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.
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!