Interesting Corn Facts:
• Corn originated in Central America and was the staple food of the Incas, Mayas and Aztecs.
• Still popular in South and Central America, it is now also popular in North America and Europe. Polenta is a national dish in Italy and Mamliga is eaten with most meals in Roumania.
• There are 5 varieties of corn: Flint Corn (particularly hard endosperm and used for cattle feed), Dent Corn (used for commercial cornmeal), Sweet Corn (sweet and juicy), Popcorn and Blue Corn (indigenous to South West America with a sweet-sour flavour)
• By-products of corn include cooking oil and corn syrup. Corn Syrup has replaced sugar in many processed foods.
• Cornmeal is either finely or coarsely ground. Due to its high oil content it is prone to rancidity, so buy fresh and store in the refrigerator. Cheaper cornmeal is often heated to remove the oil, but this will destroy nutritional benefits.
• Related to the colour blue and the planet Saturn.
• Corn has traditionally been worshipped by the American Indians Worshipped by and the focus of many American Indian spiritual ceremonies. American Indian mythology sees corn as a gift of the gods and is referred to as “Daughter of Life” and “Seed of Seeds”.
Cooking with Corn:
• Corn is Gluten-Free and cornmeal is a good base for fluten-free bread.
• Cornflour is extra fine and very light; ideal for light cakes, sponges and for thickening sauces. Check the label as many commercial brands have added wheat flour (may be labeled as wheaten cornflour).
• Cornmeal Porridge – 1/2 cup of fine of medium ground cornmeal to 2 cups water. Bring to boil, stirring continuously. Add milk to the desired consistency and serve with honey, fruit and yoghurt.
• Try cornmeal porridge with grated cheese, salt and freshly cut herbs as a savoury side dish.
• Firm Polenta – 1 C coarse cornmeal to 2 cups water. Bring to boil, stirring continuouly. When thickened, pour into a greased pyrex dish and allow to set. You can use the set polenta like toast under eggs, as a side to the main meal, cut into triangles or cubes and lightly fried or as a polenta pizza base.
Corn is the sixth grain of the seven we are looking at, with each grain relating to a different day of the week. When you add the seven grains to the diet, on their corresponding day, you provide the body with a balanced nutritional and energetic influence. This can help support health and harmony in daily life.
Annette Batchelor ND RM BT
Naturopathic Consultations in the Spirit of Anthroposophy, Victoria, Australia