Hominy is dried corn kernels that have been soaked in alkali till their hull softens. Hominy is the same thing as corn, the only difference being that it has gone through a process that makes it different from your conventional corn.
The fresh corn you would get from the grocery store or the farmers’ market is soft and filled with juices. Hominy is different; it is dried, puffy, and chewy due to its hull removal treatment. It shares basic characteristics with corn but has an entirely different taste and texture.
What does hominy taste like? The taste of hominy is almost neutral. It is mild but has a very pronounced grainy flavor. This pronounced grainy flavor is subtle with a tone of earthiness that is noticeable. The texture of hominy is unique, it is chewy but with a slimy likeness like okra. When cooked, it can have a meaty feel in the mouth.
Hominy has found use in several classic dishes. It also has a nutty flavor, but the earthy flavor has made it a perfect ingredient in many dishes.
Nutritional Benefits of Hominy
Hominy has several nutritional benefits to offer the human body. For starters, you are on a gluten-free diet, Hominy is perfect for you. Lots of food items you buy in the grocery store comes with additives to give them longer shelf lives.
The canned hominy you get from the aisles of departmental stores is naturally gluten-free. It also contains a good amount of carbohydrates. Most people embark on gluten-free diets for reasons mainly known to them, but a gluten-free diet can cure anyone with celiac disease.
Most processed items are not famous for being valuable nutritionally, but hominy has a great nutrient to calorie ratio. You have fewer calories and sufficient nutrition. This means that you can eat a can of hominy, get sufficient nutrition, and not have to worry about ingesting too many calories.
A cup of hominy has a 120 calorie count compared to a cup of white rice that has a 250 calorie count. If you ever want to put together a weight loss diet, hominy would be great on that list. You can eat less and not go hungry.
Hominy contains a high amount of fiber, this attribute is what makes it perfect in any weight loss diet. Eating hominy can help you keep your fiber intake up. A cup of hominy contains about 4 grams of fiber. Fiber doesn’t just keep you full when you are on a weight loss diet, it can reduce cholesterol levels, manage diabetes, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Hominy contains no fat and an almost negligible amount of sugar. This makes it perfect for anyone on a low-fat diet, or anyone trying to control their sugar intake. The alkaline solution that it is treated in, gives the corn kernels a boost in the bioavailability of vitamin B.
Normal corn has a bound form of vitamin B in its core. But in hominy, it is well available and can be utilized by the body. Vitamin B helps the formation of red blood cells, it could also boost energy production in the body.
Culinary Uses of Hominy
There are two types of hominy; yellow and white and it is used in many dishes, both Mexican, and dishes back at home. Hominy has found a lot of adaptations in the culinary department. So, let’s take a look at how you can use it in the kitchen.
Ever heard of Atole? Atole is a warm traditional Mexican drink that is made from ground masa (ground masa is made with hominy). The drink is sweetened with piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar), and cinnamon is added for extra flavor.
You can also make the popular breakfast side dish; Hominy Grits. In Southern American cuisine, this dish is popular. It is similar to the Italian polenta in texture. The Italian polenta is made from a different kind of corn.
In soups, hominy can act as a thickening agent. Several Mexican traditional stews use hominy as a thickening agent; red posole and chicken pozole Verde.
What is the History of Hominy? How to Procure It?
Hominy is native to Central and Southern America, it just started making a comeback in recent times. The word hominy is a derivation from the Powhatan word for prepared maize. The method by which hominy is made is known as nixtamalization. It has been in the mesoamerican cuisine for centuries.
Back then when there were no alkaline chemicals, they used lime instead and the lime is usually sourced from different materials. Limestone could be used to make slaked lime with which you can soak corn kernels. If bacteria is introduced to nixtamalization, it creates a different kind of sourdough. The Lacandon Maya also used this process to create beers that bear resemblance to chicha.
Hominy can be gotten from grocery stores, in canned versions, or as grits.
Is Hominy Good Or Bad For You?
Forget the fact that you can’t associate a healthy lifestyle with canned food. Hominy, even though it is canned, has a lot of nutritional value that comes without any additives. In moderate quantities, hominy could do your well-being a lot of good.
Fact You Don’t About Hominy
- The Mayans treated corn in alkaline solutions to soften it. But, some other people do it to reduce the risk of pellagra occurring, due to the inability of humans to absorb the niacin in untreated corn.