Monday, January 5, 2009

Simple Survival Foods – Pinole

Pinole is often called "La comida del desierto” and is a form of parched corn. Translated it means the food of the desert. When pinole is considered along with many modern concentrated foods, it will beat most all other food items because of its nutritive value and long lasting effects on hunger, even during periods of intense physical activities. It is a very convenient form in which you can carry a source of nutrition which can support a person for weeks without suffering any major intestinal or stomach disorders.

Roasted, ground corn was used mainly as an emergency food source. In an emergency or survival situation drinks such as coffee and most food sources will be unavailable and Pinole can be a great option to bring along with you. 

Parched corn is 11.5% protein, 8.4% fat, and 72.3% carbohydrate with a food value of 1,915 calories per pound. This is approximately 60% higher than wheat. This compares to wheat bread which has 9.2% protein, 1.3% fat, 53.1% carbohydrates and a value of only 1,205 calories per pound. Parched corn owes its “staying power” to its relatively high nutritive value. When only 4 ounces are combined with a pint of water instead of cooked, it swells in the stomach to give your hunger a very satisfied feeling for a long period of time.

Traditional Pinole

Native Americans roasted corn kernels in hot ashes until brown and then cleaned the ashes, pounded it in a mortar, sifted it, and then mixed it with sugar. They ate about approximately 4 ounces diluted in a pint of water as a traveling meal.

How to Make Pinole – The Modern Way

1.) Heat commercially available masa harina in a wok or frying pan, stirring constantly, until it is just barely brown. Be careful not to burn it.

2.) You can also bake the masa harina for 4 to 5 minutes on a baking sheet in a moderate to hot oven while stirring occasionally.

You can add ground ginger, cinnamon, brown or white sugar as a supplementary ingredient. Browning adds a very pleasant nutty flavor and helps prevent the need for drinking a lot of water when combined with pinole. This is due to the fact that the corn is cooked in the parching process. Cool the pinole and then store it in an air tight and moisture resistant container. It has a shelf life similar to corn meal when properly stored and requires no refrigeration.

Pinole can also be purchased ready made in some specialty food stores in many areas.


Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

25 comments:

Windjammer said...

As usual, another awesome survival tip. Keep up the great work. I had forgotten about this tool, I will now add it back into my prepping equation.
RW, know that there are MANY folks out there that appreciate your hard work, but might not drop you a line. Rest assured that they read you regularly, I know I do!
Thanks,
Windjammer

Anonymous said...

I also enjoyed the post - pinole is a Native American food that goes waaay back. One piece of advice - when grinding, don't make the pieces too small. Large coffee crystals / grape nut sized is about right.

I made the mistake of grinding my batch smoother (thinking it would be easier to mix with water) - wrong. Was like drinking watered paste - man, I was licking the sidewalk, just to clean the coating on my tongue, lol. Gross is stating it mildly.

Patricia said...

Great post, RW! I agree with Windjammer--you provide great survival info here, regularly. This one will get saved (and used!) by me and mine. Thank you.
HM

treesong said...

You are a never ending wealth of information.

I just bought some masa harina and now I'm inspired, especially since I can't eat wheat.

Mayberry said...

Dang RW, where do you find all this stuff?! Added to my Survival Cookbook.....

riverwalker said...

To: Windjammer

Appreciate the kind words. My stats show lots of readers, so I know there are people out there reading my survival tips. I try not to rant very much about politics and such and try to concentrate on those things I can control.Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

Great tip! I didn't think about people grinding it too fine. You are right though, if a paste like consistency it can be tough to get down the ol' feeding tube! Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Patricia

Nature made the shell on corn extremely tough and durable but when parched it actually increses its digestibility. Thanks.

Keep up the great work on your site! I too am guilty about not always commenting enough. So many blogs and not ehough time.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: treesong

Pinole is great for those that have a gluten intolerance problem. Amazingly there's no loss but even a gain in the nutrition department.
Thanks Treesong!

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

I'm a big fan of cornmeal and all its variations. It simply unreal at the many uses of cornmeal.
Thanks.

RW

BTW, This old dog has been around a long time, unfortunately I have a tendency to forget more than I remember sometimes!

Anonymous said...

Not to sound ignorant..but you just add water and have something like corn soup/stew?Maybe toss in a few other veggie's,could be tasty,but just the corn?

Anonymous said...

Sound's a bit like roasted corn on the cob..peel back the husk,salt and pepper,toss on the grill til golden brown..butter and enjoy!Another fav of mine..peel the hush,salt and pepper,a lil butter,wrap in foil,toss in the coal's for 20 minute's.

gott_cha said...

always wanted to try that since I read old Curt Saxons write up on it,.......seems like now would be a good time,..huh?

Anonymous said...

Another good method is to cut sweet corn from the ear & dry it. It also can be parched as you describe. I get a lot very reasonably from the road side venders or farmer's market by taking it at the end of the day when it is tough. Many times they will give it to me so they don't need to take it home. You can use field corn if you catch it in the milk stage.
Larry East Ohio

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous #2

Works great in soups or stews. You can even mix it with milk to make drink...pinole fresca! Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous #3

Roastin' ears are great but a little hard to carry enough for a couple of weeks without a substantial means of transport for them. HaHa!

Powdered roastin' ears...?

Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: gott_cha

According to Saxon's stuff I've read a couple of famous people, D. Boone and D. Crockett come to mind, were big fans of the stuff. How come you always know this already? You have got to be a very smart guy.

One of these days I'll come up with something you haven't heard about my friend!

RW

BTW, Got started on your move yet?

riverwalker said...

To: Larry East Ohio

Drying the kernels are a good way but because Nature made the exterior coverings of the kernels so tough, the grinding helps as an aid in digesting the corn.

Getting ears of corn for free at the end of the day is great. Around here all the farmers feed it to their cows if they don't sell it. I've made a few "mooing" sounds in their presence but don't think they were fooled! Thanks Larry.

RW

gott_cha said...

RW,...you are a man with a wealth of info. There are many many subjects you post that I know little or nothing about which is why I stay silent some times.
But over the years I have tried to read and learn and practice as much as I could for the coming day.
Smart you say? hmmmm the wife says smart-a**. LOL LOL

...........
We been packing and boxing like mad 'round here,..you'd be amazed how much survival stuff you can accumulate. The homestead is about 6 hours away across state line,.and nearly in the mountains.

Its going to take a cpl trips to set it all up,....going to stay on line here until the finale load...

riverwalker said...

To: gott_cha

Stuff does accumulate fast. With the place in the country and the one in town I'm loaded to the gills. Enjoy your move. I someimes think I'm about ready for someplace different after 37 years in the same area. Maybe do a little traveling, something I haven't done in a few years.

We've got a big family meeting coming up this weekend. The wife, although not the oldest, is the head of the clan on her side and the meeting requires her presence. They pretty much won't make a decision without her input.

May your journeys be short!

RW

barefootscotsman said...

Thanks for all the info. A cracking blog with a good following. I plan on using Pinole to feed myself during Ultra distance events and multi day endurance sports. Eating is always a problem after a while as the body begins to reject it.

Thanks once again.

riverwalker said...

To: barefootscotsman

It is a really good food source. Native Americans used this way before anybody else. Glad you are using it to help you out with your endurance competitions.

RW

Jennifer said...

Just the information I was looking for. Thank you!

travis said...

Great site but isn't your recipe is incomplete? What about chia? Also you said the traditional recipe had sugar? Did Native's have sugar? Do the Tarahuma even trade for sugar? It seems the goal is complex carbo's not simple sugar's. It seems like a waste to me to make pinole and then turn it into a sugary snack... Perhaps its better to find the ancient recipe and adapt to it instead of adapting it to us... That is if you want the benefits of this amazing food. Just my take,
mucho respect

riverwalker said...

To: Travis

I believe the native recipe actually added honey as a sweetener when available.

Thanks Travis.

RW

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