating pinole as a kid though I didn’t know very much about its origin. I loved visiting my Tia Consuelo’s home in Zacatecas because she would serve the family huge bowls of pinole with fresh milk for breakfast.
If you’re interested in making your own pinole at home, check out our recipe:
24 oz Package of Organic Cornmeal
6 Tbsp Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar
2 Tbsp Ground Mexican Cinnamon
Toast the cornmeal in a medium-low dry pan until golden brown. Constantly stir for about 10 minutes so it evenly browns, then turn the burner off, and continue to stir until it cools. Add it to a high powered blender (option to use a molcajete or metate) with sugar and cinnamon, and blend until finely ground.
You can add a ¼ cup to a smoothie or make a pinole bowl. Make your bowl by mixing equal parts pinole and a plant-based milk of your choice. Stir until smooth and top with chia seeds, banana, and berries. This is a filling and natural replacement of your favorite boxed corn-based cereals.
Please share any photos or videos of your pinole smoothies with us using #TodoVerdeLA!