One of the most versatile foods in the world happens to be in the form of a simple grain. Corn, also known as maize, is grown and harvested in many different countries and is used in thousands of recipes worldwide. There are a large variety of maize strains that exists naturally, and there are also numerous hybrid strains that have been produced throughout the history of its domestication. Since it is a main food staple in a number of cultures, different ways to prepare and preserve corn have been invented, and one way is by turning maize kernels into hominy.
Hominy is simply maize kernels that have been dried out and nixtamalized. Nixtamalization of maize to make hominy involves the soaking of its kernels in an alkaline solution, which also results into its cooking. The kernels are also hulled and softened due to the process. The process of nixtamalization has been around since about 1500 BC, and the preparation and consumption of hominy has been thought to come from the areas of Mexico and Guatemala. Hominy in Central American and Mexican cuisine is consumed whole in casseroles or is grounded to make grits and produce masa for flour. Hominy has also been integrated into the Native American cuisine. It is used mostly in soups, dumplings, cornbread, or simply fried with meat and vegetables. Aside from human consumption, hominy can also be used as healthy animal feed. Hominy is generally regarded as healthy, and the regular consumption of hominy as part of a diet can have many benefits. Here are some of the benefits of eating hominy.
Low calorie food
For those who are monitoring their daily caloric intake, hominy may be a good alternative. A single, whole cup serving of hominy only adds up to roughly 120 calories. That leaves plenty of room for other types of food to be consumed in a meal. It’ll give you just enough fuel for the day, which makes hominy ideal for those who are trying to lose some weight. Hominy is easy to prepare and easy to carry along. If not eating it as a part of a meal, you can have hominy as a snack of some sort. While being delicious, it will not rack up your calorie count.
Fiber-rich grainAnother reason why hominy is great for weight loss is the fact that it is absolutely rich in fiber. Fiber has a few important functions in the body, especially in the digestive system. Hominy has fiber that can help you feel satiated for longer periods of time. It will also make you feel fuller faster, which means that you will not have the tendency to overeat. Fiber also helps in the regulation of bowel movements, as it helps solidify wastes in your digestive tract and also helps in moving such wastes along. Besides these, fiber also helps regulate levels of blood sugar in the body. This is especially important for people who are suffering from diabetes or those who are already borderline diabetic. The addition of hominy to a diabetic diet can certainly help control blood sugar levels.
Low sugar content
Since hominy aids in the control of sugar in the body, it only makes sense that it is a low sugar food. A single cup serving of hominy only contains roughly 3 grams of sugar. We all know that too much sugar in the body can do more harm than good; it can increase a person’s risk for diabetes. However, sugar also does harm in other ways that people sometimes tend to ignore. Too much sugar in a diet can lead to tooth decay no matter how much brushing is done. In addition, excessive sugar intake can also lead to obesity, one of the biggest health problems in this country. Hominy’s low sugar levels will not only decrease the risks for such health problems, they will also help prevent sugar rushes and sugar crashes that also affect the brain negatively.
Low in fat
Last but not least, hominy happens to be a low fat food. This makes sense since fatty foods are also normally high in calories. Hominy, on the other hand, is both low in calories and low in fat. This makes it a great food choice when losing weight, especially for those who are on a low-fat diet. Fat also doesn’t fill you up as easily and wholesomely as other types of healthier food alternatives. Too much fat in any diet can lead to heavy weight gain, lethargy, slower metabolisms, and even risks for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
How to eat hominy
As mentioned before, there are many ways to consume hominy while keeping it as healthy as it already is. One way is to eat it plainly steamed or boiled with some seasoning as a side dish. Hominy is also great as an ingredient in other dishes. It can be great in soups such as the Mexican pozole or as a texture component in ceviche. When ground up, it can be served as grits or used as flour to make tortillas, dumplings, or even bread. It can also be eaten on its own, drained and seasoned as a snack on the go.
There are many ways to enjoy hominy and its health benefits. For those who are seasoned corn eaters and are looking for different ways to eat corn, having hominy can be a great alternative. Hominy is as versatile as it is beneficial, and incorporating hominy into a diet can only have good outcomes. This is, of course, as long as it is consumed in moderation. If you haven’t yet, try hominy instead next time you are looking to eat some corn; it certainly won’t disappoint you or your stomach.
Latham, Michael C. (1997). Human Nutrition in the Developing World. Food & Agriculture Org. p. 183.
Staller, John E.; Carrasco, Michael (2009). Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p. 317.
Thigpen, Susan (October 1983). “Hominy – Mountain Recipe”. The Mountain Laurel.