Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is Hominy?

With the rain and cooler temperatures, it has been a perfect day to make my white-chicken-chili.  While it is simmering in the crock pot, I thought I would take the opportunity to discuss one of the ingredients:  Hominy.  My recipe gave me the choice:  one can of hominy or one can of white corn.  I just couldn't resist it!  Not only have I had limited exposure to hominy in cooking, but I find it extremely fun to say:  hominy, hominy, hominy...  I had to buy it.

I have made this recipe a few times before and have always enjoyed the texture of hominy.  It is almost like a potato-bean.  Not as chewy as corn, rather rich and soft.  Hominy is hulled corn kernels, in this case white corn kernels, that have been stripped of their bran and germ.  In the South, dried hominy can be ground into a consistency of sand to make hominy grits. 

The only problem is when I decided to take the fun out of my hominy excitement and actually read the label:  3.5 servings per can @ 530mg of sodium per serving.  HOLY COW!  That is 1,855mg of sodium in this one can!  In one serving, you have already eaten ~33% of your 1,500mg sodium allotment for the day.  I looked at Del Monte's whole kernel white corn and found the nutrition regarding calories, protein, and fiber was quite comparable except they only have 240mg sodium/serving.  That's a little better.

Honestly, rinsing your canned vegetables only helps a little when it comes to removing sodium from the product.  Remember, when choosing fruits and vegetables:  Fresh is Best.  Frozen can certainly be better than Canned, but there are some "No Added Salt" varieties available that are a great buy when you catch those Stock-Up sales!

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