Homemade Toasted Corn Nuts

As hinted at the end of my post about roasted garbanzo beans, I’ve embarked on using my roasting-toasting methods to make my own corn nuts.

First, I tried hominy.

Look, it’s even friends with garbanzo beans!

I used the same methods as garbanzo beans, but the hominy shrunk a crazy amount when toasted. What came out tastes corn-nutty, and looks like itty bitty baby corn nuts.

Seriously, these came out seriously small. Though I guess if you like feeling like a giant, you could use hominy for your corn-nutting needs. And on a side note, I don’t know that the term “corn-nutting needs” has ever been written before.

What to do? Well, if you’re me, you ask Dr. Google. And he’ll tell you that there are a couple of varieties of giant corn out there, and one of those varieties is what corn nuts are made from. So then, if you’re me, you ask Scott (who’s already going to Costco that day, and it’s just a little further to the local Hispanic supermarket) to go on a giant corn scouting mission. Then, if you’re me, you’re delighted at the bounty of giant corn he brings home.

Both bagged and canned! What a bonanza!

I decided to start with the bagged stuff. First off, just like with dry garbanzo beans, you have to soak them. I left my giant corn soaking for 24 hours, but I hear rumors that the people at Planters soak their giant corn for three days. Maybe I’ll try that next time, when I have more patience.

After the soaking comes the rinsing and drying — give them a good swirl in a colander, then pat them with paper towels. They don’t have to be bone-dry, just not soaking wet.

Then, just like the garbanzos, I tossed them with about three tablespoons of coconut oil. I then spread them on my non-stick foil-lined cookie sheet, and salted them.

I put on a glove, so I could thoroughly coat the kernels with oil. I’m also trying to make my way through this box of size-small gloves, because they’re a little TOO small. My hands always feel like sausage.

ANYhoo, spread them out on your non-stick surface, so they’re in a single layer. Again, set your oven to 375°.

This time, I timed my stir-and-mix sessions a bit differently. I started by letting them go for 20 minutes. Stir/mix. Then I set the timer for 15 minutes. Stir/mix. Then I went for 10 minutes. Still 45 minutes total, just divvied up oddly. It didn’t really make much difference, that I could tell.

Once they’re golden brown, put them on paper towels to get rid of the extra oil. Salt them more while they’re hot and oily, if you want more salt.

So how are they? Well, they’re very corn-nut-like. The flavor is a bit different from the packaged stuff, but it’s still really good. And the coconut oil gives them almost a movie-theater-popcorn vibe. There’s definitely more tinkering to be done — longer soaking of the dry corn, trying out the canned corn, maybe different cooking temperatures. But this first attempt is quite satisfactory.

Also, there was hardly any shrinkage. Unlike the hominy. And did you know that the back of the 2012 pennies was so pretty?

2 Comments

  • Tommy says:

    I believe hominy is big BECAUSE it has been soaked in “lime” (calcium carbonate). SO it makes sense it would return to its original size when dried… I will have to look for the big corn at my local hispanic markets.

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  • B says:

    Will try this out, thank you for posting your results. I just ate my way through a packet of corn nuts. Which I assume is the same as what we call here in the UK ‘roasted salted corn’.
    On a side note – UK coins of the 2012 variety have a pattern – if you turn them over, and then piece various coins together, they assemble like a jigsaw puzzle and create a picture. Maybe your one cent coin there is part of a big puzzle?
    Enjoy!

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