The available information on making cornmeal and preparing dishes out of it can cover acres of pages—there two reasons why a lot is written about cornmeal. The first reason is that it is very popular, and the second one is cornmeal’s versatility. You can make anything from muffins to porridge to bread and many other dishes too. You can use it to make that yummy crust on your fried chicken. If it is popular to eat, many people will want to know how to make it.
There are a few things to explain concerning cornmeal.
It comes in three different textures: coarse ground, medium ground, and fine ground. You obtain coarse cornmeal by using the stone-ground method to make it. This is how people made cornmeal before the invention of the mechanical mill.
To date, course ground cornmeal is considered more artisanal. It is likely to be made at home by individual farmers for personal or family subsistence. Commercial cornmeal producers also manufacture some coarse-ground and for people who prefer that texture. Coarse has a shorter shelf-life because it contains all the fat in the corn husk, making it more perishable.
Medium and fine ground cornmeal is made with steel rollers. The corn is also dehusked to make it fine and stabilize it for a longer shelf-life. The process of dehusking further involves the removal of maize germ. The removal further deprives the cornmeal of most of its nutrients.
The term cornmeal generally refers to ground yellow maize. This is cornmeal made from dent corn, and it is the most readily available in the market.
Cornmeal is usually gluten-free. However, most cornmeal producers also produce wheat and other products that contain gluten. There may be an interaction between the cornmeal and these other products during the production process. It is good practice to check your product label to be sure there is no gluten in them.
What are the nutritional benefits of cornmeal? Fresh, whole cornmeal has the following nutrients.
It is an excellent source of carbohydrates, the primary source of energy. A hundred grams of cornmeal contain 79 grams of carbohydrates. You can get a substantial percentage of your daily energy needs from it.
There are seven grams of proteins in 100 grams of cornmeal. Average man needs about 56 grams of proteins daily while at rest, while a woman needs 46 grams per day.
It provides you with Vitamin B6.
Cornmeal contains many beneficial minerals in significant quantities. These minerals include magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium, all of which are essential for the proper functioning of the body.
Making Corn Meal
You can make your cornmeal in a few easy steps. Making your cornmeal at home has several advantages, including the following.
– Homemade cornmeal contains no preservatives, and it is therefore healthier.
– You can make just the quantity of cornmeal you need which ensures you always take fresh cornmeal.
– The fact that you made the cornmeal for immediate consumption means that you don’t need to worry about the shelf-stability of your coarse-ground cornmeal.
– You need a good high-speed blender or seed grinder.
– Dry kernels of corn
- Put the dry kernels of corn in a high-speed blender or seed grinder.
- Run the blender or grinder at top speed for one minute and stop to check the texture of your cornmeal.
- Close the blender and run it for another 30 seconds if the meal hasn’t reached the desired fineness.
- Take the ground corn from the blender, sieve it, and return the large pieces that don’t go through the sieve to the blender and rerun it. Continue until you attain the desired texture. Finely ground cornmeal typically requires to be ground three times.
Proper storage of your newly ground cornmeal is an essential part of its production.
In this section, we shall see that you can store corneal for a long time. However, this meal is most nutritious in the first few days of making it. Also, note that it’s made from whole grain can quickly go rancid if you don’t store it well.
The best way to store your cornmeal is inside an airtight container or a sealable silicone bag. You should then keep the container in a cool dark place. The cornmeal can remain healthy for up to a year in this state. Shelf-life may be reduced by the frequent opening of the container when scooping some cornmeal to use.
You can increase the life of your cornmeal by having a smaller container where you put the cornmeal you want to use in a few days. By doing this, you avoid opening the main container except when necessary.
Cornmeal can be frozen if you want to keep it for longer. In an airtight container, frozen remains unspoiled for up to two years. It is usually possible to prepare your cornmeal directly from the freezer without having to defrost it.
Freezing cornmeal, especially when you can make it at home, may not be a good idea because it may have lost some freshness. You are better off making enough of it for you to use for a few days when it is still fresh and nutritious.
Types of Corn Used to Make Cornmeal
Field and Dent Corn
This is the variety most often for to make cornmeal, especially by commercial manufacturers. Its wide use in making dry corn products has made its flavor synonymous with corn. Thus, when people talk about corn flavor, they are talking about the taste of field and dent corn. This variety is also starchier than other types of corn.
Popcorn is typically not used to make cornmeal, but you can use it at home. It has the correct moisture content, and it is nutritious. Whatever you make from this cornmeal will have the aromatic smell and taste of popcorn.
Commercial manufacturers would probably not consider making cornmeal using sweet corn, but you can make it at home.
Your homemade cornmeal will have the taste, color, and smell of the type of corn you use. You make cornmeal from any variety besides the ones listed above as long as the corn is dry enough. Drying the corn is as critical a step in preparing cornmeal as any other.