Do you like pastry? If so, you may tell homemade cornbread and mass-market bread. Buttermilk, sweet, fluffy cornbread has nothing in common with store-bought food. Its main ingredient is nutritious, creamy flour substitute. How to store cornmeal? It’s a kind of shelf-stable food. So, you might need to stock up on some amount of this powder product. Let’s check how to do it properly.
Benefits of Cornmeal and its Types
Cookery experts and enthusiasts use cornmeal for baking tasty pizza or pancakes. What else can I make with cornmeal? You may have your favorite recipes. Likewise, some of them your mother has passed down to you: these biscuits and muffins taste like in your childhood. Meanwhile, each of your recipes may require different cornmeal ingredients.
Cornmeal is flour made of dried corn or maize. It contains all minerals and vitamins of whole-grain corn. According to FDA, it’s rich in potassium, iron, zinc, and proteins. Corn contains vitamins C, A and E, carbohydrates and plenty of calories. It promotes growth, protects your heart and improves vision. Sweet corn might help you to gain weight. Meanwhile, cornmeal differs by texture or grind. It can be:
Keep any of these products in your best flour storage container. Recipes, time to cook and nutritional value vary. Thus, a mill is necessary to produce stone-ground cornmeal. Traditional corn-grinding method is beneficial. This ingredient stands out by intense corn flavor and coarse texture. Germs and hulls of the corn kernels remain. So, it’s more perishable than flour.
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What is the Shelf Life of Cornmeal?
Type of corn grains also matters. Manufacturers grind them into yellow, white, or blue cornmeal. The yellow ingredient is widespread in our country. It’s sweet, having strong taste and powerful flavor. If your recipe includes white or blue cornmeal, you can substitute it with yellow type.
All types of cornmeal have long shelf lives. Furthermore, store it in a cool place. Refrigerate perishable foods. How long does flour keep in your pantry or freezer? It depends on conditions and flour type.
How to Store Bulk Flour
|Product Type||Pantry (Shelf Life, Months)||Freezer (Shelf Life, Months)|
|Finely ground flour||6-8||12-24|
|Whole grain flour||4-6||10-12|
Flour falls into shelf-stable food category. Unopened packages last for months at room temperature. Stone-ground and blue cornmeal last much less. The reason is in availability of wheat germ and bran. These types of cornmeal are more nutritious and more perishable. It takes longer to cook them.
Do you need to refrigerate cornbread? Freshly baked bread is delicious. Consume it in one sitting or during 1-2 days. It keeps well in an airtight container, at room temperature. In a freezer, it lasts much longer. Its time limit is not as short as of a cooked pizza or meat foods. But frozen bread won’t be very tasty and crispy anymore.
Does Cornmeal Go Bad?
Cornmeal is a kind of staple food. Dry, ground corn kernels may last long. Does cornmeal expire? Commonly, manufacturers don’t specify expiration dates on the packages. They mention they are best before a certain time. Quite naturally, shelf life of cornmeal is important. Don’t forget to control it.
Proper storage conditions are critical. Your shelf-stable food may spoil. It’s organic. Several factors may damage it, including:
- direct sunlight;
What are the black specks in my cornmeal? Bugs or black mold could damage them. Discard it to avoid health issues. Moisture is especially damaging. It takes only a day or two to cause mold growth. Your cereal may go rancid. If you notice bitter, pungent odor, something is wrong with your meal package.
How Do You Store Flour and Cornmeal?
Staple foods and grain products remain fresh at room temperature. Keep it in a dry, cool place. Your kitchen cabinet or pantry meets these requirements. Best way to store cornmeal is in its original package. Tightly sealed paper bags keep insects out.
Storing flour in your fridge is not beneficial. In an opened package, it may get rancid odor in a couple of days. Wetness or oxygen seep into your bag. How to avoid it? Seal cornmeal in:
- Zippered storage bags.
- Plastic containers.
- Vacuum sealed mason jars.
- Stainless steel boxes.
What is the best container to store flour in? It should be airtight and lightweight. It prevents moisture from getting in. You avoid clumping. Oxygen could be damaging too. It promotes spores’ formation. Seals or lids are essential.
Mason or glass jars with screw-on lids are handy. Use them to store dried food or liquids, like vinegar. Small ones meet your daily or weekly needs. Keep them at hand in your kitchen cabinet. Mylar bags are perfect alternatives. They are moisture-resistant, rip-proof, and reflective. It keeps dried foods from damaging sunlight exposure.
How to Store Cornmeal in Mylar Bags?
Mylar is a modern, versatile material. It’s a kind of stretch polyethylene that looks like a film. It features a shiny, protective coating. Therefore, mylar bags are:
- impermeable to gas.
They suit long-term food storage. If you want to keep cornmeal in a freezer, it’s a perfect option. Mylar bags work well with oxygen absorbers. Sealing them might be a bit complicated.
So, fill the bag with flour, add several oxygen absorbers and some more flour. Leave several inches of space on the top. Use heat to seal the bag. The temperature is to be 375-425 °F. It depends on the film thickness. Professional equipment is not necessary. Your home or hair straightening iron does the job. Heat promotes creating an airtight seal. You create a reliable, durable barrier between oxygen and your cornmeal.
I am sure you know how to store leftover cornbread. Wrap it by aluminum foil or plastic film. Plastic bags or containers do the job too. Just let your bread cool off before packing it. Don’t cut it into pieces. Whole piece of cornbread remains fresh longer.
Thus, if you want to bake delicious bread, pizza, or homemade pastry, cornmeal is necessary. Stocking up on staple and shelf-stable foods is beneficial. It lets you save money and time. Go to your local grocery store less often and get discounts. It works if you store your cornmeal properly, and it doesn’t go bad. As to the bread, it’s delicious when it’s fresh. Bake it at every opportunity and enjoy its buttery, sweet taste.