Q Is Cornflour Ok For Me As Im On A Gluten
A.In Australia, products sold as cornflour were once always made from wheat, as wheat was the dominant grain grown. These days, however, many of the cornflours at the supermarkets are now produced from corn or maize .
In the US, cornflour is called corn starch, which is a better descriptor as it is the starch obtained from the inner endosperm of the wheat or maize kernel. Cornflour is a very fine white powder and a common kitchen ingredient used to thicken sauces and soups. You buy it in a pack at the supermarket and it’s quite inexpensive.
It has little nutritional value being almost entirely pure carbohydrate.
Is Baker’s Corner Corn Starch Gluten
Unfortunately, this is often the case with cornstarch. Generally speaking, cornstarch is not a gluten-containing ingredient because it is made from corn, a gluten free grain. The problem is that some manufacturers that produce this ingredient also produce products that contain wheat and other gluten containing grains.
My Love For Homemade Quick Bread
Nothing beats baking a loaf of homemade bread and while I love baking yeast breads , there are days where I prefer to make a loaf of quick bread instead.
Quick breads use baking powder for leavening instead of yeast . This makes them great for throwing together when youre in a hurry or simply hungry for something delicious and dont want to wait long to eat.
Recently, Ive also been testing a quick bread recipe made with corn flour, since I had a half a packet of corn flour in my pantry
Get delicious GLUTEN-FREE recipes each week!
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Korn Was A Norse Name For Grain
Meanwhile, in the Middle Ages in Europe, Korn was an old Norse term that meant grain or small edible particle. Korn, now spelled corn referred to the leading crop grown within a certain region. In England the term corn referred to wheat, while in Scotland and Ireland the term corn referred to oats, and in the Bible some suggest it probably referred to wheat and or barley.
When I visited Manchester in England several years ago, I saw an historic building called The Corn Exchange. In years gone by it was called the Corn and Produce Exchange and the farmers in that region would bring their corn crop to the Corn Exchange for weighing, payment and on selling.
Hence, when mahiz was introduced to Europe in the 1500s korn this loose term for grains, was applied to it too. It became known as Indian corn. The prefix Indian was later dropped and in modern times, corn, the historical term for any grain, has since come to refer specifically to maize. Today the terms maize and corn are often used interchangeably with maize being more commonly used in the United States.
Can You Substitute Cornstarch For Corn Flour
No!! This is very important. Cornstarch is a starchy gluten free flour, whereas corn flour is a protein gluten free flour. Therefore, they carry out very different functions in gluten free baking.
That means that you cant substitute cornstarch for corn flour, or vice versa.
Instead, if you dont want to use cornstarch in a recipe, you can use an equal weight of arrowroot starch, potato starch or tapioca starch instead.
If you need a good corn flour substitute, you can use an equal weight of light buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, white teff flour or oat flour .
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What Is Corn / Maize
First things first. Corn and maize are different words used to refer to the same thing the edible seed of a cereal crop of the grass family. Corn is preferred in North America and Australia, while most other parts of the world prefer maize to refer to the crop, but use corn when referring to it in any other form.
Thats where it gets tricky because the different forms of corn can be classified as a grain, a fruit and a vegetable. Being the seed of a cereal crop makes corn/maize a grain, and certainly the corn kernel itself is generally thought of as a grain. But whole corn, eaten as corn-on-the-cob or as a side and in salads, is primarily considered a vegetable. Yet corn also fits the definition of a fruit, which is an edible substance that grows from the seed or flower of a plant. So corn/maize can be defined as a grain, a vegetable and a fruit!
Potential Dangers Of Corn Flour
1. Usually Made from GMO Corn
Did you know that corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the United States? Of all of the corn grown here, 88 percent of it is genetically modified. The only crop with a higher GMO percentage is soy.
The issue of GMO foods is a complex one. Bottom line: Does it matter that you may be eating GMO corn-derived products? Yes, it absolutely matters GMO corn treated with Monsanto Roundup has been linked to liver and kidney disease in mammals as well as potential issues with the pancreas, reproductive, endocrine and immune systems.
Overall, the scientific community has become increasingly concerned about the limited amount of evidence regarding the safety of GMO corn and Roundup used to treat it, particularly because the vast majority of positive results come in studies sponsored by Monsanto and related companies, while other studies use relatively small sample sizes and short time periods too brief to observe most tumor-related, reproductive or endocrine effects.
How can you avoid GMO corn in your corn flour? Easy: Buy organic, sprouted varieties. My favorite is organic sprouted yellow corn flour from Sprouted Flour Co.
2. Could Affect Nutrient Absorption
Have you ever heard of phytic acid? If not, you need to understand what it is in grains and legumes, phytic acid binds to certain nutrients and inhibits your body from absorbing and using those nutrients.
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What Is Corn Flour
As Im sure youve guessed from the name, corn flour is derived from corn kernels. There are a number of ways to make corn flour some people even make it at home but they do differ in nutritional value. Sprouted or fermented corn retains more nutrients than dry-milled varieties used to make corn flour.
Corn flour, not to be confused with other ground corn products, is used to thicken liquid food or sauce, fry foods, and to make baked goods like corn tortillas or cornbread.
Cornmeal vs. Cornstarch/Cornflour vs. Corn Flour
When it comes to ground corn, there are some semantics to be aware of theyre important, because you will end up with some disastrous recipes if you confuse them.
Cornmeal: This is the roughly ground corn product most people use in cornbread. Cornmeal doesnt involve the separation of bran, germ and endosperm, so you are able to retain more of the nutrients in the corn than with, say, cornstarch. Some people also use the word polenta to refer to cornmeal, although polenta is actually a dish using medium-grind cornmeal, not a standalone ingredient.
Choose Your Alternative Flours Carefully
While these alternative flours are usually gluten-free, they’re not always safe on a gluten-free diet due to gluten cross-contamination in processing. The equipment to harvest and mill coarse grains or seeds into flour is pretty expensive, and so farmers and manufacturers frequently use the same equipment to process both gluten-containing and gluten-free ingredients.
When that occurs, naturally gluten-free ingredients can be cross-contaminated with gluten during harvesting or processing. That may mean they will contain enough gluten to make them unsafe for someone with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity to consume.
Also, some products that use alternative flours as ingredients also include gluten as another ingredientto eat gluten-free, you always need to check ingredients carefully.
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What To Look For On The Label
So if you are aiming to avoid wheat, then look for a cornflour which is labelled made from maize or “gluten-free”. You’ll spot the wording Maize cornflour or “Gluten-free” on the front somewhere or else on the list of ingredients on the back of the pack.
Alternatively rice flour or ground rice or arrowroot are also excellent thickeners and binders and have the added bonus that they don’t go lumpy.
To help people with food intolerances, almost all thickeners and starches in commercial foods are today derived from maize or potato or tapioca, not wheat. Again make sure you check this for yourself on the label the list of ingredients should say:
Corn On A Gluten Free Diet
Corn is a piece of cake to include in a gluten free diet, and its vibrant colour, sweet taste and vitamin A, B, C and E-rich content make it a great way to liven up any meal. Use corn/maize flour to make gluten free bread, tortilla wraps or even cakes . Ground it into polenta and serve as a wheat free couscous or pasta alternative. Or simply add sweetcorn to salads for a burst of extra nutritious flavour.
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The Difference Between Cornstarch And Corn Flour
Both cornstarch and corn flour are terms commonly used in the US.
Cornstarch is obtained by extracting the starch from corn grain, specifically from the endosperm of the kernel. It is almost 100% starch, without any fibre, protein, fat or other components. Its a very very fine white powder thats chalky in appearance and that squeaks when you rub it between your fingers. Cornstarch is often used as a thickening agent to thicken sauces and custards, like for example vanilla pastry cream.
Corn flour is obtained by grinding entire dried corn kernels into a fine powder. Its basically very finely ground corn meal. In addition to the starch, it also contains fibre, protein and a small amount of fat. There are two types of corn flour: the more common yellow corn flour thats made from yellow corn, and white corn flour made from white corn kernels. You can technically use the two varieties interchangeably, but whenever I mention corn flour in my recipes, Im referring to yellow corn flour.
Pro Tips And Troubleshooting
- You can weigh the cornflour, the milk and the seasonings directly into the saucepan you are going to be using to cook the sauce. This really saves on washing up.
- Only switch on the heat once you are sure all the cornflour has been absorbed by the liquid for an ultra smooth sauce.
- Its imperative to keep whisking the sauce continually whilst it is cooking otherwise it can get lumpy.
- Use a ball whisk or a French whisk to really get into the nooks and crannies of the saucepan.
- If your sauce does get a bit lumpy towards the end of the cooking then you can just sieve out the lumps before using.
- Unless you are using immediately I recommend placing a sheet of cling film onto the surface of the sauce as this helps prevent a skin from forming.
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What Is Wheaten Cornflour
Have you seen these mixed terms and scratched your head trying to figure out what they mean?
Is it NOT starch made from corn that somehow wound up getting contaminated with gluten.
Take the time to read the explanation below to fully understand this term and how starches are labelled on foods to indicate if they contain gluten or not..
Corn Maize Found To Cause Harm Again
Since 1978 there have been a number of studies investigating whether or not corn gluten is a problem for patients with gluten sensitivity. The answer many give is that corn is perfectly safe for celiac patients. The big question is why would this advise be given if there are multiple studies showing quite the opposite? So many products that are labeled gluten free contain corn gluten or corn byproducts.
With the rise of the booming gluten free food market , the question needs to be asked with more scrutiny. Why?
- Much of the processed gluten free junk frood is derived from genetically modified corn.
- There is a huge increase in patients with refractory celiac disease
- Multiple studies have shown that traditional gluten free diets fail to heal patients even after many years on the diet.
- Corn is used in the production of sweeteners, shampoos, soaps, plastics, fuels, etc. The potential for cross contamination is dangerously high.
- There are more studies showing that corn gluten is a problem than there are studies showing that it is not.
- Most of our domesticated farm animals are fed staple diets of genetically modified corn. Our meat and dairy industry revolves around this.
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Cornstarch In The Us = Cornflour In The Uk
Heres where the confusion starts. Cornstarch in the US is the same thing as cornflour in the UK. Its the pure starch extracted from corn kernels, and it has the form of a very fine white powder. Note that when referring to the starch, cornflour is written as a single word .
To avoid as much confusion as possible, most of my newer recipes will list this ingredient as cornstarch /cornflour in the ingredients list. But to avoid too much repetition, Ill be referring to it using the US term cornstarch in this blog post.
Flour Isn’t Always Wheat
Although most flour is made from wheat, flour doesn’t have to be made from wheatby definition, “flour” is simply a powdery substance made by grinding a starch. The starch is usually a grain, but not always.
You can make flour from almonds, chestnuts, and even potatoes in addition to different types of grains, and many companies sell these specialty flours. People following a low-carb diet often use almond flour in place of grain-based flours, for example.
Flours made from a starch other than wheat, barley, or rye are usually gluten-free . If a label says “gluten-free”, it complies with the Food and Drug Administration’s gluten-free guidelines and should be safe for those on gluten-free diets to eat.
When you’re reading ingredient labels, you’ll see that flour made from anything other than wheat always will be identified as suchfor example, it will be listed as “rice flour,””soy flour,””chestnut flour,””almond flour” or ” flour” instead of just as “flour.”
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Peggy Woodward Rdn Has Insight For A Reader Who Wonders Is Cornstarch Gluten Free
DEAR PEGGY: I have celiac disease, and I wonder if I can substitute cornstarch in recipes that call for flour. Is cornstarch gluten free? H.P., Clifton Park, New York
Its now estimated that one in every 133 Americans has celiac disease, an immune response to the gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. For celiac sufferers, eating gluten-filled foods can damage intestines and affect nutrient absorption.
Corn doesnt contain gluten, so you can substitute cornstarch in sauces and soups that use flour as a thickener. But there are a few things to remember:
- Cornstarch is a more powerful thickener than flour, so youll need less. Start with half as much cornstarch for the flour listed in the recipe.
- Cornstarch breaks down faster than flour, so it must be added at the end of cooking. Combine cornstarch with cold water until smooth and stir into the sauce or soup. Bring to a boil cook and stir until thickened.
- Sauces and soups thickened with cornstarch that are chilled and reheated may not maintain the same consistency as when theyre fresh.
Is Corn Gluten Free
In its natural form, corn is gluten free. When it is in a processed food, you need to evaluate the full ingredient list as well as any risk of cross contamination. To avoid cross contamination in milled or ground corn products, such as corn flour and cornmeal, choose products that are labeled gluten free and avoid buying these foods in bulk. Always double check the ingredient labels to ensure store-bought foods are truly gluten free. For example, reading food labels can help you verify whether gluten-containing ingredients are hidden in corn products that contain sauce. Even store-bought popcorn may contain gluten in the seasoning. When you are consider popcorn at a movie theater or community fair, ask questions about how it is prepared, how often the popcorn machine is cleaned, and what ingredients are in the flavorings before consuming. You will need to inquire about whether corn dishes contain gluten when dining out as well.
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Celiac Disease Symptoms After Eating Corn Flour
The gluten in corn can be found in two forms: protein and starch. The amount of each varies depending on what kind of corn you use.
When using whole grain corn, the majority of its content is made up of starch. In contrast, when using white corn, most of its content is made out of protein.
Whole grain corn tends to contain more fiber than refined grains like white corn.
If you have celiac disease, then consuming too much wheat may cause problems for your digestive system.
This is due to the presence of gliadin in wheat. Gluten causes inflammation in the gut lining and damages intestinal cells.
As a result, the body stops absorbing important vitamins and minerals from food. It becomes difficult to digest fats and carbohydrates.
It also makes it harder for the immune system to fight off infections.