Mini Pinole Endurance Cupcakes

Your endurance comes down to your nutrition, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat boring. You can have your cupcake and eat it too!

A few years ago, I came across a book by Christopher Mcdougall called Born to Run about an Ultra-marathoner. He mentions a fascinating Tribe known as the Tarahumaras. I decided to do a little research into this Tribe. The Tarahumara are a Native American people of Northwestern Mexico. They are known for their incredible level of endurance. They run long distances of up to 200 miles over a period of a couple of days. They would run for hunting, transportation, and communicating to others. When it came to hunting, they would literally run the animal down until it would be physically exhausted.

I found more of an interest in what they ate, thinking that a huge part of their endurance must come down to nutrition. Their food consists mainly of corn, beans, lentils, chia, squash, sweet potatoes, and some fruit. Only 5% or less of their food consists of flesh from animals.

I researched a particular mix known as Pinole. Pinole dates back as far as the Aztecs and they have a diet that consists mainly of roasted ground corn, chia, cinnamon, spices, and some sweetener. I decided to put my own recipe together and make Pinole Cupcakes.


Pinole Cupcakes

Prep Time
Total Time


  • 1 cup masa harina or cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 lemon or lime squeezed
  • 2/3 cup water


Preheat Oven to 350F.

Put stove top on medium to high heat and throw the cornmeal into a pan. I used a nonstick wok as it was easy to maneuver the corn around. You want to pan cook it until it starts to turn a very light brown. You need to be careful as you do not want to undercook or burn the corn, so you will need to constantly tend to it. I did this is a pan for about 10 minutes. The aroma is amazing. Once you feel it is toasted, add it to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until it is a good consistency and blended well together.

Next, take a teaspoon and add the mix to a nonstick mini cookie tray. Place in the oven for about 12 minutes. After you are done, you can take it out of the oven and let it sit until cooled. When cool, simply take a butter knife and go around the edges to detach the cookies.

Take it on a walk, run, hike, or cycle to give you some lasting energy. Enjoy.

* I used organic cornmeal as I did not have access to masa harina which is basically treated with lime and that’s why I have added the citrus to add to the taste.

You’ve got to try these twice-baked curried sweet potatoes!

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