If you’re going to use whole dried kernel corn to make your own masa and cornmeal for whole grain corn recipes, you’ll need to know how to make lime water. Soaking corn in lime water breaks down the anti-nutrients that can cause pellagra, which is a deficiency of vitamin B3. The soaking (at least 7 hours) makes the niacin in the corn more nutritionally available.
Fortunately, making lime water is easy. The hardest thing that I found about it was locating lime, or “cal”. I eventually went to a local Mexican grocery store to buy a container of “cal” (pickling lime).
Method for making Lime Water
- Put about an inch of pickling lime in the bottom of a half gallon (or 2 quart jars) mason jar.
- Add filtered water, leaving some room to shake. Put a lid on the jar tightly.
- Shake the jar until all of the pickling lime is mixed.
- Leave the jar overnight until most of the lime falls to the bottom. The liquid on top is lime water. There’s no need to refrigerate it.
- Carefully pour the amount of needed lime water from the top when needed for a recipe.
- You can keep the water on the shelf indefinitely for your next corn recipe.
- NOTE: be careful where you place the jars, label them well as they look like milk when they’re shaken up.