Have you heard of polenta before? Well, this is a cornmeal dish that is popular in Europe. Aside from its delightful taste and amazing appearance, this dish is oozing with so many health benefits. It is okay if you are not yet knowledgeable of this particular cornmeal dish. In this article, we’ll go through this particular food. Not just that, we’ll also get to know about some of the most astounding health benefits of polenta. So sit back, relax, and enjoy reading this article to know more.
Polenta: What is this?
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As stated earlier, polenta is a cornmeal dish that is native to Italy. However, it is present in various cuisines all over the world. Furthermore, the different deviations that are existing have already made this dish one of the ethnic food of various cultures. This is in spite that it starts out as a food for peasants.
Moreover, polenta is a food that has ample amount of carbohydrates and is capable of providing a small amount of protein that has a good profile of amino acid. Furthermore, it is also a good source of vitamin B complex, some of which are folic acid, pantothenic acid, and thiamine. As well as zinc, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Furthermore, it also has a reasonably low-calorie content and with non-gluten at all.
The polenta is actually a traditional indigenous food that is mainly made from boiled cornmeal (corn flour or maize flour). Furthermore, polenta is a type of a mush, cereal pudding, or porridge. Even though its name now refers to a particular dish that’s made entirely from corn flour, before, polenta was made with whatsoever ground starchy grains that were available. These include buckwheat, millet, and spelt.
Moreover, the dish is being prepared by boiling. However, it may still be baked, grilled, or even fried after to create more variety or to make a more complex dish. More on how this particular dish is made below.
Polenta: How is it made?
There are lots of ways in making polenta. In the traditional method, it encompasses boiling the cornmeal in the water. Usually, the amount of water is five times more than the cornmeal. This is if you want to make it into the traditional type, which is actually a firm dish. Furthermore, the rough cornmeal was used more often to make this particular dish. However, nowadays a much finer ground type of cornmeal is widely available for a much creamier and softer texture.
What’s the most fascinating part of making polenta is that it needs to stay in the boiling water for about 30-45 minutes. Furthermore, there is also a need to constantly stir it to be able for its starch to become gelatinous and to give the food an astounding consistency. If you want to make a large amount of this, it might most probably take about 4 hours.
Polenta: Can it be swapped to diet?
Well, the answer to this question is, yes! Polenta is a very delicious alternative to staple foods that are wheat-based. This is since it is made from corn, thus making it a naturally gluten-free food. Just like most of the starchy foods, polenta is a good source of energy and adds up a bulk in the diet. However, this is when we assume that you do not add any loads of butter or oil in it. Furthermore, one more good thing about it is that it has approximately half of calories on rice or pasta.
Nutritional Facts of Polenta
30 gram tablespoon of the polenta flour may provide the following:
- Iron?: 0.6 milligrams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 24 grams
There are various types of polenta that are rich in vitamins and minerals to be able to increase its nutritional value. If you are to make polenta with milk, then it could be much more nutritious. These nutrients are what make up the health benefits of polenta.
Health Benefits of Polenta
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of polenta:
- Has low calorie content: the low levels of calories in polenta is beneficial in maintaining or in losing weight. In fact, there is only about 70 calories in a 100-gram serving of cooked polenta.
- Has essential minerals: there is zinc, magnesium, and iron in polenta. These are essential minerals that are beneficial for the health.
- Low in fat content: naturally, polenta is low in fat and may be eaten as one of the part of diet plan for the heart.
- Good source of carotenoids: the carotenoid content of polenta is beneficial in reducing risk of various illnesses, including cancer.
- Gluten-free: if you are looking for a food that is free form gluten, then polenta is the best for you. Therefore, it is also safe for those who have gluten sensitivity or with celiac disease.
Truly, polenta is not just a good tasting meal, it is also oozing with so many health benefits.