It’s summer! Across the country, state and county fairs are offering loads of delicious processed foods on sticks. Foods that kids love (and I hate to admit, some of us adults too). Today as my boys and I strolled through the brightly colored booths at the Ventura County Fair, we inhaled the decadence of fried fair treats, creating memories of summer. These are the memories we will eventually go back to on cold November afternoons, encouraging us to take out a box of frozen corn dogs in order to recapture the experience. Hey, why not? Frozen corn dogs are easy, inexpensive, delicious, and some brands are even made with healthy turkey dogs, right? But it’s what lies within the box, underneath the list of thirty seven, no thirty eight ingredients that should snap us back from our sweet memories of summer and encourage us to look for food outside of the box.
That being said, there is a way for corn dogs to be healthy. Yup, you heard me. Now I’m not talking fresh-farm-picked-vegetable healthy, but still real food and not just chemicals on a stick. These corn dogs simply contain turkey, seasonings, whole grain corn and other natural wholesome ingredients. In this article we will compare a nationally recognized boxed corn dog product with a wholesome Out of the Box Food alternative and let you be the judge. You’ll not only be able to offer your children the memories of summer without filling their bodies with chemicals, you’ll be able to offer them the opportunity to experience the delicious value of fresh food.
THE COMPARISON: Foster Farms Frozen Corn Dogs vs. Out of the Box Shaken (not Stirred) Corn Dogs
(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient)
FOSTER FARMS CORN DOGS – HONEY CRUNCH (frozen)
- enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
- yellow corn flour
- enriched degermed yellow corn meal (yellow corn meal, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
- soy flour
Contains less than 2% of:
- leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate)
- soybean oil
- egg yolk
- potato flour
- egg white
- dried honey
- artificial flavor
- fried in vegetable oil
CHICKEN FRANK INGREDIENTS:
- mechanically separated chicken
Contains less than 2% of:
- corn syrup solids
- potassium lactate
- sodium lactate
- sodium phosphate
- sodium diacetate
- sodium erythorbate
- sodium nitrite
**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label. Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.
Out of the Box FoodSM Shaken (not stirred) Corn Dogs
This is a great recipe to get the kids involved in. Making the batter in a quart jar provides for both easy coating of the hot dogs and a fun opportunity for younger chefs to shake up the ingredients. So crank up the summer tunes and turn lunch into a fun activity!
SERVES: 8 corn dogs
TIME: Prep- 6 min
Cook – 3 to 5 minutes per batch
SUPPLIES: large pot (preferably wide and deep), fry thermometer, quart jar w/ lid, wood skewers
- 1 1/4 C corn meal (*see below)
- 3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour, plus 1/2 C for dredging
- 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder (**see below)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 C whole milk
- 8 uncured turkey hot dogs (***see below)
- 8 wood skewers
CanolaVegetable oil or grapeseed oil for frying (approximately 2 quarts) ****
* All corn meal products are not created equal. Check ingredient list on packaging to find products which contain ONLY whole grain corn. For more information see Perfect Pantry Staples.
***All hot dog products are not created equal. Check ingredient list on packaging to find products WITHOUT nitrates, nitrites or corn syrup. Look for “uncured” hot dogs which normally do not have either nitrates or nitrites.
- Preheat 1-2″ oil in large pot to 375 degrees.
- Skewer hot dogs.
- Place cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt into the quart jar. Secure lid and shake until ingredients are combined.
- Add eggs, milk and honey. Shake again until mixed thoroughly. Open jar and give batter a few stirs with a spoon to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour reserved 1/2 C flour onto plate and roll skewered hot dogs in flour to coat.
- Dip hot dogs into jar several times to coat with batter making sure all parts of floured hot dog are coated. Let excess batter drip off.
- Place corn dog in 375 degree oil and cook until golden brown.
- Remove to paper towel lined plate.
Total Time: 9 to 11 minutes
- Let corn dogs come to room temperature, then place in plastic freezer bag and freeze.
- Corn dogs can remain in freezer for up to 3 months.
- Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake corn dogs for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally.
** **Out of the Box Food is a journey towards Real Food – one where I learn something new every day. Please see the comment below about the dangers of Canola oil. I have been reading about the harmful effects of this oil and will continue to research and experiment with alternative ways to feed our families.
ENJOY THE “CORN DOG” DAYS OF SUMMER!
© 2011 – 2012, kimgerber. All rights reserved.