I used to love the convenience of ricecakes, corncakes and other crisp bread products – until I discovered that the baking method, called extrusion (cooking quickly at extremely high temperatures), denatures them, that is, they are stripped of their nutrients (1, 2, 3)
However, my children say these corn cakes taste better than the packaged crispy varieties!
Here’s the recipe:
2 cups organic maize meal
1 cup yogurt
1 pastured egg
Mix the maize meal and yogurt together and leave covered in a warm place overnight or longer.*
Beat the egg and mix it with the soaked corn and salt to taste.
Form into balls and press onto a greased baking tray.
Bake at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes, until just starting to go brown – if left longer they become too hard. They should bend like a cake and break rather than snap like a biscuit.
To make oatcakes is even simpler. Substitute rolled oats for maize meal and leave out the egg. Soak for 7 hours or longer.
*I haven’t managed to find out how long corn should be soaked – some South American tribes used to soak corn for several weeks! Sally Fallon recommends soaking it in lime water for 7 hours, after which she adds yogurt or another acid and soaks for a further 12-24 hours. Traditionally corn is soaked in lime. At first I thought this was lime juice, but it’s actually a pickling lime that isn’t readily available in the UK. I have found it on ebay and amazon, but haven’t tried it yet as I’d like to research more about the source first. The main benefit of soaking corn in lime water is that it releases vitamin B3. But this only becomes an issue if corn is a staple in the diet (Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, p 454)
(1) Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions (2)http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry/ (3)http://www.answers.com/topic/rice-cake-1 (I tried to check the references for this article but none of the links work. I’ll update this information if I get any further)