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Wednesday, February 1, 2017
When strolling through the canned foods aisle there is a selection of peas, green beans, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, corn, and white and golden hominy. Wait. Hominy? What is hominy? Looking at the picture on the can, hominy looks like little teeth. So what is hominy? Appropriately located next to the corn, hominy is field corn (maize) that has been dried and soaked in an alkaline solution of lime, lye or ash wood. Soaking corn in an alkaline solution is known as nixtamalization. Hominy is typically double or triple the size of corn because of the nixtamalization process, which loosens the hull of the corn and softens it. Creating and processing hominy has been around since 1500 B.C. and popular in Native American, Mexican, and Central American cuisine. The main ingredient in pozole, a hearty traditional Mexican stew, is hominy. Hominy is sometimes found in the specialty or ethnic food aisle of the grocery store. Ground hominy, also known as grits, is a porridge consumed as a breakfast staple. Ground hominy is also commonly used to make masa. Masa, a Spanish term meaning dough, is used to make tortillas, tamales, and corn chips.
Health and Hominy
Hominy is a type of corn and considered both a vegetable and a grain. Half a cup of hominy is considered a serving of vegetables. According to the Whole Grain Council as long as the bran loss due to the nixtamalization process is minimum, hominy is still considered a whole grain. The nixtamalization process also makes B vitamins, specifically niacin, and amino acids more bio-available. Hominy is nutritionally similar to canned whole kernel corn. Hominy has 58 calories, 1 gram protein and fat, and 2 grams of fiber per ½ cup. If high blood pressure is a health concern, look for the low sodium canned options when possible or purchase dry hominy.
How to Eat Hominy
Canned yellow (golden) or white hominy has already been soaked, cooked and ready to use, but dried hominy requires hours of soaking and simmering. Hominy is a great addition to soups, stews, breads, chili, casseroles, dip or salad, such as the spicy hominy salad below. Store canned hominy in a cool, dark place. Once opened store hominy in the refrigerator in a sealed, non-metal container.
Spicy Hominy Salad
Makes 8 Servings
1 (15 oz.) can white hominy, rinsed and drained
2 large yellow bell peppers, roasted
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-10 oz. can tomatoes with green chilies, diced
1 cup black beans, rinsed
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve over spinach leaves or with pita chips
Nutrition Facts per ½ cup: 80 calories, 0.5 g. total fat, 370 mg. sodium, 17 g. carbohydrates, 4 g. dietary fiber, 3 g. protein
Looking for more information or recipes on Hominy? Check out the Household USDA Foods Factsheet: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_HOMINY-CANNED_WHOLE_LOW-SODIUM_100904.pdf