A Superb Energy Source

Not many people don’t like corn. There’s plenty of nutritional reasons to eat corn, but now a doctor from Cherry Hill, New Jersey says raw corn can help you lose weight, too! He says it’s tasty and healthy and all you need do is husk the corn and wash it. If you boil corn, you do lose most of the nutrients in the cooking water; however, you can use that nutritious cooking water as the base for soup.

Botanists believe the corn originated in North America. Native Americans grew corn from as far north as present-day Canada to the southern tip of South America. Christopher Columbus brought corn to Europe, and the Native Americans taught early European settlers how to grow corn. Corn has a lot of history – and interesting food facts!

Get the most bang for your buck

Since fresh sweet corn consists primarily of simple and complex carbohydrates, it’s a superb energy source. It fulfills our energy needs without providing us with a substantial amount of fat.

Shop by color. Yellow corn has only about 2 grams of fiber per serving, but white corn more than doubles that.

Make sure your corn is mature. Look for ears that have full, plump kernels. To see if corn is ripe, puncture one of the kernels with your fingernail. If the liquid that comes out isn’t milky colored, the corn is either immature or over-ripe and you should pass it by.

Get the whole kernel. When eating corn on the cob, you invariably leave a lot behind. To get the most out of each kernel, you are better off buying frozen or canned corn. Or you can cut the kernels from the cob with a knife.

The recommended seasonings for corn are cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika and parsley. Drop the salt shaker and try one of these instead!

Buy your corn vacuum packed. While canned corn can be almost as nutritious as fresh, it loses some of its value when it’s packed in brine, which leaches nutrients. To get the most vitamins, look for vacuum-packed corn, which does not contain brine. Corn that is vacuum packed (it will say so on the label) usually comes in short, squat cans. Or choose frozen corn instead. Studies at the FDA showed that frozen corn is just as nutritious as fresh.

Cooled corn. Heat rapidly converts the sugar in corn to starch, so buy corn that is refrigerated or at least in the shade.

Cook it right away. When corn sits around, its natural sugar turns into starch, giving up the natural sweet taste. Cook corn as soon after it was picked as possible.

Hold the salt. When cooking corn in boiling water, do not add salt. This will draw moisture from the kernels, making them tough and difficult to chew.

Strip the kernels. When you have a craving for fresh corn but don’t want to wrestle with the cob, just strip the kernels off. Hold the cob upright in a bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice downward, cutting away a few rows at a time. when all the kernels are removed, scrape the dull side of the blade down the sides of the cob to extract the sweet, milky juice.

Corn Kernels

The secret to tastier corn: Know exactly how long to cook it. Sweet and tender corn should be cooked in boiling water for no more than 1 or 2 minutes. For best flavor, cook corn the same day it’s picked. It’s naturally tasty – try it without butter to avoid added fat. There’s nothing better than eating corn-on-the-cob on a summer’s night. It’s good for the soul and the body too.

One ear’s worth of kernels contains 85 calories and 3 grams fiber. Yellow corn contains lutein, a plant pigment that helps protect your eyes from macular degeneration. Hominy is corn that has been treated with an alkali to remove the hulls. The process boosts the availability of the niacin in corn as a nutrient.

Purchasing & Selecting Corn

Corn is best when purchased from May through September. Corn kernels should be a good yellow color. Do not buy if husks are straw colored, since they should be green. Straw colored husks and silks indicate decay or worm damage. Corn should always be refrigerated.

Yellow corn usually tastes better than white corn and is higher in vitamin A content.

When storing corn, keep it cool. When corn gets warm the sugar tends to convert to starch. In fact, when corn is piled high in the markets and is allowed to stay for days, the bottom ones will be less sweet due to the heat generated by the weight of the ones on top.

Corn Facts

  • The best way to remove kernels from an ear of corn is to use a shoehorn or a spoon.
  • De-silk an ear of corn easily and effortlessly by shucking the ear and then wiping it in a single stroke from top to bottom with a dampened sheet of paper towel. Bounty works well.
  • Corn contains 5 to 6 percent sugar by weight.
  • Each individual cornstalk produces between one and two ears of corn.
  • Americans eat about 25 pounds of corn per year.
  • Early American colonists frequently used corn as money.
  • Native Americans called corn Maize, which translates to mean “our life.
  • There are more than 200 varieties of sweet corn.
  • When wrapping corn in tin foil for barbecuing, try adding a sprig of marjoram next to the corn.
  • Florida grows the most sweet corn and the best sweet corn is known as Florida Sweet.
  • The kernels at the tip of corn should be smaller. Larger kernels are a sign of over maturity.
  • If the corn kernels are shrunken away from the tip, the corn may be older and not as sweet.
  • Pop a corn kernel, the juice should be milky, not a clear liquid.
  • Corn should not be stored more than a few hours after husking and should be refrigerated or cooked as soon as possible.
  • Never add salt to the cooking water as it toughens the corn.
  • Steaming corn for six to ten minutes is one of the preferred cooking methods.
  • Yellow corn usually tastes better than white corn and has higher vitamin A content.
  • Corn pone are small corn (maize) cakes, a specialty of the state of Alabama, USA.
  • To store corn longer, cut a small piece off the stalk end, leave on the leaves, then store in a pot with about an inch of water, stems down.
  • To cook better tasting corn, add a little milk and sugar to the water. To flavor corn on the cob without using sugar or salt, simply sprinkle a little non fat dry milk into the pot of water when boiling the ears of corn. The powdered milk enhances the taste of the corn. Adding a pinch of sugar to the water when boiling corn on the cob helps bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.
  • A food brush will remove silk from corn.
  • To lighten the color of dark yellow corn, try adding a small amount of vinegar to the boiling water.
  • Corn oil (maize oil) is extracted from maize germ. It is 13 percent saturated fat, 27 percent monounsaturated and 60 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Corn salad is a winter salad vegetable (Valeriana olitoria) also known as lamb’s lettuce.
  • Cornstarch is actually corn flour.
  • Corn sugar is glucose.
  • Corn syrup is prepared by partial hydrolysis of starch, a mixture of glucose and oligosaccharides; the higher the glucose content, the sweeter the syrup. Those containing less glucose and more oligosaccharides are used for texture in food manufacturing.

Enjoy Sweet Corn Year-Round

To enjoy sweet corn year-round, pick corn at the height of the summer season. Husk the ears, clean off the silk and blanch the ears in a pot of boiling water for seven minutes. Cool the ears in a sink of cold water. Pack in Ziploc Freezer Bags and store in the freezer.

Easy Corn Casserole Recipe

This makes a great vegetable side dish for large meals, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

  • Frozen or canned corn
  • Saltines
  • Fresh ground pepper

If the corn is canned, place in casserole dish with water, add enough saltines to soak up the water, then put on as much pepper as you like.

With frozen corn, cook in just enough water to cover. When warm (not hot) put in casserole dish with saltines and pepper. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until set.

Corn Tidbit

Ever notice that every ear of corn has an even number of rows? And that there’s one filament of silk for every kernel of corn?

Southern Corn and Lima Beans Recipe

From the corn to the lima beans to the peppers this is a nutrient packed side dish sure to satisfy the most discriminating vegetable eater.

  • 1 can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 can lima beans, or butter beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Combine ingredients in foil pan, oven proof pan, or other – you can even make a pan out of aluminium foil if you want. Grill for about 15 minutes, shaking from time to time.

Corn Tidbit

Ever notice that every ear of corn has an even number of rows? And that there’s one filament of silk for every kernel of corn?

Corn benefits

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