I’ve been wanting to share this post now for a good 4 or 5 months. Not having a dry/wet food mill has prevented me from making my own corn masa for tortillas or tamales. However, I’ll be sharing a post on posole shortly and knew I could prepare my own corn in a lime solution and make my own hominy. Nixtamal is a traditional way of making your own corn masa or hominy by first boiling field corn (not popcorn) in a lime solution and allowing it to soak for a period of time depending on it’s use.
By soaking your own corn and making your own masa or hominy you’ll have a fresher tasting taco, tamal or posole. Your masa or hominy will also have more nutritive value and you’ll also have the added benefit of being able to find organic field corn. I’ve been able to order this through Azure Standard. A natural/organic buying club that anyone in the nation can take part of!
The process of nixtamalization removes the germ and the hard outer hull from the kernels, making them more palatable, easier to digest, and easier to process. Although this process decreases some of the vitamin levels, soluble starch and corn protein it improves the availability of amino acids, phosphorous and calcium. By soaking this whole grain, you are also decreasing the phytic acid content, thus improving the absorption of minerals.
To properly prepare Nixtamal, you need to soak the corn in a lime water solution. I have been able to find lime or cal at my Mexican grocer. However, pickling lime can also be used.
- 2 quarts organic field corn
- 5 tbls Lime/Cal
- 4 quarts filtered water
- Rinse corn and remove any chaff. Drain through a colander.
- In a non-reactive pot, mix water and lime over high heat until lime is dissolved.
- Add the corn and bring to a boil for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat, cover, and let soak overnight.
- The next day, drain the corn through a colander and rinse. If making hominy for posole, remove hulls at this time. The hulls are the little brown tips which can be rubbed or picked off.
- Place corn in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for 5 – 10 minutes moving the corn kernels with your fingers and then rinse again. Repeat this process one more time. This will ensure all traces of lime are washed away.
- Drain the corn through a colander and your done. Homemade nixtamal!
Once your nixtamal is completed you can now use the corn in your posole recipe or you can grind it to make homemade tortillas or tamales. As soon as I get a grinder I’ll make sure and post on tortilla’s and my tamales!! Don’t you just love learning how to better nourish ourselves by traditional techniques