In Season: Sweet Corn
It’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of the surplus of mouthwatering, buttery sweet corn. Because it is in such abundance during the summer, you can always find plenty of it at your local farmers market, grocery stores, roadside stands or grown in your very own garden. Corn is a beloved vegetable by all and is one that is easy to prepare and easy to gratify, both kids and adults alike. So grab yourself some ears of corn, invite your family and friends over and enjoy a great BBQ with this sweet addition before the season ends!
Sweet corn has more natural sugars, smaller ears, stalks and kernels than regular yellow corn. It is harvested when it is still milky, tender and full of sugar, giving it is name of sweet corn. It can be found in a variety of colors ranging from white, yellow and bicolor (yellow and white). Traditionally boiling is the most common way of preparing corn on the cob, however it can be enjoyed grilled, steamed, roasted or even microwaved, and is a great accompaniment and flavor addition to any of your favorite vegetable, salads, dips, soups, meats or seafood dishes.
Fresh sweet corn is most readily available and at its best from July to September.
What to Look For:
When looking for fresh sweet corn, be sure that the husks are fresh and green and cloak fine, silky threads. Before purchasing sweet corn always be sure to pull down the husk slightly to inspect the kernels making sure that they are not rotten or discolored are free of insects and disease. The kernels should be plump, tightly packed and smaller at the tips than in the middle. To ensure added freshness, with your finger, apply pressure to one of the exposed kernels until one of them pops. If the kernel produces a milky juice then this is a sign of freshness. Avoid corn that has been sitting in the warm sun since the sugars will start to turn to starch, making your sweet corn less sweet.
Corn contains about 80 calories per medium cob, is high in fiber, is a whole grain, low in fat and contains disease-preventing properties. Corn has been linked to supporting eye health, slowing bone loss, cardiovascular health and helps in the performance of the muscles and nervous system.
How to Store:
Once you bring your sweet corn home from the grocery store it is important to refrigerate it if you are not going to use it immediately. Keeping your sweet corn at room temperature for too long will cause the sugars to break down, making it less sweet. To store your sweet corn, place it in a zip lock bag or in an airtight container in your refrigerator, husked or un-husked, to optimize its longevity. If stored properly it can last up to 7 days.
Freezing your sweet corn can be a simple way to enjoy it year round. Simply start by husking your corn and removing any remaining silk from the cob. Blanch your cobs in boiling water for about 4-6minutes. Immediately remove and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once your corn has completely cooled remove the kernels with a knife or corn cutting tool. Gather your cut kernels and place into freezer bags about two-thirds full and put into your freezer to freeze. When you are ready to use your frozen kernels simply remove your corn from the freezer and warm them by boiling, microwaving or steaming.
Save your corn cobs to add flavor to stocks, broths or soups
After husking your corn rub a cotton kitchen towel down the cob to remove any remaining silks from the husk.
Try soaking your corn, with the husk on, in water for 10 minutes before adding to the BBQ and cooking for about 15 minutes. This will create a steam packet to cook your corn in.
When boiling your corn for a meal, add your corn to an already boiling pot of water, and try to keep the cooking time to about 3-4 minutes. The shorter cooking time allows for a crunchier texture and better flavor.
If you are not using your corn the day you buy it and you notice that the husks are starting to dry out, remove the husks from the cobs and wrap your corn in a damp paper towel to store in the refrigerator.
To remove the corn kernels from the cob, lay your corn onto a work surface and starting from the tip and moving down run your knife along the kernels to cut them from the cob. Then turn your cob onto the flat side, which has just been cut and repeat the same method until all kernels have been removed.
Looking for Sweet Corn Recipes? Give these a try:
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*