Maizena, how to use it

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Robert Maurer
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Maizena or starch

THEcornstarch o cornstarch it is an odorless, tasteless and colorless ingredient precious in the kitchen, to make softer desserts and velvety sauces.

Mainly known as a thickener or ingredient that makes sweets softer and fluffier, cornstarch comes in the form of a very fine white powder. It is obtained by wet grinding the corn endosperm, that is the internal part of the grains which are particularly rich in starch.

The difference with corn flour is in fact very evident and this is due to the fact that the latter is obtained from the grain of cereal in its entirety.
 



Maizena, is it bad?

Cornstarch doesn't actually have many properties being an ingredient consisting mainly of starch.

Nutritional values ​​(per 100g): cornstarch is mainly composed of carbohydrates (91g) has a poor nutritional value, given the absence of vitamins and mineral salts, a high glycemic index and high caloric value, which makes it a sort of feed for humans, ideal for make them gain weight in the shortest time possible. In fact, the calories are 381.

Not only, if we take for example a yogurt or fruit juice adulterated with corn starch, these will be poorer than their original nutrients, since this additive allows to save on the quality and quantity of the basic ingredient. The same goes for sausages, cheeses and many other processed products.



One of the biggest advantages that cornstarch offers is undoubtedly the fact that it is a gluten-free product which can therefore also be used by those who are intolerant to this protein or by those suffering from celiac disease.

However, unless the product is marked with a crossed out ear, the risk of contamination of corn starch with wheat gluten is however present, due to the promiscuity of many production plants of the food industry.

Corn has positive effects on diabetes and blood sugar: a research carried out a few years ago highlighted the possible positive effects of corn starch on blood sugar and diabetes as long as this ingredient is combined with green tea rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate, an active ingredient able to keep levels at bay blood sugar.


It is also soothing and emollient: corn starch is useful as an ingredient of beauty and well-being thanks to its softening and soothing qualities.
 

Maizena: recipes in the kitchen

Cornstarch, thanks to some of its particular characteristics, is essential to obtain good results in certain recipes.

Among its most frequent uses we remember that it is:


  • thickener: in the preparation of sauces, soups, puddings, creams, hot chocolate, bechamel and much more.
  • egg substitute: if you cannot consume eggs for allergy reasons or because animal derivatives have been excluded from your diet, an excellent alternative is to use cornstarch. In this case, 1 or 2 tablespoons of corn starch must be added to the recipe instead of each egg. 
  • makes sweets fluffy: cornstarch is also an important ingredient for those who delight in preparing certain types of desserts as it helps to make them softer. It is therefore often added to donuts and all those types of cakes that must be high, well leavened and soft.
     
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