Pinolillo (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)


Patty Villers, Fit Fare – The recipe is for Pinolillo, a beverage that is indigenous to Nicaragua. According to Wikipedia, it’s so widespread in Nicaragua that it’s become one of their cultural symbols, with Nicaraguans referring to themselves as pinoleros.

The ingredients:

2 or 3 cobs of corn (enough to fill 2 cups with kernels)
½ c. of roasted cocoa beans (we used ½ c. cocoa powder)
½ tsp. cinnamon
dash of paprika
1 tsp. of chili powder

The cinnamon, paprika and chili powder are optional, but recommended .

Cook the ears of corn, either by boiling for 10 minutes or microwaving for half that time.

Cut the kernels lengthways off the cobs. Spread the kernels on a baking sheet and place in a 325-degree oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until the kernels appear lightly toasted. Make sure they don’t burn, or else the flavor will be ruined.

Put the corn and other ingredients in a blender and use blend setting for about a minute or until the corn kernels are pulverized.

Add the mixture to a glass of cold milk [alternative]; sweeten with sugar to taste.

It also can be served over ice for a refreshing drink.

To me it tasted a lot like chocolate milk, with a slight edge to it. On a hot day it would be an interesting change from iced tea or lemonade.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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