It’s early July, and the outdoor tables are piled high with ears of corn. Sweet corn is one of the great pleasures of this season. There are many varieties of sweet corn, but whatever’s local is best. Head over to a farmers market to get the freshest corn around.
When we were kids, my brother and I were often sent outside to the porch in the summer with a trash can to shuck ears of corn for dinner. Most of the husks landed in the garbage, but there was always a bunch of fly-away silk that remained behind. That was our gift to the neighborhood.
Think that corn is just filled with carbs and calories? Think again. Sweet corn contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are important for good health. Vitamins A and C help fight age-related diseases. Thiamin and folate, B Vitamins found in corn, help develop healthy muscles and red blood cells. Corn also contains magnesium, potassium and phosphorus along with trace amounts of other minerals including iron, calcium, copper and zinc.
Now that you know why you should include corn in your diet, here are a few ideas for how to buy it and eat it.
Look for corn with lots of golden silk sticking out of the top. You want to look for green husks. Leave the brown ones behind for someone else. They’ve been sitting in the sun for too long. The ears should feel firm in your hand.
Fresh corn tastes best soon after it’s picked. When fresh corn stays around too long in your fridge or laying in the sun at roadside stands, the sugars turn to starch. So buy it fresh and eat it fresh. You’ll be glad you did.
Corn is simple to cook. You can boil it in a pot of water on the stove, you can steam it or you can grill it to list a few options. After that, it’s up to your imagination. Eat it straight from the cob with butter and salt or your favorite seasonings. Toss some kernals onto green salads, mix corn into grain or bean salads, make corn chowder or add it to your favorite tex-mex recipes. Add corn to salsas or guacamole, make corn cakes or add it to crab cakes, and then invent some recipes of your own.
Want corn to last longer than the summer? You can remove raw kernals from fresh corn with a sharp knife, and keep that in your freezer to use in winter recipes such as soups and stews. Just stand the ear on its end and use a sharp knife to cut down toward the cutting board.
Do you love sweet corn? Let us know how you eat it!
Have trouble with less than healthy sweets? You don’t want to miss the Sweet Revenge Sugar Cleanse starting on July 16th. Sign up here!