Atole is a popular cooked Mexican drink that’s often sold as street food. It’s a comfort food usually made with masa or corn flour, spiced with ground cinnamon and vanilla, and sweetened with brown sugar. The base can be either water or milk, and the consistency can vary from thin to thick. I’ve always loved corn and knew instantly this drink would be outstanding. But I wanted a dairy-free and low-glycemic version with a little more spice. Before I knew it, my own Atole was born.
What makes this drink so incredible is the combination of ingredients. It’s rich, spicy and sweet, and one of THE most filling drinks I’ve ever had. It’s perfect for long mornings and when you need some extra calories for the long haul. This Atole reminds me of my Succumb To Licorice Shake; just amazingly satisfying.
I used yellow corn kernels instead of the masa or corn flour because I wanted to make my drink as fresh and natural as possible. When I couldn’t find organic fresh corn locally, I opted for frozen organic kernels. They added great flavor and blended up nice and smooth. Organic frozen sure gets my vote when fresh isn’t available. Fresh or frozen, fresh corn kernels are a healthier replacement than flour.
- Corn is indigenous to the western hemisphere where it’s been cultivated for thousands of years.
- Corn is considered a grain, vegetable, and sometimes even a fruit.
- Corn most likely took root from a wild grass called teosinte which looked very different from our corn today. The kernels were small and were not placed close together like kernels on the husked ear of modern corn.
Benefits of corn include:
- Supports growth of friendly bacteria
- Helps maintain blood sugar levels
- Contains HIV-inhibiting properties
- Is high in fiber
Instead of milk sometimes used I headed for macadamia nuts and coconut water. It gave my drink a nice rich quality like the traditional Atole with the added benefit of being lactose-free. I also included a few spices (like fresh vanilla bean, cardamom and ginger) which I thought would add depth and character. Because the spices I added are considered warm spices, I had the heat without cooking.
To sweeten my scrumptious corn drink I used coconut/palm sugar which is very similar in taste to brown sugar. I love this sweetener for both its great flavor and coconut-rich nutrients. Coconut/palm sugar also has a lower glycemic index making it more diabetic and hypoglycemic-friendly. But feel free to use any sweetener you want.
After blending it up to a frenzied foaminess, I had my first sip. My Atole was exactly what I hoped it would be; bold, unique, sweet, and authentic. It’s now one of my favorite drinks bar none. I hope you will enjoy this beverage; a mouthwatering and soul-inspiring drink that’s Mexican comfort food at its healthy best.
This recipe is raw, dairy and gluten-free, and serves 2 – 3 persons.
Mexican Atole (Sweet Corn Drink)
- 1 cup macadamia nuts or cashews, soaked for 2 – 8 hours the drained and rinsed
- 2 cups coconut water or water
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels or thawed frozen sweet corn kernels
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cardamom
- pinch of ground cloves
- 2 vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla-flavored stevia to taste
- 2 – 4 Tbsp coconut/palm sugar or other natural dark granulated sweetener of choice to taste
- stevia to taste (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until very smooth.
- Serve warmed or chilled
- Yields about 3 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 3 days.