Elote for an energy boost!
February 10th, 2022
Here in Mexico, the most common type of corn you will find is white corn, also known as Elote. While this corn is not as sweet as the yellow varieties, it does pair well with a lot of savory dishes. It is sold in roadside food stalls as ‘Esquites’ in some regions of Mexico, where it is topped with mayo, cheese, lemon or chili according to your taste preference. What may surprise you is that you may think elote, is a vegetable, but it is actually a grain!
Elote is high in B-vitamins, which is important for the conversion of carbohydrates, protein and fats into glucose or energy.
B-Vitamins usually work together and play hundreds of roles in the body, especially when it comes to the body’s cells functioning optimally. B-Vitamins assist the body in the metabolic process which converts the food we eat into the energy we need for day-to-day functioning, as well as aiding in the creation of new blood cells, and to maintain healthy skin cells and even brain cells!
B-Vitamins are water soluble vitamins which means that once ingested, these vitamins dissolve in water and are used in the body immediately, with the excess being disposed by the body via urine. This means that in order to get enough B-Vitamins into the body, we must eat a healthy supply of these vitamins daily. The only exception to this is vitamin B12, which can be stored in the liver.
When it comes to elote, this vegetable contains all eight of the vitamin B complex, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. In particular, elote is high in Thiamin (B1), with one serving offering 12.5% of the daily recommended intake. Thiamin assists the body in converting the carbohydrates we eat into fuel and energy for the body, especially to the brain and nervous system. Not only that, elote also contains around 29 grams of complex carbohydrates that are digested at a slower pace than other carbohydrates. This translates to a slower and more long-lasting release of energy during the day, not only giving you physical energy, but also energy for proper brain functioning and nervous system health.
To select the best elote – fresh is always best! When choosing the freshest corn, it is not only about how it looks, but how it feels and smells too. Ensure the corn smells sweet, and the kernels are firm and ‘juicy’ when pressed. Most elote comes with the husks off however, if you find the husk still on, just peel back the top a little to check there are no insects nor rot inside. The corn silk may be slightly browned (not black) at the ends to indicate the ripeness.
The recipe I provide to you below, uses the elote in a way that will preserve its nutritional values best, as heating or boiling the elote in water largely destroys the b-vitamins. Remember the vitamins are water soluble and will dissolve right into cooking water.
Fun fact - the addition of lime with the elote makes the B-vitamins even more bioavailable for absorption.
RAW ELOTE ENERGY SALAD
1 cob of elote
2 cups mixed salad greens
½ red onion
1 spring onion
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 juice from a lemon
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
Sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon of pecan or nuts of your choice
With a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels from the elote cob. This can be easily done by chopping off the ends of the cob and placing the cop large end vertically on the chopping boards, holding it steady, slide the knife down the sides of the cob close to the center as possible to get more of the juicy kernels.
Place the corn to one side and thinly slice the red onion next, keeping it in rings, set aside.
Thinly chop the green spring onion bulb and stalks and set aside.
Place one cup of mixed salad greens in each bowl, put the elote, red onion and spring onion slices on top. Add the whole or chopped pecans (or any other nut of your choosing) on top, and prepare the zesty dressing to finish the salad.
For the dressing combine the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper in a small jar and shake the dressing until well combined.
Finally pour the dressing over the elote salad and toss lightly. Feel the energy kick in!