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 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 add 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 more than suitable replacement for the traditional flour.
- Corn is indigenous to the western hemisphere where it’s been cultivated for thousands of years.
- 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.
- Corn is considered a grain, vegetable, and sometimes even a fruit, and is naturally gluten-free.
Benefits of corn include:
- Supports growth of friendly bacteria
- Helps maintain blood sugar levels
- Contains HIV-inhibiting properties
- Is high in fiber
Instead of the dairy milk this is often used in this recipe I opted to use macadamia nuts and coconut water. It gave my drink richness 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” in my drink without any 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 is also low-glycemic making you less prone to blood sugar spikes.
After blending it up to a frenzied foaminess, I had my first sip. My Atole was what I hoped it would be; bold, unique, sweet, and authentic. It’s now one of my favorite and most requested drinks. I hope you’ll enjoy this unique beverage; a mouthwatering and soul-inspiring drink that’s Mexican comfort food at its healthy best.
This recipe is dairy and gluten-free, and serves 2 – 3 persons.
Mexican Atole (Sweet Corn Drink)
You can substitute the macadamia nuts with cashews.
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, 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 1/2 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.