Is polenta the same as cornmeal?
Polenta is really a dish, not an ingredient, from northern Italy. It refers to a porridge or mush now made from coarsely ground cornmeal since corn was cultivated in Europe in the 16th century, but was also in the past made with farro, chestnuts, millet, spelt or chickpeas. Polenta is usually made from yellow corn.
What is cornmeal used for?
Cornmeal is a really versatile pantry staple when it comes to baking. Use it in everything from muffins and scones to biscuits, cookies, and cakes.
What can you substitute for cornmeal?
If cornmeal is used in a recipe for its texture, you may use substitutes, like semolina, breadcrumbs, ground oats, etc. If you are not particular about the flavor, you may try rice flour, wheat flour, tapioca, etc. Any of them can be used as a cornmeal substitute for baking purposes.
Can I grind polenta to make cornmeal?
With a good blender, such as a Blendtec or Vitamix blender you can grind regular popcorn into fresh corn meal or corn flour, and use for baking such as corn bread, muffins, polenta, tortillas, tamales, or frying. Remember to minimum cover the blade of your blender, and make up to 2-3 cups at a time.