Cornmeal is a popular grain due to its versatility and many nutritional benefits. Cooked cornmeal, also known as polenta, makes a lovely base for a range of sauces and it can even be used in desserts. Cornmeal is a great source of fiber and protein and it’s gluten-free. This makes it a delicious alternative to other types of flour in baking. If you’ve not got much experience cooking with cornmeal there are plenty of fun recipes you can try. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Southern fried treats
Cornmeal can be used to create a crispy coating for traditional Southern fried treats. You can prepare a batter easily and then use it to deep fry a wide range of things. You could make your own fried chicken, vegetables, or even seafood. Check out this fried oyster recipe by gritsandpinecones.com, for example. It makes a delicious summer snack for all the family.
I love the idea of adding a cornmeal coated fried chicken breast to a sandwich loaded with greens and quick pickled vegetables, like in the photo below.
Pancakes are one of the main breakfasts kids love. Cornmeal helps to add a crispy texture to pancakes. If you prefer thinner, crispier pancakes then you could try upgrading your recipe to include cornmeal. You can then serve them with ripe summer fruits for a healthy choice at breakfast.
Cornmeal could also be a great addition to this larger Dutch Baby Pancake too.
Cornmeal is the base of polenta, which is traditionally used in the north of Italy as a base for delicious dishes. It’s got a lovely flavor and texture on its own and works well under sauce-based meals. Preparing polenta is quick and couldn’t be simpler. You only need to boil it in salted water for about 30 minutes and you can add butter or parmesan cheese to taste if you prefer. Here’s how to make perfect polenta. You could try serving it with baked mushrooms and cheese, roasted meat, sausage ragout, vegetarian chilli, and many more tasty dishes.
For those of you on a gluten-free diet, cornbread is one of the best alternatives to wheat-based products and other grains. Cornbread goes perfectly with a number of recipes such as chilli, soups, and BBQ. There’s nothing quite like homemade cornbread either and you can vary the recipe to make it sweet or savory. It’s a very versatile side and it’s healthier than other types of bread. Here is a gluten-free cornbread recipe for those of you who’ve never made it before.
Baked polenta fries
For a slightly different way to use polenta, you could try making these healthy baked polenta fries. They work as a great snack at parties and BBQs as an alternative to potato fries. They are baked rather than deep-fried, reducing fat and calories. You can serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. Why not try making a healthy homemade ketchup? They also go well with fresh dips such as tzatziki, mint dip, and other Greek yoghurt-based dips. There really are plenty of exciting uses for cornmeal. If you love the texture and flavor of this wonderful grain, you can get creative in the kitchen this summer.
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