It’s that time of year…fresh vegetables are readily available at farmers markets, grocery stores and even roadside stands or truck beds! My personal favorite is sweet corn and I love to enjoy it straight out of a pan of boiling water or fresh off the grill.
Here are a few tips and tricks about corn – from buying and husking to storing, freezing and more. What makes one ear of corn taste better than the next? There are a few tricks to picking the best. Corn sold at reputable roadside stands usually come fresh that day to the stand. Grocery store corn may or may not be as fresh as the corn available from the roadside stand. Ask your grocer when the corn was picked to determine freshness. If you are not eating the corn the day you purchase it, you can put unshucked corn in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days and still maintain freshness. I didn’t realize there is that much to be learned about picking and storing corn.
Today we have the speed of microwaves to heat the ear of corn. With microwave cooking comes a fool proof way the remove the husks. If you prefer the grill or boiling water, there are still a few tips to make the job of preparing mouth-watering corn easy.
What are some of the health benefits of sweet corn? Truth is that an ear of corn offers a 3 gram dose of fiber and it has antioxidants and chemicals that promote healthy vision. What are some other myths and truths that you may have been told? You may have heard that some produce is genetically modified. What about sweet corn? All sweet corn has been selected through intensive breeding programs and selected for its sweetness and nutritional value. Some, but not all, sweet corn being sold has been genetically modified with the Bt gene which makes the growing plant resistant to some insects. That means that more of the sweet corn makes it to the grocery stores and isn’t destroyed by insects. Field corn (different from sweet corn) with Bt gene modification has been grown since 1996 and we have been eating foods with field corn ingredients with no ill effect for nearly 20 years. In fact, there is no proven risk of eating foods that have been genetically modified. The truth is, GMO sweet corn is still very rare. Still concerned? Just ask the farmer if they plant genetically modified seeds.
There are many ways to enjoy your summer sweet corn and so many great summer recipes that require corn on or off the cob. How about sweet corn soup with a Thai twist? Never heard of it? Me either…but it sounds wonderful. The Food Network offers a great blog called “Healthy Eats”. Recipes offered here offer many ways to enjoy that fresh sweet corn taste. They offer a recipe of sweet corn soup with a twist of Thai (I’m getting hungry)!
No meal is complete without dessert. Yes, I did say dessert. I am surprised to find out that I can make a sweet corn ice cream. This recipe is much like most homemade recipes for ice cream, with one exception. One of the ingredients is corn. Sounds like an interesting use of the readily available corn on the cob. I am going to have to try this one.
If you prefer to get your corn already prepared for you, check out some of the festivals offered in Iowa. You will be able to find sweet corn, all kinds of delectable treats, music and fun for the whole family. Iowa is a great place to live!