12 Dec 2022

Future Foods Corn Polenta

Corn Polenta is actually a dish, not an ingredient, from northern Italy. It refers to a porridge or mush made from coarsely ground cornmeal. Freshly cooked, polenta is soft and creamy, like porridge or mush, and makes a terrific bed for sauces. It’s a good gluten-free substitute for just about any dish that calls for pasta. When polenta cools, it firms up enough to be sliced and fried or layered like pasta sheets. Polenta is a healthy gluten-free grain and good source of antioxidants that help protect your eyes and reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases.

Homemade Version

To make polenta at home, you will need 6 cups of cold water, 1 1/3 cups of cornmeal and 1 teaspoon of salt. These ingredients are combined then cooked for 45 minutes to one hour. Using this recipe, homemade polenta contains 73 calories per 1/2-cup serving. The calories from polenta are mostly from its carbohydrate content. One serving contains 16 grams of carbohydrates, including 1.5 grams of dietary fiber. Homemade polenta also contains less than 1 gram of fat and almost 2 grams of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

While polenta contains numerous vitamins and minerals, it is not classified as a good source for any of them, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Polenta contains traces of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc. The vitamins found in polenta in small amounts are: B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin E.

Serving Suggestions

One way to enjoy homemade polenta is as a side in place of bread or pasta. Similar to grits, you can add cheese, pepper or butter for additional flavor. Polenta can be found in several recipes including soups, desserts, breakfast entrees, casseroles and sauces. Store-bought polenta can be broiled, deep-fried, microwaved or pan-fried. For those following a gluten-free diet, polenta works as a gluten-free grain substitute.

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