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How to Grow and Grind Your Own Cornmeal

Gardening JonesHomegrown Purple Cornmeal

If you have the room to grow corn, try your hand at growing some dry or field corn to make your own cornmeal. Freshly homemade tastes far better of course, and there are no concerns about it being heavily pesticided GMO.

Cornmeal is just ground corn kernels. We like to grow Cherokee White Eagle, which produces the blue cornmeal shown above. You can try Oaxacan Green or Strubbes Orange for an interesting twist, or Bloody Butcher which will give you a nice red cornmeal. Just look for a variety that is recommended for cornmeal.

Grow the way you would sweet corn. Here’s our How-To video if you are new to growing corn.  Each corn stalk will give you 1-2 ears. Each ear produces about 1 cup of cornmeal, depending on variety and how finely you grind it.

Let the ears remain on the stalk until the plant begins to die back. You will see the leaves turning brown and a general dry appearance.

Remove the ear, shuck and remove the silks.

We have found the drier the cob the easier it is to remove the kernels, so it is okay to let it sit a bit before pushing the kernels off the cob. Some cobs can be snapped in half, making the seed removal much faster. Twisting the cobs also makes the kernels pop off.

Let the kernels sit in a warm place to continue drying. Be sure they are thoroughly dry before storing in a food grade container.

Grind as needed or all at once. We use a Hamilton Beach Coffee Grinder on the Expresso setting to get a nice fine meal. If needed, it can be run through twice. For very large batches there are many choices of grinders, including attachments that hook up to your mixer.

That’s all there is to it, homegrown cornmeal whenever you need it.