Cornmeal as a Carbohydrate Source?


I’ve been researching different Carbohydrate sources for a soylent recipe that I’m working on. I’m wondering if cornmeal would be a good source of carbohydrates without using chemicals (I’d like to avoid using straight maltodextrin and stick with something more “conventional”). Does this sound like a good idea? Are there any concerns that I should have?


Uncooked cornmeal would be pretty gritty. You might try cornstarch.


Cooked cornmeal might not be too bad. It has some protein and dietary fibre, which is nice. Uncooked I don’t think is a good idea.


I’ll definitely have to consider that. Cornstarch seems like my soylent would turn into a science experiment gone wrong, ha-ha. Cornmeal was appealing to me because it would cover both carbohydrates and fiber in the right proportions. I wonder if milling it down further would help with the “grit”.


I believe what you’d call that is whole grain corn flour. You might be able to buy that and save yourself the hassle. It’s probably more expensive and less available that corn meal, though.


Card, if you’re going that route (cereal grain flour as carb source) and you’re willing to cook the flour, there are other options you should look at, grains that are perhaps healthier than corn. I am having great success with a mix of oats, buckwheat and spelt, for example. You can buy flour of practically any grain at places like Bulk Barn (that may be only a Canadian source, but there are lots of bulk food suppliers in USA; usually the bulk specialists have a much broader selection but major supermarkets these days also typically have pretty respectable bulk food sections. Check out what’s available and then research it online.

What you don’t want to be doing (IMHO) is ingesting raw flour of any sort; that is just asking for digestive problems; soylent should be more digestible than conventional food, not less. I have to shake my head at so many people trying to choke down raw oat flour (and then complaining of digestive issues) in the name of “convenience” and lower glycemic index.


Very good advice. I’ve been following your posts for awhile now, and I’m not sure I’m going to be into too much prep. A shortish amount of boiling/cooking would be OK with me though. However, I find your recipe to be quite intriguing. Does it taste alright with the blend of carbs you’re using?


Taste alright? Well for me, it’s to die for! I love it. Bear in mind, though, that I have several other ingredients flavouring it besides just the carbs: egg, cocoa, milk, peanut butter powder, blackstrap molasses. So, can’t tell you about the flavour of the carb mix by itself; however, I routinely use mixes like that for hot cereal in the morning. I find the buckwheat and spelt blend well in oatmeal-based hot cereals. I suspect all the nasty taste and texture problems people are complaining about stem from raw oat powder, which I wouldn’t even attempt to consume! I don’t know where that idea came from in the first place; I guess from the bodybuilders’ supplement stacks? I’m tempted to say well, I guess it would take a bodybuilder to confront raw oats as a food supplement!

I recommend both buckwheat and spelt; both are quite nutritious and easy to digest as well. But cook 'em, Card, cook 'em. Both for the flavour and for your stomach’s sake.


If I end up using any oat/cornmeal/spelt/etc, I will probably cook it. The last thing I need is stomach problems. Now, would a soak be enough? Just a cook? A combination of both?

I’m thinking of a slightly more natural soylent like you’ve made, but not quite as much “real food”. I’m looking for a hybrid.


Card, soaking by itself may or may not help with the phytic acid problem (a complex issue, see the Ramiel Nagel article linked several times on my posts for full details on it), but only cooking will transform the starches for maximum digestibility and minimum stomach upset. Rats and mice are natural gramnivores; humans not so much and we need the cooking to assist us with cereal grain digestion. That’s why I say lab experiments with rats and mice that extrapolate to human nutrition are just bullshit. Rodents have dramatically higher levels of the enzymes needed to cope with cereal grains. They are quite convenient vehicles for cheap, fast, easy laboratory experiments but they do not tell us much about human nutritional issues. (Over there on the CRON lists they tremble in their boots every time a mouse dies in another peer-reviewed study…)


America’s Test Kitchen had a bit with cornmeal biscuits. One of the things they did was soak the cornmeal in buttermilk for 15 minutes before mixing the rest of the stuff to soften it.

Card may not want the flavor of buttermilk in the mix, but soaking finely milled cornmeal in some or all of the liquid for 15 minutes first might work.