Pinole is a versatile food made from ground and toasted grains and spices. It can be consumed as a beverage, porridge, or baked into small cakes, as in the recipe below. Pinole has its origins in the Nahuatl word pinolli, which refers to ground maíz or chia. In some regions, it is also made with roasted acorn meal.This traditional preparation has been an important food in North, Central, and South America since the time of the Incas.
The baked version below feels like the ultimate healthy comfort food. It has an earthy sweetness and a pleasantly nutty flavor. Just one or two rounds of Pinole makes for an excellent light breakfast or a hearty snack, that will keep you feeling satiated for hours.
These are the perfect food to prepare ahead of time and bring along on road trips, hikes, or long afternoons when you won’t have time for a proper lunch. For folks who struggle to eat in the mornings, pinole is an excellent solution for an easy-to-digest meal to help you start your day off right.
I encourage you to play with the ingredients! Add cocoa or other spices, adjust the amount of sweetener to suit your tastes, or try this out as a porridge by adding more water and cooking on the stovetop. This is a recipe with as many iterations as there are people who prepare it, so have fun and don’t be afraid to make it your own!