Photography by Blue Horizon StudiosThis is a guest post by Amy Pamensky, Nutritionist, Natural Chef and founder of Nourished Balance. She is one of my favorite food bloggers and it’s an honor to have her share her recipe for one of my favorite holiday foods!

What are you making for the holidays?! This week I got together with my friend Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad to make some homemade tamales. We had so much fun wrapping the tamales together- it felt like we were wrapping little delicious gifts to give to family and friends for the holidays.

We used a traditional tamale recipe however, being the Natural Food Chef and Nutritionist that I am, I decided to make a few key changes to the recipe to make a healthier version.

  • A lot of tamale recipes call for a TON of butter. I am not opposed to using organic butter (I believe in healthy fats!) however I think that 1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces of butter is a little excessive.
  • Traditional recipes also call for around 1/4 cup of white sugar. I prefer to use natural sweeteners when possible. In this recipe, I chose to use sweet corn and, trust me, the recipe was plenty sweet enough without adding sugar.


“I don’t understand why the other homemade tamale recipes add so much sugar or butter- these are delicious without them!”

-Kiersten, The Blonde Abroad

  • Unfortunately most of the corn in the U.S. is Genetically Modified (G.M.O.). That is why I chose to use organic, non-GMO corn and corn meal instead of conventional corn.
  • And last, but not least, I always choose organic animal products. So we used organic eggs and butter in this recipe.

Okay, that’s enough of the nutrition talk…

Let’s get to the RECIPE!



  • 1 bag corn husks (hojas)- can find these in the ethnic section of the grocery store
  • 1 bag organic sweet corn (look for non-gmo)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups masa harina (flour)- or organic corn meal (look for non-gmo)
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 organic egg
  • 2 Tbsp organic butter, melted
  • ¼ yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic

Optional Fillings:


  1. Soak corn husks in warm water for at least 30 minutes. Note: You will need to place a bowl on top of the corn husks to keep them submerged in water.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to food processor to make your masa de maiz (corn dough)
  3. Rinse and dry corn husks
  4. Place 1 corn husk in the palm of your hand. Place 1/3 cup masa in the center
  5. Add desired fillings: roasted red peppers, black beans, chili sauce, olives, shredded chicken, spinach, cheese, etc.
  6. Top with more masa
  7. Fold the bottom of the corn husk up, then roll the tamale and tie with a piece of corn husk
  8. Add about 3 inches of water to the bottom of a big pot. Place steamer basket in the pot. Turn up the heat until water is boiling, reduce heat to a low/medium heat. Add the tamales, cover and steam for 30-40 minutes, or until mixture is firm. Check every 10 minutes or so and add water as needed.

Makes 1 dozen

Amy Pamensky is the founder of Nourished Balance. She works with clients to improve their health through scientific-based nutrition and health coaching. Amy currently works with women to improve all aspects of their health, including: weight loss, anti-aging, thyroid imbalances, high cholesterol, digestive issues & food allergies, low immune system, and anti-aging. Her specialty is in women’s health, family nutrition, and digestive wellness. Amy believes that every woman deserves to feel beautiful from the inside out, and that what we eat directly affects how we look and how we feel.

You can find health tips and healthy recipes on her blog Nourished Balance.

Happy Holidays everyone!

¡Feliz Navidad!

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Kiersten Rich
Kiersten Rich is the bikini-obsessed author of award-winning solo female travel and lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, food, festivals and photography from around the world.