The second part of my blog about Mexican food concerns proper preparation of corn. Corn is a grain (sorry kids, corn on the cob doesn’t count as a veggie!) and as such, requires careful preparation so as to maximize nutrition and neutralize antinutrients. Traditional peoples who relied heavily on corn were careful to soak the cornmeal or corn kernals in limewater before cooking. This particular soaking process releases vitamin B3 which is otherwise nearly impossible for the digestive process to extract from the grain. Relying heavily on corn in the diet without soaking first is a primary cause of the disease pellagra. Symptoms of pellagra include fatigue, sore skin, and mental problems.
It is incredibly easy to make limewater! Simply put 1/2 inch of dolomite powder (calcium carbonate) in the bottom of a quart glass mason jar and fill with filtered water. Shake well, cover and then let settle overnight. The clear liquid that becomes available after the settling process is complete is limewater. Store in a cool place or in the refrigerator. I use KAL brand dolomite powder and it is available at many health food stores or by ordering online from Radiant Life.
Sprouting corn will also release vitamin B3 and neutralize phytic acid and other antinutrients that decrease enzymatic activity in the digestive tract. So, if corn tortillas are your cup of tea, try The Food of Life brand of Sprouted Corn Tortillas (ingredients: organic sprouted corn, filtered water, sea salt, lime). I use these in our home to make fajitas and other Mexican dishes that call for tortillas.
Another use of the sprouted corn tortilla is for delicious, healthy corndogs! Simply grill or bake nitrate free, antibiotic free hot dogs and wrap tightly in a warmed sprouted corn tortilla. Attach the tortilla firmly with a toothpick. This makes a great school lunch for the kids as well!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist