what can i make with flint corn

If you’ve ever looked at those stunning ears of decorative corn and wondered, “can you eat ornamental corn?”, I’m here with the answer- yes, and it’s delicious! Fresh hominy is soft, pillowy, and has that same delicious flavor as a warm tortilla. It’s perfect for soups and stews, and can be used like dried beans in many recipes. So put that pretty corn to good use, and let’s make something warming and comforting.

what can i make with flint corn

How to Use Lye Safely

Lye is the common term for sodium hydroxide, and it’s actually used a lot in food (although less often by home cooks). More often these days hominy is made using culinary lime rather than lye, which is a little safer to use. I used lye here, frankly, because I had it. From pretzels to curing olives, lye is used as a strong and corrosive alkaline substance. It can be used in hominy to remove the hull and germ. In baked goods like pretzels lye works to break up the proteins, which allows the crust to form and brown. But lye does more than break down maize and gluten- it can also breakdown things like metals, wood or your skin. When combined with water, lye produces an exothermic reaction, which means it will get very hot. It will also corrode your skin, eyes, and internal organs if swallowed without being neutralized. Always use lye in a diluted form, according to the recipe you’re following. Make sure you’re wearing long sleeves, close-toed shoes, gloves, and safety glasses when handing lye. Make sure your space is well ventilated. Use non-reactive materials, like stainless steel, glass, enamel, and plastic. Fun side note, the wooden utensil I used to stir here actually snapped into pieces a day or two later. Oops. Lye can damage countertops, so make sure you put down something to protect them if you’re worried. Clean up lye spills with a cloth and water, and rinse the cloth well in cool water after. To dispose of your hominy soaking liquid simply pour it down the drain, and follow it up with 30 seconds of water. I like to add a splash of vinegar down the drain and in the sink as well, just as an added safety precaution.

Make sure you use food grade lye when cooking. Please read this page from the CDC for more information on Sodium Hydroxide safety.

Looking for Fresh Corn Recipes? Try one of these!

In order to make hominy, you need corn. Flint corn is best- you can use the ornamental stuff you have, or find an heirloom or specialty variety if you like. The first step is to remove the kernels from the cob. If the corn is a little drier, they do pop off more easily. Once the corn is off, rinse to remove any excess husk. Then into the pot it goes, along with water and lye. Make sure you use proper safety when handling lye, as described more below. Let the mixture boil, and then let it sit. After sitting for a few hours, rinse the corn well. Then add in a bath of cool water and use your hands to rub and massage the kernels, so the black tips fall off. Rinse and repeat a few times, until most of the ends are removed. And that’s actually it- from there you can dry your hominy to preserve it, or grind it down into masa, or (my favorite) cook it a little more and enjoy.

Can you Eat Ornamental Corn? Homemade Hominy


What do you do with flint corn?

Most people probably associate flint corn with its decorative purpose alone. However, it actually plays a significant role in our diets. Flint corn is mainly used to make cornmeal, from which all kinds of delicious dishes emerge. It is also used to make hominy, grits, polenta, atole, and masa.

Can flint corn be eaten?

Culinary Uses: Because of its hard outer layer and lack of sugar, the recommended primary uses of flint corn are as a coarse cornmeal used for grits, polenta, and atole, as well as toasted and ground for pinole.

Can you boil flint corn?

Flint corn: Sometimes referred to as calico corn, this is the type of corn you’ll typically find in a cornucopia on the thanksgiving dinner table. Its kernels are much harder than sweet corn, so it’s not the best for boiling and eating off the cob.

Is flint corn used for popcorn?

Red Flint corn makes great popcorn; however, when freshly harvested, only about 40 percent of kernels will pop.

What is flint corn used for?

Flint corn is most commonly popped or used decoratively in the US. Traditionally, it’s roasted and ground into a coarse meal. It also makes a superb freshly ground cornmeal. It is said by some to make the best textured and flavored grits and cornbread. I just finished processing some flint corn that we grew last year.

What is the best substitute for sweet corn?

Substituting corn is difficult because there aren’t any foods that have similar properties. I will assume you are substituting it because you are trying to avoid the sugar in sweet corn. Even though they aren’t that similar a great substitute might be cauliflower, you can rice cauliflower and it might give you a similar texture to what you might get from corn. Quinoa can also be similar to corn, although it is smaller in size, but it might give you a similar texture to corn. These two options could be considered healthier than sweet corn.

How do you make cornmeal from flint corn?

Place your kernels in a blender. As glass gem corn is a flint corn, you can use it to make cornmeal which can be used in meals likes grits. Use the strongest blender you have, as this will make the finest cornmeal. Add as many kernels as you want to your blender. It depends on how much cornmeal you want to make.

Does flint corn need to be cooked?

Flint corn needs to be cooked or fermented to get its full nutrition. Flour corns and dent corns are often fed dry and raw to livestock, and that works okay, but corn with hard starch, like dent and flint, needs a bit of processing. After cooking or fermenting, they are the most nutritious corns.

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