In Mexico, there is a saying: “Without corn, there is no country”. That shows just how deeply corn is valued in Mexican culture and cuisine. Why are we talking about corn and Mexico? Because the 2019 census showed that over 10% of the population in USA are Mexican Americans. That is a large demographic that your meal prep delivery business may not be catering to.
One of the most popular forms corn takes is masa or masa harina which is corn flour. Masa is at the heart of many Mexican and South American favorites such as tortillas, tamales, pupusas, arepas, gorditas, tlacoyos, and more. But adding masa-based dishes to your menu isn’t just about appealing to Mexican American customers. As we will discuss below, this simple yet versatile ingredient has a lot of benefits that can really help make your menu more delicious and nutritious.
What is Masa Harina?
Masa harina is a corn flour made by treating the corn in an alkaline solution then cooking, drying, and grinding the kernels. This soaking adds a lot of nutrition to the masa harina.
Cornmeal and masa harina are different, however. Both are made from corn but are processed differently and used in different recipes. Cornmeal is dried corn that is ground and usually has a coarser consistency. Masa harina is ground more finely and is often used to make dough for tortillas and tamales.
Benefits of Masa
Masa has several health benefits that make it worth incorporating into your meals and menu, from potentially reducing the risk of heart disease to increasing calcium intake.
There are three main health benefits of masa:
- It’s rich in niacin. Niacin is one of the eight B vitamins also known as B3. It helps enzymes convert food into energy and can potentially lower heart disease risk by lowering LDL levels and increasing HDL levels.
- It contains calcium. By treating corn in lime (the mineral) calcium is added and niacin is released which increases the nutritional value of the corn. This added calcium helps with the digestion and absorption of niacin and vitamin D. Many Americans also lack enough calcium in their diet
- It’s gluten-free. This makes masa a great alternative for anyone who’s trying to avoid gluten, such as those who have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Offering food alternatives is a great way to attract more customers.
How to Add Masa to Your Menu
Here are some tasty, easy ways to feature masa on your menu:
Tortillas are probably the most famous use for masa/cornflour and all you need to make them is masa harina, salt, and water. How you serve up tortillas is up to you; as a wrap, burrito, or any way you can think of.
You can add tasty and nutritious tacos to your menu. Why not try a veggie version filled with smashed black beans and grilled veggies to appeal to the vegetarian demographic.
Masa Cakes can be made with the same ingredients, though people often add baking powder and egg to the masa flour mixture for a fluffier texture. These can be served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Masa cakes are also easy to dress up: add texture with a crunchy cabbage slaw dressed in a spicy lime dressing or top them with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Tamales are a holiday tradition for many Latin Americans. Tamales can take a lot of work so customers will appreciate the convenience of just ordering from your meal prep delivery business instead. Tamales are masa wrapped around various fillings and steamed in a corn husk.
Masa is a great ingredient to have in your kitchen and adding it to your meal prep delivery business’ menu is a great way to add another delicious, nutritious option to your menu. Adding masa-based dishes to your menu is simple when using Sprwt’s Meal Prep Software and its A la Carte ordering menu. It’s also a great way to appeal to the Latin American market as well as help your customers expand their tastes.