Polenta: Flavour And Health Benefits Of The Italian Dish
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Polenta is a cornmeal mush or porridge that originated as a peasant meal in Northern Italy. Although it is not widely consumed in the US, it is a staple many Italian Americans appreciate as part of their ancestry. Most often, it includes coarse yellow cornmeal, but Polenta can also be made with finely ground yellow or white cornmeal. Traditional recipes ask for slow cooking in water or broth, though much of the time can be left alone. Modern shortcuts include using pre-cooked or quick polenta.

Polenta is a boiled cornmeal dish. Cornmeal is typically made from yellow maize, but buckwheat, white maize, and mixtures of the three are also prevalent. Before corn was introduced in the 16th Century, other starches such as farro, chestnut flour, millet, spelt, and chickpea flour were used. To produce polenta, the grain is slowly cooked in four to five times the amount of water until the water has been absorbed and the starch has gelatinised evenly within the polenta.

It is traditionally made by mixing cornmeal and hot water, and swirling or whisking continuously for 30 to 45 minutes. There are more convenient forms of Polenta available nowadays, such as quick-cooking or instant Polenta and pre-cooked Polenta in a tube. Polenta has the flavour of a robust grain porridge. Cooked grains should taste sweet and cooked rather than bitter and uncooked. The higher the quality of your cornmeal, the better your polenta will taste. The key difference between Polenta and grits is that grits are often prepared from ground white corn and have a finer texture. They have a thinner texture than Polenta and can range from creamy to quite stiff depending on how they are cooked.

Health benefits of Polenta:

 The health benefits of Polenta can be diminished by adding decadent components such as too much butter, salt, or cheese. Plain Polenta, on the other hand, is a terrific alternative side dish to potatoes, spaghetti, or white rice, and it has a few major health benefits.

 Corn is high in complex carbs. Corn contains complex carbs, which take longer to digest and deliver more energy than simple carbohydrates found in processed or refined grains.

 Corn contains no gluten, making it suitable for anyone suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

 Fibre, protein and Vitamin A are all found in corn. These three nutritional components help you feel full without overeating.

Uncooked Polenta can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to two years. Make certain that each opened box is completely sealed. Moisture and pests will wreak havoc on your polenta. Unopened precooked polenta does not need to be refrigerated. Cooked Polenta should be refrigerated in a sealed container in the refrigerator for two to three days.