The second part of my blog about Mexican food concerns proper preparation of corn. See the first part about Mexican bean preparation.
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 cornmeal 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 learn how to make limewater! Simply put 1/2 inch of dolomite or calcium carbonate powder 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 dolomite powder and it is available at many health food stores or online from this vetted source.
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!
I there a reason to use the dolomite, calcium carbonate, rather than pickling lime, calcium hydroxide? The pickling lime is much cheaper. Thx
Sarah Pope MGA
I like dolomite brand because it is tested for heavy metals to ensure it is not contaminated.
Do you have a recipe for corn tortillas? From soaked meal preferably, or flour. Thx
If one eats animal foods, milk eggs and meat, is the nixtalamization (spelling?) step needed?
I soak corn and oats 24 hrs. Start them at breakfast before you cook up yesterday’s batch. Or Im more likely to cook alot at once after 24 hrs. I cook a triple batch of steelcut oats and a triple batch of grits weekly. Grits are just steelcut corn btw! Cracked kasha (another steelcut grain) are also very tasty if prepared as the Russians do, toasting the grain with a raw egg till dried out and then simmering. We use broth and add fried onion and garlic and toasted sliced almonds so its a pilaf.
We dont eat sugared breakfast grains so eggs go in all our porridges. This means pulling out a bowl of made porridge thats a meal in itself with addition of fruit and glass of milk. Some pour the milk on the porridge. My kids dont anymore. We top them with dulse flakes too. The grits I cook with vinegar and pepper besides the salt. They def get butter too, on top.
How long should you soak corn or cornmeal in limewater? Here’s a video and a recipe on the process. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-making-limewater-for-soaking-corn/
Overnight is a good rule of thumb.
I’ve heard that nitrate free meats are worse for you because of the celery salt. Any thoughts?
I can’t find dolomite powder at the Radiant Life link you provided. Do you still get yours through them?
How about fresh corn kernels–is it advisable to also soak them in lime water?