Are you looking for a cornmeal substitute?
During this past year, we have all experienced shortages.
It may have been a matter of store shelves being empty.
Last but not least, one of your guests may have a corn allergy…
…so you may need to find a cornmeal substitute.
Corn allergy cases are on the rise, as are most allergy cases.
You don’t hear about it very often, but as with any meal…
…check if any of your guests have allergies in advance.
Whether you are out of cornmeal or simply didn’t have any on hand…
…here is a list of my favorite substitutes!
Let’s hear from Jenn!
Tortillas, cornbread, hushpuppies, we can’t live without cornmeal!
However, some people have corn allergies. My cousin Robin did.
He was diagnosed with corn allergy when he was 17.
We used to eat tortillas A LOT.
He also loved to have some cornbread
However, the allergy prevents him from eating his favorite snacks.
That was why I helped him looking for an alternative.
And we found it!
Now he can come to my house (which is next door)
And ask me to make him some tortillas without the corn!
How is it possible?
I use semolina as the cornmeal substitute.
It gives them the same texture!
What is Cornmeal?
Meal made from corn is often made from yellow or white corn…
…and sometimes from blue corn. Many cornmeal products are made from field corn…
…not sweet corn varieties. There are different textures of cornmeal…
…including finely ground medium ground, and larger/coarse ground dried corn.
As a result of the milling process, bran and germ are removed…
…enabling cornmeal to remain fresh for up to one year.
If you prefer cornmeal richer in flavor and nutrients…
…choose stone-ground or whole-grain cornmeal.
You can use cornmeal for the following purposes:
- You can bake cornbread, hushpuppies, Johnnycakes, and corn fritters.
- A coating for fried chicken or fish.
- As a thickener in some dishes as well.
Why do we need cornmeal in our recipes?
Why Is Cornmeal Used In Recipes?
There are many recipes using cornmeal as a basic ingredient.
Many things can be made with it, including bread…
… other kinds of baking, pot cooking, coating things before frying…
…and many other things.
The majority of people keep cornmeal in their kitchen.
There are a lot of carbohydrates and starch in cornmeal.
The thiamine, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, iron…
…and magnesium present in corn kernels are in addition to these nutrients.
It’s also gluten-free, so it’s a great choice for those…
with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
It is this versatility that makes cornmeal such a valuable ingredient.
There are two factors you should consider…
…when substituting cornmeal in your recipes: taste and texture.
The following are the best cornmeal substitute…
…if you’re looking to match both flavor and texture!
The plus side is that a bunch of these may be conveniently on hand and ready to use!
How To Choose Cornmeal Substitutes
Knowing how cornmeal would work with your recipe is essential…
…before selecting a substitute.
There are two reasons to add cornmeal to a dish: to enhance the flavor and texture.
Therefore, if you have a recipe that requires cornmeal flavor…
…you can substitute it with corn products.
You should consider all items with a comparative surface if cornmeal is necessary.
As a further precaution, if you are allergic to corn, avoid corn-containing items.
Super Easy-To-Find Cornmeal Substitutes
In order to maintain the taste, I prefer to use other corn-based substitutes.
If you must stay away from corn because of your dietary restrictions…
…I have what you need!
1. Cornflour (Or Polenta Flour)
Simply put, this product is cornmeal that has been finely ground.
You can replace cornmeal with this if you prefer a finer texture…
…but has the same corn flavor as in cornmeal.
Whenever you call for fine cornmeal in a recipe, replace it with cornflour.
Using cornflour will lighten and make your dishes less dense…
so you may wish to reduce the cooking time somewhat.
Need something grittier? Scroll down…
2. Corn Grits
This is grittier than cornmeal, so won’t be a great choice for lighter airier recipes…
…but work great for pancakes or cornbread.
It is possible to make this recipe with either regular grits or hominy grits.
Southern states are very popular for serving grits for breakfast as a side dish.
Using corn grits that are made from dent corn as a cornmeal substitute provides…
…a different level of starch firmness than the sweet corn we typically eat off the cob.
Polenta is basically just coarsely ground cornmeal, similar to grits but a little sweeter.
One major difference is that polenta is made exclusively from yellow corn…
…specifically from Italian eight-row flint corn.
The cornflake is likely to be in the cupboard, ready to be used…
…as a cornmeal substitute in a cornmeal emergency.
If crushed, these can easily stand in for cornmeal in recipes…
…that call for corn flavor and some crunch.
The next one is a little bit odd, but works well!
5. Tortilla Chips
Sounds strange, but can you think of anything simpler?
Since they are made of corn, they are corn-based.
Put them into your food processor and grind them up.
In an emergency, they will work!
6. Masa Harina
An alternative form of cornmeal is prepared by cooking corn kernels in lime water…
… to remove the outer hull before grinding (dried and ground hominy).
Its unique flavor comes from this process.
Known as masa flour in Spanish, it is the base for homemade tortillas.
7. Hominy Grits
Tastes and feels similar to cornmeal, but is a bit coarser.
As part of the milling process, corn is treated with lye (nixtamalization)…
…which softens kernels and facilitates the removal of hulls.
If you decide to use hominy grits as a cornmeal substitute in your recipe…
…you will use about 3/4 of the cornmeal called for.
Next, what about making your own cornmeal?
8. Homemade Cornmeal
Making homemade cornmeal with popcorn, fresh or frozen corn is also possible!
In case you don’t have a dehydrator, you will be able to make do with plain popcorn.
Depending on the recipe, you can use yellow or white popcorn.
Dehydrate fresh corn using your preferred method…
…for approximately 3/4 of the usual cooking time.
You should not completely cook your corn before dehydrating it.
Detach the kernels from the cob and transfer them…
…to a parchment paper-lined dehydrator tray.
The arrangement of frozen corn kernels on parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays…
…is the easiest method for dehydrating frozen corn.
Regardless of whether it is fresh or frozen corn…
…set your dehydrator to 135°F (57°C) and allow it to run between 8 and 12 hours.
After about 6 hours, give it a quick shake or flip to help it dehydrate evenly.
Break up any large chunks of corn.
You know they are ready when they can’t be squeezed ( like popcorn).
A kernel should break if hammered with a meat mallet instead of becoming mushy.
Dehydrate your corn or popcorn with a spice grinder, food processor, grain mill…
…or any other device you have with strong blades.
You may continue grinding the cornmeal…
…until it reaches the level of fineness you desire.
*If necessary, work in batches.
A heat setting is not always available on all dehydrators.
In this case, simply turn on the dehydrator and check the corn every three hours.
Here I also give you several options for a cornmeal substitute…
…that doesn’t even have corn in them!
These are all of my ‘next best’ ideas for what to use when you’re out of cornmeal.
Some individuals seem to be hypersensitive to the carbohydrates contained in corn, which is still hard to diagnose and not well understood. If you are diagnosed with a corn allergy, your allergist may recommend you avoid corn and many derivatives of corn.Kendra Valle, RDN A Nutrition Specialist At NEOCATE.COM
Here’s the thing!
There are so many reasons why this is my favorite non-corn-based substitute!
Semolina is a flour that is high in protein ( and high in gluten )…
…that is made from hard durum wheat middling.
In comparison to typical flour, this is coarser.
In addition to its coarse texture, semolina has an earthy…
…nutty flavor that mimics cornmeal.
The amount required in your recipe needs to be increased slightly…
…when using semolina as a cornmeal substitute.
10. Ground Oats
It would make a great texture cornmeal substitute if you don’t need the corn flavor.
11. Wheat Flour
Wheat flour can easily be substituted for texture…
…however, the flavor will differ from corn products.
Keep reading for another option…
12. Rice Flour
Rice flour has a fine texture, which makes it great…
…for thickening soups, stews, and sauces.
This is so good to be used as a cornmeal substitute.
A similar advantage to corn flour is that rice flour is gluten-free.
13. Ground Flaxseed
Despite providing a crunchy texture, ground flaxseed has…
…a completely different and slightly bitter taste.
What’s the plus here?
Because flaxseed is full of fatty acids and high in protein…
…it offers several health benefits. What a great cornmeal substitute!
Those are 13 cornmeal substitutes that I found similar to cornmeal…
…whether in texture or flavor.
Part of them are corn-based products, but if you have some issues with corn…
… I have also provided you with other options.
Have you decided what kind of cornmeal substitute…
…you will use when you are out of it?
There are so many options, you just have to pick based on your preference…
…and the result you want for your cooking. Happy cooking!