Sour Corn

Photo of Sharol Tilgner

Learn how to make sour corn, a lacto-fermented corn product that reduces phytates, lectins and enzyme inhibitors through the souring process.

Sour Corn Recipe

1 dozen ears of sweet corn
1 quart of spring water, or filtered water, or good well water
2 1/2 tablespoons of non-iodized salt
- optional spices can be added if you wish

Dissolve the salt in the water. Tap water may contain chemicals that prevent fermentation, so don't use it unless it is well filtered. Remove the corn kernals off the cob and add them, and the salty water (brine) to a ceramic crock or a canning jar. The brine should be covering the corn. If using a crock, usually a plate is place upon the corn to keep it under the water. If using a canning jar, usually a baggy of water is used to push the corn under the brine. Any clean weight can be used to keep the corn under the brine. Let it sit for 4-7 days, depending on the temperature. Skim off any film that grows over it. It is common for a white film to grow over soured vegetables as they are processing. The film is not dangerous but you don't want it to create an off flavor in your corn. When the corn tastes soured to your liking, it is done. Store it in your refrigerator, keeping the kernels submerged in the brine until use.

In a study measuring phytates in fermented corn, and comparing it with the original corn prior to the ferment, 96% of the phytates were gone after 5 days of lactic-fermentation.

Traditional Corn Recipes

When using traditional recipes that call for soaking corn or corn grits or corn flour in lime water, they are not talking about citrus lime. They are talking about ash or calcium hydroxide that was traditionally used to nixtamalize corn making B3 and B2 bioavailable as well as iron, decreasing the mycotoxins in the corn and otherwise making it a more healthy source of nutrition. In the book "Nourishing Traditions", Sally Fallon gives directions for making lime water by putting 1 inch of dolamite powder (calicum magnesium carbonate powder) in a 1/2 gallon canning jar. Fill the jar with water (clean, non-chlorinated), and put a lid on it. Shake it well and let it sit over night. The sediment in the bottom is not used. The clear water is the lime water you use. It can be kept on your shelf as it does not need refrigeration. You can Sally Fallon's wonderful book "Nourishing Traditions" here.

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