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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We eat a (mostly) whole foods diet and are moving towards TF. As I go gradually through our favorites, I've been stuck on tortillas.<br><br>
Does corn have much nutritional value? Particularly after its made into tortillas? (Oh, let the answer be yes, because we love them!)<br><br>
But when I read the directions for how masa is made (see below), I wonder what slaked lime/cal is and what it does to the corn nutritionally? Anyone know anything about this??? TIA!<br><br>
"To make Nixtamal (masa for making corn torillas):<br>
1 pound dried corn kernels, approximately 2 cups<br>
6 cups water<br>
1/2-ounce slaked lime* (commonly called cal), approximately 2 tablespoons
 

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Soaking dried corn in an alkaline medium, such as with lime (the mineral, not the fruit), "nixtamalizes" it, which frees up the vit. B3 (nicotinamide). It's a traditional practice for the peoples of the Americas where corn is native, but the process got lost in translation when corn was taken back to Europe and then to many other areas of the world. It does make it more nutritious. When people rely on corn as their staple, but do not nixtamalize the corn, they can suffer from pellagra.<br><br>
There are corn tortillas available here in the US that are made from organic corn that is first sprouted and then nixtamalized. They're delicious, and have the nutritional benefits of both processes. I've never made nixtamal, but I think it's pretty labor intensive. I'm joining a grain CSA this year that will include locally-grown corn of the right varieties for nixtamalizing (it can't be just any type of dried corn), so I'll probably be trying to make my own sprouted masa.<br><br>
You might be able to get the cal/slaked lime from a gourmet supply. I don't think you can use just any old agricultural lime.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AJP</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8169003"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There are corn tortillas available here in the US that are made from organic corn that is first sprouted and then nixtamalized. They're delicious, and have the nutritional benefits of both processes.</div>
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We have been using the sprouted corn tortillas from Food for Life <a href="http://www.foodforlife.com" target="_blank">http://www.foodforlife.com</a> for a while now and we really like them.
 

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I've never made my own own masa from dried corn, but we do make our own tortillas w/ pre-made masa. Here's an idea:<br><br>
We LOVE adding fresh wild greens to the mix. I like things like arugula and dandilion. Wilt your greens, chop fine and then add to masa. Continue to then add suggested amount of agua slowly, b/c greens will be adding some too, until you reach desired consistency.<br><br>
Fresh Cilantro is also yummy!<br><br>
Oh yeah,<br>
Cal is close, if not the same as, pickling lime. And I believe it will work too. . .Well at least Alton Brown on Good Eats says so!
 

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I was planning on going to our local Mexican market to look for lime water (what SF calls it) - I want to soak my polenta to break down the phytates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the info! It made sense to me that corn tortillas must be nutritious as it is such a staple food in South America, but I just wasn't sure about the whole lime process. And you just don't hear much about corn nutritionally compared with eg grains & quinoa.<br><br>
I have had the Food for Life tortillas in the States, yum! I've sent them an email to see if they ship over here - although very unlikely. Trying to go local as much as possible, but corn is just not big around here.<br><br>
Does anyone know anywhere that actually makes sprouted corn masa?<br><br>
Oh, I can just see where this is heading - dh lugging back some sack of organic corn and a shiny new grain mill -oh dear, best keep exploring my options before I commit myself. Just that we LOVE corn tortillas and the only ones I can get here are Old El Paso vacuum packed with loads of yuck in them. Wow, it's even worse than I thought - just read the package again. Instead of just corn masa and water, these have: corn flour (29%), wheat flour, hydrogenated vegetable oil, glycerol, wheat gluten, salt, dextrose, raising agents, emulsifiers, preservative, citric acid, and flour treatment agent. Triple yuck that I have fed these to my kids even a handful of times since we moved here. Ooo must find another way...
 

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I haven't found sprouted masa, but Goldmine Natural Foods sells organic dry masa that's not sprouted, it's really good. Maybe they'd ship it to you over there. <a href="http://www.goldminenaturalfood.com" target="_blank">www.goldminenaturalfood.com</a><br><br>
Metasequoia, I don't think soaking in lime water reduces the phytates in corn, just frees up the B3. For phytate reduction, you'd still need an acidic soaking step, I believe. But if it's not a staple for you, it may not be that big a deal in either respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the link - it looks good. I'll probably have it sent to my sister and bring it back with me when I visit.<br><br>
It was also a good reminder that, despite wanting to maximize the benefits of ALL our food, if something isn't a staple then I don't always have to go 110%. If we're eating corn tortillas 1x/week, it probably won't kill us if I don't manage to find a way to sprout them, for example.
 
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