Atole Recipes

We received blue corn atole in today’s CSA share.  It is finely ground cornmeal toasted for cooking and commonly used in a hot drink or breakfast cereal.  Atole is also known as a traditional drink in Mexico and South America that is flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, fruit and chocolate.  Catherine is a current CSA member and sent a recipe for Blue Corn Polenta so thank you!  I have recipes and information from a New Mexico website as well.  Let me know your favorite way to enjoy the atole.

Traditional New Mexican Atole Drink

Atole Recipe from

1/2 cup fresh masa (corn dough) or 1/2 cup masa flour (masa harina) mixed with a 1/4 cup hot water to blend
5 cups water
3 – 4 tablespoons piloncillo, chopped or 1/4 cup brown sugar plus 2 teaspoons molasses
1 stick cinnamon
1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise)

1. Place the water and the masa into the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium sized saucepan.
2. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pan and add the cinnamon stick. Stir the mixture until it begins to thicken.
3. Add the piloncillo or (or sugar, molasses combination) and continue to stir vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat.
2. Remove the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean and serve hot, in mugs.

Yield: 5-6 servings

Blue Corn Polenta from Catherine

Recipe from An Eclectic Cookbook (Copyright © 1987, John S. Garavelli)

1 cup corn meal

2 cups water

1 tblsp butter

½ tsp salt

Blue corn meal makes an interesting, non-traditional polenta with a very creamy flavor. Fine ground yellow corn can be used but white is preferable.

Add the butter and salt to one cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the corn meal to one cup of cold water and stir until the corn meal is uniformly wetted. Gradually add the wetted cornmeal to the boiling water, lower the heat and simmer with stirring until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pot. Pour the mixture into a buttered bowl and allow it to cool. Invert the bowl over a plate to free the formed polenta.

Traditionally the polenta is sliced with a heavy thread. It is served warm with butter, with sauce from another dish, for example cod in tomato sauce, or even cut and toasted. The Italian polenta comes directly from the Latin word for barley groats, and before the arrival of corn in Italy during the eighteenth century a similar dish was made from barley meal.

Now, for a little physical chemistry — corn meal wets in hot water with extreme difficulty. In order to prevent clumping traditionally the corn meal was sprinkled a few grains at a time into the boiling water over a long period. By the time the final grains were being added, the first grains had been slightly over-cooked and taken on a creamy consistency. By wetting the corn meal first in cold water and adding it all at once to the boiling water, labor is saved for the cook but the creamy texture may be lost. That partial over-cooking effect can be achieved by beginning with a little more water, adding several tablespoons of the wetted corn meal and boiling for about 10 minutes before adding the remaining corn meal.



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2 responses to “Atole Recipes

  1. These recipes sound great! I can’t wait to try them.

  2. Rita Jaramillo

    I’m from New Mexico, family goes way back to 1500’s. Atole for us is simply, roasted blue corn meal and water, cook until thickens. Add milk to drinking consistency. Add salt to taste. Never had with sugar. Especially the elderly and anyone who feels ill would drink it, but it is tasty to have for any reason.

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