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Thick and Creamy Mexican Atole
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Thick and Creamy Mexican Atole

Atole is an ancient corn based drink that was enjoyed by the Mayan’s and Aztecs. I first read about Atole when I was twelve, and doing a school project on the Mayan empire, and at the time I thought: “Gross! They drank wet polenta!

It was not until recently that I actually tried this creamy, vegan drink, and I now crave it often. There are many versions of this drink, I will share with you a spiced chocolate variation. Others include, cinnamon, plain, or with pureed fruits. Corn flour is traditionally used as a thickening agent, although you may also use oatmeal, or rice flour. The Atole that I drank was made with rice flour, since corn flour is hard to come by where I live.

For 4 servings:

  • 5 cups water
  • ½ cup corn flour (or rice flour, or oatmeal)
  • Unrefined sugar, such as brown, palm, or mape syrup, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, whisk together all ingredients.

*If you are using oatmeal, do this in a blender, and blend until the oatmeal is dissolved.

Heat the mixture over medium heat for five minutes, stirring constantly. You will see that the drink will thicken, and you will be very excited! Remove from heat, and ladle into mugs to serve.


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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  1. Carolyn
    Vote #5! Sounds like something I might want to try when the weather cools off. In south Alabama we are currently experiencing 80 degree weather due to a tropical storm that is hitting the coast of Tampa Fl and possibly moving on to New Orleans, LA. Most days it is still in the 90's here until late September. Thanks for the recipe!
    1. kristo
      Thanks Carolyn! I just heard about this storm, stay safe!
  2. SnakeWitch
    They don't drink this in Colombia - well, not anymore, anyways. Or maybe they just stick to the oatmeal version, which may be what they constantly drink around here. Anyways, voted, and may try it soon. My new piece is about how dairy may only be just a suggestion in the American Food Guide, and I am hoping that the Canadian Food Guide follows suit!
    1. kristo
      Thanks! I want to try an authentic version of this next time I'm in Mexico, or I can go to Colombia and drink a glass of oatmeal ;) I will have a look at your new post!
  3. Veganara
    Voted. How unusual, I have never heard of this. It sounds good though, I may well try it sometime! I know that the ancient civilisations in South America like the Aztecs used to drink hot chocolate though, without milk and sugar. It was when the Europeans came and discovered the cocoa bean that they started importing it to their countries and turning it into solid chocolate, to be eaten as a sweet treat. Actually, this is giving me an idea for a possible blog now....!
    1. kristo
      Mayan hot chocolate is so amazing and spicy. There is a chocolaterie in Toronto that serves it (though Im sure it has milk in it) and it contains so much spice that they only give an espresso sized serving. Any more and it would burn a hole in your stomach!
      1. Veganara
        LOL, I expect it would! Maybe it was the Mayans I meant in my comment above, not the Aztecs. Or maybe they both drank hot chocolate, and the Incas too! That's what I heard, what you said about it being really spicy. They used to drink hot chocolate with chilli, and probably other spices too. And I believe they use chocolate for cooking in savoury dishes in South America, don't they? A mix of chocolate and chilli. I am not sure I would like that, although I am a fan of spicy food.
        1. SnakeWitch
          If Incas used to drink this with chili, today's Colombians and Equatorians don't anymore. They still love their hot chocolate, though, although in the larger cities it's starting to be a bit forgotten. Soft drinks are taking over everywhere around here - they even have it for *breakfast* (ewwww). Farmers don't typically buy their drinks, they just use what's on their land - fruits, coffee and chocolate. Most don't even buy the majority of their food. They still grow and raise almost all of it. And down here, they don't eat spicy - not that much. You will at times see restaurants that offer a hot chili sauce, like a hot salsa (which down here is called 'pico de gallo'), but the people don't put it on everything, like Mexicans do. Actually, I would go so far as to say that typical Colombian food is rarely spiced, and they don't use herbs much, nor do they use much of a variety. You have to be ready to accept plain white rice and unspiced meat, legumes and eggs to be happy eating only their traditional food! Oh yeah, and lots of soup!
  4. Akanksha
  5. Roopam
    This is new to curious to try it...wonder if its available here in the US...voted.
    1. kristo
      My friend in Arizona said she had it in a cafe, so it must be available in the states.
  6. Carolyn
    Congrats on making Top Posts Kristo!
  7. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    Wow sounds great! Voted.
  8. Tonya Kubo
    Tonya Kubo
    I've heard of atole but never took the time to research what it was. Looking forward to trying this once the weather cools down.
  9. Clw1973
    I just get the atole from the Hispanic market in the packets. I would like to try and make my own. Don't like the spiced version so i think maybe vanilla.


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