Growing up, we always had a few different kinds of tortilla chips in the pantry. Although chili limes were tasty, and you can never go wrong with classic tortilla chips, we could all agree the red hot blues were obviously the best chip. They have such a delicious flavor, with that tinge of spice, and go well with any salsa or guacamole. However, I never realized that these addicting chips were actually made with a whole different species of corn- blue corn.
We're most familiar with white, sweet corn and yellow corn varieties, and these are the kinds that cornbread or corn on the cob are typically made out of. However, it turns out there are a wide variety of different kinds of corn, and one of the most underrated is blue corn.
What is Blue Corn?
Blue corn was first developed by the Hopi Native American tribe, in the southwest of the United States like New Mexico and in northern Mexico. It survived through generations because this corn was essential in Hopi rituals, with much more significance than simply a food. Although it's called blue corn, this variety can range form light grey to black-purple in color.
Blue corn is a typical Mexican food and Indigenous food, and its kernels are used to make tortillas, blue corn meal, tamales, tacos, blue corn tortilla chips, and more. This type of corn is considered an heirloom corn variety because of its long history, and is known as one of the oldest corn varieties. In the Southwestern United States, blue corn has been used since the 1500s.
Health Benefits of Blue Corn?
Along with being historical and delicious, blue corn has many health benefits that make it worth a try in your daily diet. It's shown to have 20% more protein than white corn. It also has less starch and a lower glycemic index, meaning that eating it causes fewer sugar spikes and crashes. This is good for those with diabetes or anyone trying to lose weight.
This type of corn corn is also easier to digest than yellow corn and white corn, as it has less indigestible starch. Along with these nutrition facts, it contains anthocyanins, which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that combat heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Blue corn also has fewer total carbohydrates, and is a great source of nutrients and minerals like calcium and potassium. This colorful variety of corn is full of amazing benefits, has a past full of symbolism and meaning, and is delectable! Next time you're in the chip aisle, grab a bag of those red hot blues to experience it for yourself.