I’ve been experimenting with pinole, the cornmeal-based food used by the Tarahumara of Mexico, who use it fuel their incredibly long runs. (The Taramuhara’s story is told, of course, in Christopher McDougall‘s book “Born to Run.”) My goal is to make pinole biscuits that are the consistency of commercial energy bars, so I can carry them on long training runs and ultra races. That way, I’ll have access to a sensible and natural source of carbohydrates for the long haul.
So the Great Pinole Experiment begins!
Version 1.0 was a very basic mix of cornmeal (toasted in a skillet until it was light brown, about five minutes), honey, cinnamon, and water. I baked the resulting paste for about 10 minutes, and got a few cookies out of the process. They tasted pretty the way I thought they would – quite good, in fact. But they were a little dry and crumbly, not at all appropriate for carrying in a pocket.
Version 1.5, which I made last night, was the same, with the addition of a couple of dollops of peanut butter. I also baked the mixture for 15 minutes rather than 10. The result? A thicker, more solid, good-tasting peanut butter-cornmeal biscuit. Still not solid enough for pocket-carrying, but definitely a step towards that.
So far, I’ve got something that’s natural and tastes good, is inexpensive and easy to make, is organic and non-GMO, and has a medium glycemic index. (If I used agave nectar rather than honey, I could lower the glycemic index.) Not sure how to make the consistency what I want, though. Not yet, anyway.
Stay tuned for Version 2.0!