It is a common ingredient that is used in many different cuisines around the globe and is one of the most widespread crops in existence. It was first widely seen in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. What is this widely known crop that has developed quite the notoriety?
Yep, that’s right. Corn.
You won’t find a crunchier or sweeter taste than when you chomp down on freshly cooked corn on the cob that has been cooked on the grill. Nevertheless, it’s relatively easy to source frozen corn from the frozen food section all year round.
Corn as Keto Friendly
Maize, also known as corn, has surprisingly surpassed the output of either wheat or rice. However, production levels that are too high are not exclusively intended for people to consume.
An illustration of this point is that a lot of the maize that is produced nowadays is utilized for making feed for animals, to manufacture corn ethanol and materials such as corn syrup and cornstarch.
Concerning corn propagation annually, Charles Darwin has no control. The subsequent generation is bred randomly, choosing only half the genes from the parent plant in order to reproduce. This is where breeding comes into play.
The initial part of this corn breeding process involves collecting the kernels from the incredibly productive varieties of maize in their respective plots.
Since the 1940’s, selection has become much more specific. Examples of characteristics that are desired include yield amount, nutrient content, and tolerance of pests and illnesses.
Regrettably, a high percentage of corn today has been genetically altered.
Organisms whose genes have been purposely altered and manipulated for a specific purpose are referred to as being genetically modified.
This reduces not only the goodness from the food, but it might also create an unhealthy response when eaten. Our physique was not designed to eat food that has been modified at the genetic level.
It was reported in 2016 that nearly all of the maize grown in the United States had been modified genetically in some way.
In 1994, it was estimated that around $50 million worth of food were taken off the market due to traces of the genetically modified corn called Starlink.
This recall involved 300 different items which were thought to be safe for human consumption, but were only meant for animal consumption.
This GM problem is not the only reason to not eat this cereal grain. It is important to bear in mind that corn production contributes to negative approaches to food systems.
That would be grain intolerance. If you are not able to digest grain, your body will respond in various ways. Signs and symptoms of this medical problem may include abdominal discomfort, joint soreness, nervousness, spasms, exhaustion, oral ulcers, skin inflammation, and/or swelling.
Whole grain corn boasts the same nutritional benefits as other cereal grains, such as a high dietary fiber content, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Approximately 100 g of cooked corn provides 96 calories; this includes 21 g of carbohydrates, 3 g of protein, 1.5 g of fat, and 2.5 g of fiber.
Low Carb Substitutes to Corn
Corn can be found in a lot of different meals, unfortunately it contains too much carbohydrates to work as an acceptable choice if you are following a low carb or ketogenic diet. But no need to worry.
You’ll find plenty of choices that work for your keto nutritional requirements and may also offer a lot of different wellness benefits. These low carb substitutes to corn include:
1. Riced Broccoli
Riced broccoli is just as suitable as corn for accompanying any meal and can be served both hot or cold. This item of food is highly adaptable, capable of being included in a variety of recipes and meals like burritos, bowls, salads, sushi rolls, stir fries, and additional ones.
A single serving of riced broccoli contains 35 calories, along with 0.5 g of fat, 6g of carbs, 4g of net carbs, 2g of dietary fiber, and 2g of protein. These instructions make cauliflower an excellent low carb alternative to corn when it is prepared with seasonings.
2. Cauliflower Rice
It is likely that if you are on a diet that is low in carbohydrates or of a ketogenic type, you have come across cauliflower rice (perhaps you were already consuming it). Cauliflower can be used as an alternative to rice, mashed potatoes, and corn as it is a low carb replacement.
Although it does not have a sugary taste as corn does, you can cook it with butter from grass-fed animals and Himalayan sea salt for the same “corn-like” experience (without the high starchy carb content).
A single portion of this low carb corn substitute contains only 25 calories. All of the calories in this food have less than half a gram of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, two-and-a-half grams of dietary fiber, two-and-a-half grams of net carbohydrates, and two grams of protein.
Cauliflower rice is full of vitamins and other nutrients, as well as its significant macronutrient content. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
You can buy cauliflower rice pre-prepared from many stores, however, you also have the option to make it yourself. You just need a food processor or a sturdy blender and some cauliflower to do the blending.
Once you have blended the ingredients to the desired consistency, continue with the cooking process as you would regular rice or corn, and your perfect low carb side dish is ready.
3. Pork Rinds
Pork rinds could come as a surprise to some folks as an alternative to corn with low carb content. Coming from South America, it is predictable that corn makes up a large part of Mexican dishes like tacos and tortillas.
Do you realize that you can also make tortillas with pork rinds? You can use them for more than just that. In addition to being used as a corn substitute, they can be used in place of breadcrumbs, nachos and other dishes that require foods to be battered and fried.
When it comes to the nutritional information about pork rinds, it is without a doubt that this snack is ideal for those following a low carb or ketogenic diet (absolutely no carbs). What gives this snack it’s keto friendly properties?
One oz of fried pork rinds has 154 calories, with 9 grams of fat, no carbs, and 17 grams of protein. Yep, you read that right — no carbs whatsoever.
Pork rinds are created by cutting up pre-cooked slices of pork skin and then deep-frying them in oil. Lard’s not-so-positive reputation has been fading, and it is back with full power.
Lard is a great option for cooking in high temperatures as it has a high level of saturated fats, an imperceptible taste, is inexpensive, good for the environment, and can be easily found at nearby farms and shops throughout the United States.
When the pig skin is fried in lard, it increases in size due to puffing up, making it look fluffy and providing a crunchy texture.
No matter what your objectives related to health are, it is unlikely that eating a lot of breakfast cereals like corn will give you the best outcome.
You may be allergic to this starch without even knowing it. The likelihood that one person would be released from ketosis due to consuming too much corn is not insignificant.
A variety of choices are available if you are looking for a low carb alternative to corn, such as riced broccoli, cauliflower rice, and pork rinds.
These keto friendly selections make great accompaniments to any dishes you make, making sure that your blood sugar levels are not increased and that you do not develop insulin resistance.
When you go to the grocery store, grab one of these items to help keep your carbohydrate intake low and stay in a ketogenic condition.
4. You can use eggs as a thickening agent for sauces if you are following a keto diet. This may be the best replacement for cornstarch due to its high keto-approval. Net carbs in them are particularly scanty, while their fat and protein content is remarkably high, according to the USDA.
Take heed when attempting to use eggs as a substitute for cornstarch in a ketogenic diet. When adding thickness, you should not put your egg yolks into a warm sauce unless you want scrambled eggs. To thicken a mixture with egg yolks, you must add them gradually while gently warming them.
Beat the egg yolks in a different bowl than the one containing the hot liquid. Gradually incorporate some of the hot liquid into the egg yolks, stirring as you add it. This will increase the heat of the blend, making sure your eggs don’t coagulate.
Once you have blended everything together smoothly, slowly incorporate the beaten eggs into the main pot of sauce/soup, stirring steadily as you go. Don’t let your liquid reach the boiling point, or your efforts will have been in vain, and you’ll still have scrambled eggs.
Egg yolks can be employed in any sauce that necessitates a roux, without having to add flour. What is one of our preferred methods for replacing cornstarch with eggs? Using them to thicken tomato sauce.
5. Prepare Pudding using Gelatin – Getting the desired results of many excellent low-carb choices to cornstarch may take some adjustments and skill, so don’t give up if your dish isn’t following the recipe to a tee. Gelatin can be a great option as it has zero net carbs and only a small amount is needed.
You will still get the nutritional advantages of gelatin even if you don’t eat much of it when preparing meals. Gelatin can be beneficial to joint and bone health, improving the look of skin and hair, according to research reported by Healthline.
Surprising as it may be, it is possible to include pudding in a ketogenic meal plan. Substitute gelatin for cornstarch and utilize an alternative sweetener like erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit in place of sugar.
Gelatin and cornstarch have a lot in common when it comes to working with them in recipes, for example in our mango pudding. Activation by heat is needed in both cases, and the ingredients set after being cooled.
Gelatin can be used in place of cornstarch in a variety of dishes, not just pudding. It is effective in condiments such as the KFC mashed potatoes and gravy imitation dish prepared by Mashed.
Watch out you don’t pour the gelatin in too quickly, or you might put in too much and have a gelatin-based salad like those from the 60s. (Unless, of course, that’s your goal.)
6. Bake With Flax Meal
Lots of people choose to use cornstarch as an egg substitute in their baking, which is a great plant-based option. Unfortunately, while beneficial for vegans, it’s not very keto-friendly.
Flax meal is a vegan’s best friend when replacing ingredients, having the advantage of being a protein-packed source containing nearly 0 carbs for each teaspoonful (according to the United States Department of Agriculture).
You can use flax meal to make a flax egg, and for each flax egg you will require 3 tablespoons of water for every tablespoon of flax meal. One way to accomplish this is to cook your ingredients on a low heat so that they can come together and form a thick, jelly-like texture from the egg.
If you don’t feel like dealing with extra tidying up, you can rapidly beat the flax meal and liquid together in a small container and leave it to rest for ten minutes.
This procedure won’t produce such a strong adhesive but it will still work to bind things together like cornstarch does. You can substitute flax for cornstarch or wheat flour in a roux, however this will alter the dish’s appearance by creating a browner color with flecks of flax.
7. Choose guar gum over cornstarch as it is a much better option due to the fact it is natural and good for those on a keto diet. The guar bean is used to produce guar gum, which comes in a powdered form and has no carbohydrates.
It is even better to use this item instead of cornstarch in any situation. Be aware; when using guar gum, you’ll only require one fourth of the amount of cornstarch which the recipe states. Doing too much with a dish will make it sticky and slimy.
Being rather generous with guar gum could pose a hazard, however it is still a simple additive since it is functional with either hot or cold beverages. You read that right!
Guar gum has the ability to thicken or swell as it is mixed with liquid, and studies have revealed that the viscosity of the gum is not influenced by temperature. It is possible for it to form lumps if it is not stirred adequately. Adding and stirring the contents into the liquid gives the best results.
Would you like to give guar gum a go in our traditional cheese fondue instead of cornstarch? For an alternative to cauliflower or radish, try using guar gum in the Vietnamese shaking beef recipe for a more substantial dip!