Recipe corner: Piñole

Piñole was a staple food of Mesoamerican peoples, used to sustain themselves as they crossed the desert. It’s high in fiber and designed to expand in the stomach after drinking water. It’s an interesting kind of substitute for sweets, if you don’t want a ton of sugar and want a more full feeling.

1.5 cups masa harina (or cornmeal)

1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey)

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

The finished, crumbly product.

Lightly brown the cornmeal in a saucepan, then transfer in to a baking pan and mix in the other ingredients. Add water until everything becomes about the consistency of thick batter. Cook in the oven at 350F/175C for 10 minutes or until a solid block. Let it cool, cut into squares (they’ll be pretty crumbly) and eat.

You can also just add a ton of water and make a drink of it, although it’s really grainy.


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