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Corn – April 2009

Because of its high protein and carbohydrate content, corn, after wheat and rice, is the most important cereal grain in the world providing a nutritional resource for thousands of years. It also serves as a basic raw material for the production of starch, oil, protein, alcoholic beverages, food sweeteners, and fuel.
Corn is an important food in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and parts of Russia. Corn can be traced back to Mexican or Central American cultures as early as 3400 B.C.
Today, corn has less starch and is sweeter. Americans consume about 25 pounds of corn per person annually, most of which is frozen or canned. A good thing about corn is that frozen and canned corn has about the same nutritional value as fresh corn.

Corn constitutes an important source of carbohydrates (9gm per 100gm), protein (3.2 gm per 100gm), vitamin B (15gm per 100gm - Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate) and contains traces of Vitamin A and Vitamin E). As an energy source, it compares favourably with root and tuber crops, and it is similar in energy value to dried legumes.
Corn is also rich in minerals; phosphorus (120mg per 100g), magnesium (37mg per 100g), manganese, zinc, copper, iron (.5mg per 100g) and selenium. It also has small amounts of potassium.

Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Corns

The high amount of fibre (2.7g per 100gm) present in corn helps lower cholesterol levels and also reduces the risk of colon cancer. The insoluble fiber in corn makes it good for those suffering from common digestive ailments, like constipation and hemorrhoids.
Corn, if consumed in moderate quantities, has been seen to be beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.
Being rich in folate (46mcg per 100gm), corn helps the generation of new cells, especially important before and during pregnancy.
The Pantothenic acid (B5) present in corns helps with the physiological functions of the body.
Owing to the presence of thiamin, corns have been said to help in the metabolism of carbohydrates.

All of our corn products at Piko Wholefoods come from Broadlands Farm located in Tolaga Bay on the East Coast of the North Island.
They have been supplying Watties with organic corn since 1992 and have full Bio Gro status; they also use biodynamic principles in their farming practices. Check out their website www.kiwiorganics.com. It has excellent recipes and amazing information about their products.
Their Gluten Free and Organic Status are easily maintained as traceability is direct to our farm. Everything is GE Free. The grains are milled to order through a series of traditional plant that maintains naturally high nutritious qualities and freshness. No stabilizers or additives are used.

These are the Corn products that we stock at Piko Wholefoods.

Fine Corn Flour
A finer flour due to the removal of the germ and bran. Not bleached! Used in baking with other flours and makes a great batter. It can also be used to thicken soups and gravies. CARBS 92% FATS 3% PROTEIN 5% CHOLESTEROL 0%

Wholegrain Corn Flour
This nutritious flour is a true whole grain. Kiwi Organics traditional grinder allows this wholesome product to be as fine as the fine corn flour. It can be used in all baking and as a thickener. Keep cool and dry. CARBS 86% FATS 9% PROTEIN 5% CHOLESTEROL 0%

Corn Meal
Made from the kernel of the grain this is a truly great product. A perfect baby cereal! Use for breakfast as a porridge, lunch as a quiche base or as a potato/rice alternative for dinner. Use instead of breadcrumbs. This is a great way to start cooking with polenta. Try Edmonds Cornmeal Muffins. CARBS 89% FATS 4% PROTEIN 7% CHOLESTEROL 0%

Polenta made from ground corn, is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. As a winter food, soft, golden polenta, covered in melted parmesan cheese and sitting under some roasted veges, is immediately consoling. The secret to great polenta is long cooking, which allows the flavours to develop fully and the texture to become smooth and creamy. Once cooked, polenta can be served straight from the pot, or chilled and cut into shapes such as triangles or rounds. These can be grilled or pan-fried, resulting in a golden crust and a soft interior.

Fine Polenta
More popular in Northern Italy than pasta. Mix with vegetable stock, water, cream or milk. Add margarine or cheese of your choice. Eat hot or set in a pie dish and fry with a light brush of oil. Top with your favorite toppings. Feta, basil and sun-dried tomato are great! CARBS 89% FAT 3% PROTEIN 8% CHOLESTEROL 0%

Coarse Polenta
A coarser grind. The true polenta eater will go this way! CARBS 89% FATS 3% PROTEIN 8% CHOLESTEROL 0%

Corn Bran
This is the outer shell of the grain. It is high in fibre and can be used in the same way as wheat bran but has no gluten! It is a NZ first. Try it in your muesli as well. CARBS 90% FATS 3% PROTEIN 7% CHOLESTEROL 0%

Popcorn
Always a favourite. Cook traditionally with a dessert spoon of oil/marg to a tbsp popping Corn. No flavouring is needed! CARBS 78% FATS 10% PROTEIN 12% CHOLESTEROL 0%

Recipes

Homemade CORN CHIPS

1 cup Cornmeal
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp salt
¾ to 7/8 cup boiling water
Mix all ingredients. Scoop 1 tsp of mixture onto well-greased baking tray. Moisten fingers and pat out thin. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Basic Polenta

1 tbsp salt
1 cup fine polenta
In a heavy bottomed pot bring 4 cups of water to the boil. Add the salt and slowly pour in the polenta mixing constantly. Turn to low and cook until smooth and no longer grainy about 30 – 35 minutes. Stir frequently or it will catch on the bottom

To make firm polenta for under roast veges etc when the basic polenta is cooked spread the polenta into an oiled container, cover with a wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. When it is cool cut it into whatever shape you desire and then grill, bake or fry it and top it with grilled aubergine, mushrooms, feta, sun dried tomatoes, pesto etc. Make sure a crust has formed before turning or it breaks.

For savoury polenta add chilli or marmite or Parmesan or sun dried tomatoes etc before cooling.

Chilli Cheese Polenta

In a pot bring 200g diced green chillies and 1 cup whole kernel corn and 2 cups milk and 2 cups vege stock to the boil.
Slowly add 1 cup polenta or cornmeal and stir till smooth...about 5 minutes.
Mix in 3 tbsp butter and ½ cup grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Experiment, the recipe is basically 4 cups liquid 1 cup polenta or cornmeal.

Cornmeal Bread in a Bread Maker

300ml warm water
3 free range eggs 0or ½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp white wine vinegar
200g cornmeal
160g rice flour
2 ½ tsp xanthum gum
50g cane sugar
50g organic skim milk powder
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tbsp dried active yeast
Mix the liquid ingredients together and add to breadmaker. Add the rest of the ingredients. Use the Basic medium Setting. With gluten Free Bread it is often good to check the dough if it appears too stiff add 1 -2 tsp extra water. If it looks too runny add 1-2 tbsp more rice flour.

Orange Almond and Polenta Cakes

1 cup sugar
200g unsalted butter
4 eggs
½ cup fine polenta
1 cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
Grated rind of 1 orange and juice of ½ orange
Heat oven to 180 C
Beat butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time beating well. Stir in polenta and baking powder, almond meal, milk and orange rind and juice and mix.
Spoon into paper baking cups and bake for 20 minutes.

With thanks to Kiwi Organics

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