Monday, October 28, 2013

My Gray Porridge

As I sat at my desk today with my bowl of breakfast, I couldn’t help but notice a few funny looks as I set my bowl down.  Why? My regular breakfast choice looked quite discoloured. It was slate gray colour with black grains throughout.

One of my co-workers finally came up to me and said, “A wha dat?”  

Blue Cornmeal Porridge with Quinoa Grains

“Blue cornmeal!” I chimed.

His confusion did not subside with my clear response. “Blue cornmeal?” he repeated.

I went on to explain to him, that, yes, blue cornmeal does exist. And, in addition to the commonly known yellow and white varieties, there is also a red variety. Its not a genetically modified food but grows naturally in parts of Mexico and the United States.  I must admit that I wasn’t surprised about the reaction in my office. Its was only last week while browsing through my nearby health food store that I came across this treasure. I followed up with some research and went back to purchase it. Below are a few fun facts about blue cornmeal:

  • Blue cornmeal is ground from whole blue corn.
  • Grown in northern Mexico and Southwestern United States, particularly in Mew Mexico and Arizona.
  • It is an essential part of Hopi (Native American) dishes as well as New Mexican cuisine.
  • It’s had a sweeter and nuttier flavour than yellow or white corn.
  • According to the New Mexico Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service, blue corn has more of the essential amino acids, which makes it a more complete source of protein than white and yellow varieties.
  • In another study featured in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2007), scientists found that starch in blue corn tortillas were less digestible than that founding white corn tortilla chips. The slower rate of starch digestion to glucose in blue corn samples resulted in a lower predicted glycemic index, making blue corn a healthier choice for people living with diabetes.

Blue cornmeal is just as versatile as its yellow and white counterparts. It csn be used to make cornbread, porridge, corn crusted fish and muffins. I can't wait to try this ingredient for my fried festivals, dumplings and pancakes!

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