Polenta or cornmeal is a dish that originated in northern Italy. This popular South European meal is and has always been considered a rural meal, yet its popularity in urban areas has been continuously increasing. Healthy and tasty beyond comparison, the polenta is very easy to prepare and can be consumed in a number of ways in combination with a variety of foods.
The meal is made from white or yellow corn flour, or semolina, which has a very positive impact on overall health. And the best thing about it is that corn flour does not contain gluten and can be consumed by everyone, regardless of their age.
It is ideal for babies, for people who mind their weight, or those who have problems with the digestive system.
Polenta Composition and Health Benefits:
This meal contains as much minerals, nutrients and vitamins as the body needs to function normally. The polenta has a powerful effect on the prevention of various diseases, as well as the overall human health. The meal contains natural fats, i.e. Karitenoides, which are responsible for polenta’s ability to promote better and better bowel function. Polenta is also excellent in eliminating excess weight, since it promotes good and healthy digestion.
Corn is the key reason why this delicious meal is loaded with health benefits. Second to only wheat and rice, maize is truly one of the most important cereals in the world. It is also one of the best foods to provide the body with long-term and healthy energy.
Corn flour contains a large array of nutrients. Namely, this flour is a great source of folate, vitamin B6, C and E, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. It also boasts a high concentration of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, selenium and manganese.
And since corn is all it contains, the polenta has very few calories and is therefore an ideal weight loss meal. It is one of the best and most effective foods recommended to both children and adults.
100 g of polenta contains about 380 calories. It is composed of only natural ingredients, with both its carbohydrates and lipids having a positive effect on the human body. That’s why polenta is also a great choice for babies and children.
Kids love polenta, especially when combined with yogurt or some other vegetable kids like. This meal is also ideal for children since it protects from sudden immunity drops.
Reducing the risk of cancer is yet another benefit the human body gets from polenta. It was scientifically proven by a University in America to significantly reduce the risk of this serious disease. Polenta can especially reduce the risk of colon cancer, as well as the occurrence of hemorrhoids.
Stronger colon cells is one of the benefits that people who regularly use polenta enjoy. In addition to this, polenta can also have an anti-oxidizing effect on the entire body.
Polenta can also lower your cholesterol thanks to the healthy fats it contains, as well as fibers and complex carbohydrates. It is due to these reasons that polenta is able to prevent excess weight. The consumption of this healthy meal can also have a positive effect on your heart and blood flow.
The Difference between Homemade and Store-bought Polenta
Store-bought is enriched with ascorbic acid, i.e. vitamin C and beta carotene, and is therefore somewhat richer with vitamin A and C comes than homemade polenta, but when it comes to calories, carbohydrates and fats, both types are very similar.
Polenta i.e. corn meal can be prepared in two ways, each being very easy and quick to do. For method Nr.1, you need to first pour 3 and a half cups of water in a pot and then add a little sunflower oil and a pinch of salt. When the water reaches a boil, you should lower the temperature to a minimum and pour one cup of corn polenta while stirring constantly.
While stirring the polenta, you are recommended to use wooden spoons, due to oxidation from metal pots. This tasty meal can also be spiced up by healthy seeds or your favorite vegetable.
Another way in which you can make polenta is to fill a pot with a liter of water and then add one teaspoon of salt and wait until the water boils. Once it reaches a boil, add 500 g of corn flour to your pot. The flour will remain on the surface of the water, which is why you need to use a wooden spoon to make a hole in the flower, so that you can let it cook over medium-low heat. After some time, the paste should have blended in with the water and then your polenta, delicious and healthy, will be ready for consumption.
Polenta can be also used for making other dishes, one of them being the delicious and healthy corn bread.
The ingredients you need for making cornbread polenta are:
- 150 g of corn polenta;
- 3 eggs;
- 200 g of flour;
- 300 g of fine cheese, low-fat;
- 1 teaspoon of salt;
- 1 baking powder;
- 200 ml of yogurt;
- 100 mL of sunflower oil
While preparing the mixture, you need to turn your oven to 200 degrees. Next, break your eggs in a bowl and scramble them until they are foamy, before you add the oil and yogurt and use a mixer to make sure everything is well combined. Once you get a homogeneous mixture, add the flour and polenta with a teaspoon of salt and the baking powder. You are advised to use gluten free flour for best effect.
When all the ingredients are well mixed, crumble the cheese finely and then add it to the mix. Next, use some oil to lubricate your molds or pan and then pour the mixture in. The corn bread should be baked at 190 degrees until golden brown, and you may also use a toothpick to check it’s baked enough. If your toothpick is dry when you remove it is a sign that your corn bread is baked enough. Once it is, you can remove it and leave it to cool on room temperature for 5 minutes before you eat it.
it is a sign that enough remained in the oven and can be removed to stand at room temperature for five minutes before drinking.
Polenta and Yoghurt Diet
A diet made out of yoghurt and polenta is becoming a very popular trend in recent times. Yogurt is often used in many diets, since it can both regulate digestion as well as help with weight loss in general. But when you combine it with polenta, the results get even better.
For this diet, it is best to use organic corn and homemade polenta mixed with low-fat yoghurt. Your portion of polenta with yoghurt needs to be taken twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening time. However, keep in mind that in the evening you should take it 2-3 hours before bedtime.