Bestowing the title of “Crunchiest Snack Ever” on any single tidbit makes a big statement, especially when that honor comes from Whole Foods Magazine. While the exact criteria for judging such a lofty achievement remains undefined, the fact is that Love Corn is a resoundingly crisp, crackling, munchable savory treat.
For something as simple as fresh corn, salt, and oil, these little morsels make a big impact. There’s no denying that signature crunchy texture, but the underlying flavor is just as noteworthy. Naturally sweet like peak harvest summer corn, accentuated with just the right touch of salinity, even most plain variety packs a punch.
Designed to be eaten out of hand as a healthier alternative to chips or crackers, where Love Corn really shines is in the kitchen, and on the dinner table. Since I could easily pound a full package out of hand, it’s much more gratifying to spread that enjoyment throughout a number of meals. Toss those crunchy kernels into salads instead of bland croutons for an instant upgrade, or top baked potatoes for a crunchy change of pace.
In a pinch, they’ve turned into my mealtime saviors too, rehydrating beautifully in soups and stews, filling the gaps when the produce bin is empty and local corn harvests are still months away. Of course, things get really exciting when you consider the broader flavor options: BBQ, Habanero, and Salt & Vinegar varieties are like built-in flavor bombs with their own seasoning packets. Drop in a pouch and watch any entree come to life. Instant black bean and habanero corn taco filling, anyone? How about BBQ corn chili? Once you start looking at these compact kernels more as meal starters, it’s hard to go back to boring old canned corn.
That’s where the inspiration for these Elote Hush Puppies came from. Looking for a way to use up the last handful of cornmeal in the pantry, it struck me that these little flavor nuggets would be an ideal inclusion on this twisted southern side dish. Traditionally made from a simple corn-based batter, the classic approach is essentially deep-fried cornbread. Bumping up the spices and topping these crispy bites with tofu cotija, however, elevates them to a whole new level.
Taking a page from my favorite Mexican street food, elotes, they’re served alongside vegan mayo for that essential creamy, decadent experience. Technically, I suppose it might be considered esquites since the kernels are cut off the cob, but it’s all done in the same spirit. The combination of cheesy, spicy flavors with a crispy exterior and soft fluffy crumb is utterly irresistible. If you thought that Love Corn was already addictive, you’ll have to be careful with these puppies.
I’m all about spreading the love, so to help you whip up your first batch, I’m thrilled to share a free sample of Love Corn to everyone! You can snag a taste of each flavor when you cover $2.99 for shipping. Now there’s no excuse for settling for subpar snacks.
Whether you crunch right in and eat them straight or use them in grander culinary creations, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Love Corn. At least, I know I did!
Elote Hush Puppies:
- 1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Habanero Chili Love Corn
- 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Neutral Oil, for Frying
- 8 Ounce (1/2 Package) Super Firm Tofu, Pressed for 2 - 3 Hours
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon White Miso Paste
- 1 Teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- Smoked Paprika
- Minced Fresh Cilantro
- Vegan Mayonnaise
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, Love Corn, sugar, baking powder and soda, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Stir until well combined and all the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, applesauce, and vinegar. Once smooth, add these wet ingredients into the bowl of dry, stirring gently with a wide spatula until incorporated.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before proceeding to let the batter thicken. If you'd prefer, you can let it rest overnight, and up to 24 hours before cooking.
- Meanwhile, to make the tofu cotija, you want to press as much of the liquid out as possible. The longer you can press it, the better, so don't skip this step. When it seems almost dry to the touch, crumble it roughly and toss in a small bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly to completely to completely coat the tofu with seasonings. Use right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, or stash in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When the batter is rested and ready, set a high-sided saucepan over medium heat and add about 2 inches of neutral oil. Heat to 360 - 370 degrees.
- Use a cookie scoop to drop 1 tablespoon of batter at a time into the oil. Work in batches so as not to crowd the pan, cooking no more than 5 - 6 hush puppies at once.
- Fry until outsides are golden brown all over; approximately 4 - 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Transfer to a baking sheet in warm oven to keep heat until all are fried and ready to serve.
- Top crispy hush puppies with a sprinkle of tofu cotija, paprika, and fresh cilantro. Serve alongside vegan mayonnaise and dip to your heart's content!
*If you'd like a simpler, quicker fix, you can use ready-made vegan feta or Parmesan instead of making your own tofu cojita.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 254mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.