Answer: Yes, corn flour is entirely vegan.
Can Vegans Eat Corn Flour?
Corn flour comes from milled or powdered corn kernels. It’s whole grain flour because every part of the corn gets used (endosperm, sperm, and hull). The powdered flour typically has a smooth and fine texture. It usually comes in a yellowish color. But corn flour may also seem blue or white, depending on the variety of corn.
Corn flour comes entirely from the corn’s kernels, so it is fully organic in its natural form. As far as the vegan diet goes, it’s an excellent ingredient for any meal.
Where Is It Used?
Corn flour has a variety of uses, and most of it comes in baking. It can give structure or mass to food items and baked goods. People normally use it as a binder to hold the ingredients together. So, in some ways, it’s a substitute for eggs too.
Corn flour may not seem very appetizing when raw and uncooked. But if you’re baking or frying, the corn flour gets a sweet and earthy smell that adds to the food’s taste. You’ll see it used in a variety of food items like fried foods, batter, bread, pancakes, muffins, waffles, etc. Many people may confuse corn flour with corn starch, but they’re distinct food products.
Corn Flour and Corn Starch
These two are very similar corn products that often get mistaken for each other. So, what is corn starch, and how is it different from corn flour? The primary difference is that corn starch doesn’t use the whole kernel of the corn. So, in a way, it’s a more refined version of corn flour. You can make corn starch using only the endosperm of the kernel while discarding the sperm and hull.
Corn starch usually comes added to soups, gravies, sauces, etc. It gives a thickening effect to any liquid food making the texture fuller and more consistent. But it still allows the soup/gravy to retain a translucent and pleasing color. That’s why people prefer it over whole flours.
However, corn starch is a completely vegan food item. The only issue you may have is with nutrition. It has a lot of carbs and calories. Remember that food is supposed to have calories, and carbs are among the most essential nutrition categories. That being said, if you’re on a goal of losing weight, you may want to control the intake of excessive carbs.
How to Use Corn Flour in a Vegan Diet
Vegan diets can accommodate corn flour in a lot of ways. You just need to know what it does. By now, you know that it’s really useful in both creating and enhancing the food’s texture. The most common use is to add it as ‘breading’ when you’re frying or roasting food. You can use it in baking bread, pancakes, muffins, etc. for a wholesome shape and texture too.
Make Your Own Vegan Corn Flour
You can make your own corn flour at home and use it in your cooking and baking. It’s about as easy as it sounds, but you do need a good blender. We live in a time when processed foods are overtaking the consumer industry. And if there are food ingredients you can prepare at home, why not do it?
So, you’ll need the corn kernels and a blender that’s powerful enough to grind whole grains. Regular blenders can also do the trick. But if you have the budget, a high-powered blender is much more efficient in grinding kernels and grains. Before you start, dry the corn and remove the kernels into a bowl or container. The traditional and easiest way to dry the corn is under sunlight.
Once dried, your kernels are ready to go into the grinder. Fill the grinder or blender to about halfway. But you can vary the quantity depending on the instructions of your appliance. Keep the appliance on high or powerful mode, and grind the kernels into a powder. Store the powder in a zip-lock or air-tight container. And it’s best to use it within a week. If you want to store it for longer, fill a zip-top and refrigerate it. You’ll be able to use it for half the year.