Hello again! This is Christine, and this week I have a batch of vegan waffles to satisfy your sweet tooth! But these aren’t just any waffles: They’re based on the diet of the Tarahumara, a Mexican tribe of superathlete ultramarathoners.
Ok, I’ll admit it, long after Matt’s post on Tarahumara pinole and chia, I’m only half way through Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run. But I am already chomping at the bit to give pinole and chia a whirl. While I’m sure some of the claims are exaggerated, these foods seem like the magic cure for any ailment!
Will Run For Waffles
Heading out for a 48-hour trail run? Legend has it that a satchel of pinole on the hip is all the Tarahumara require. Need to bound up this cliff like a mountain goat? Have a sip of chia gel. Run yourself ragged? Drink a cup of corn gruel.
Of course, a lot of things take on mythical proportions out in the depths of the Sierra Madres. Can pinole and chia work their magic in my world—not just for an afternoon run, but to fuel the 9-5 grind too?
I developed this recipe for waffles to give pinole and chia a chance in my modern world. And by “modern,” I mean that anything with the word gruel in it is unacceptable.
Beyond the allure of tribal running hunks, secret villages, and mystery gruels and gels, it all comes down to foods crazy-dense with nutrients and foods lacking in junk. That is, unless you consider blindingly-strong corn-beer to be junk.
Vegan Pinole-Chia Waffles
- 3/4 cup medium to finely ground cornmeal or pinole
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup oats, ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 cup hemp milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
If starting with cornmeal instead of pinole, toast it lightly in a pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it is lightly browned and fragrant. If you are using real pinole, grind in a coffee grinder to make a fine flour.
Preheat waffle iron.
Stir together the cornmeal, chia, ground oats, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, hemp milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. (The coconut oil needs to be at warm temperature or warmer to mix, so you may need to microwave it to get it to a liquid state.)
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry to combine into a smooth batter. Spray the waffle iron with baking spray even if it is nonstick, and pour batter into hot iron. Follow the directions of your waffle iron, or wait until the iron stops steaming.
Carefully remove waffles from iron, respray with cooking spray, and repeat. This was enough batter to fill my waffle iron 2 and a half times, making 5 small waffles.
To enjoy immediately, top with maple syrup and the fruits of your choice. Alternatively, slice into bars, freeze and take on your next run.
These pinole-chia waffles were surprisingly delicious! I was nervous they would be too gritty, but the pinole provides an amazing crunchiness that transform them from “pastry” to “hearty breakfast.” While I can’t promise that these will propel you up the side of a mountain, I will tell you that Matt is planning on making them for his 50 miler!
I originally set out to develop a waffle recipe because Caleb and Rita left comments describing vegan waffle tragedies, but now I am on a total pinole and chia kick! I want to put a Tarahumara spin on everything— any requests for what to try next? I’d love a good challenge!
See you next Friday!