We enjoy buttery corn cobs through the first few weeks of fall as soon as the long, leisurely summer days begin. There are, however, several ways to prolong your enjoyment of this delicious vegetable. Learn how to keep corn for eating throughout the year by storing it in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.
Fresh corn on the cob symbolizes warm, sunny days, backyard barbecues, and outdoor activities with friends and family. Nothing is more enjoyable than lounging in the summer sun while eating an ear of corn drenched in melted butter and salt.
Sweet corn isn’t only eaten in the summer, though. Whole ears of corn can be stored in various ways in the kitchen to maintain freshness and keep the kernels’ sweet flavor and crisp texture.
Which is Corn?
Corn’s status as a vegetable seems to be a straightforward question. It’s a bit trickier than it seems, in actuality.
A grain is the corn kernel from which popcorn is derived. To be more precise, this type of maize is a “whole” grain. Vegetables include whole corn that has been cut off the cob.
Many grains, like popcorn, are regarded as fruits, further complicating matters. This is because they originate from the plant’s seed or blossom.
So corn can be classified as a fruit, a whole grain, and a vegetable. But regardless of its form or classification, corn is healthy and can be included in a balanced diet. Even plain popcorn can be nutritious without salt, butter, or oil.
How to Store Corn?
Remove the silk and husk from the corn by shucking it. Trim any dry tops or ends. Over high heat, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a big basin with equal parts water and ice while the water is boiling.
To blanch the corn, add 2 to 4 cobs at a time, according to the capacity of your pot, using tongs—A 4-minute boil.
Remove the corn from boiling and place it in the ice bath to shock it. Continue shocking and blanching the remaining corn.
Remove the corn cobs from the ice bath and cut the kernels off the cob. By making an incision between the corn kernels and the cob, slice the corn from top to bottom to remove the kernels.
Transfer the corn kernels into zip-top freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible, seal the bags, and label them before freezing. Freeze the bags flat. For up to six months, corn kernels can be frozen.
How to Choose Corn at the Supermarket?
Picking the freshest corn you can find is essential because it will taste best the day it is purchased. “Ask about the corn’s freshness at the store or at your local farmers’ market. The closer to harvest you can get it, the better “Rachael Narins, a cookbook author and chef-instructor based in Los Angeles, offers advice.
Choose ears that feel firm to the touch and have vibrant green husks that appear wet. The silk tassels—the strands that resemble hair and protrude from the top of the corn—should also be clean. A little browning on the top is acceptable, but if they are completely dried or brown, put them back.
“When choosing unshucked cobs, the kernels should feel plump and the cobs themselves should feel hefty. Your corn will be sweeter and fresher “Narins remarks.
Avoid corn that doesn’t have these characteristics. It will rapidly go bad at home if it isn’t in good condition when you get it, becoming mushy or squishy with a dried-out husk and a browned tassel. Another indication that your corn is past its prime is the presence of withered or dried kernels.
What if Some of the Corn I Bought had Mold on it?
The two key indicators of if your maize has gone bad are its appearance and aroma. It should be thrown in your compost if it smells rancid or moldy or is slimy and mushy in texture. Similarly, if your corn has any visible mold, it has gone rotten.
Narins argues that not all fungi are harmful. “It’s not mould if you see huitlacoche, a black, mushroom-like fungus growing on the corn. Especially in central Mexican cuisine, huitlacoche is a very prevalent ingredient. Remove it and use it as a delectable topping for tacos and quesadillas.”
Although it is less frequent in the United States, taco sellers and chefs in fine-dining establishments have been using it for years, which has helped it acquire appeal.
Ask your grocery store or farmers market salesperson about any strange or off-putting characteristics you observe on your maize. If they can identify it, they should be able to tell you whether you’re dealing with huitlacoche or should throw the corn in your backyard compost pile.
What are the Three Tasty Things to do with Overripe Corn?
You can use a variety of overripe veggies in a lot of different ways. While other veggies might be more challenging to find applications for, some can still maintain enough of their original form to be utilized in meals with a stronger flavor.
One such vegetable with an unclear purpose when it reaches overripeness is corn. When corn is overripe, it tends to lose both its flavor and the distinctive texture of its kernels, making it much more difficult to use in recipes.
Corn Pudding or Corn Souffle
These two foods are remarkably similar, for better or worse, and some people even use the terms indistinguishably to refer to the same item.
No matter how ripe the corn is, you may easily cook a savory corn souffle dish. This is due to the creamed corn used in the dish, which means that you won’t have to worry about the texture and that various other components will mask the flavor.
The dish known as corn souffle, sometimes known as a creamed corn casserole, is exactly what it sounds like. You will use all the corn kernels from the overripe corn to make creamed corn.
To prepare the corn souffle, you will need creamed corn, cornbread mix, sour cream, condensed milk, baking powder, butter, eggs, and occasionally cream cheese. Depending on how much overripe corn you have, you may also make your cornbread.
Cornmeal is a common ingredient in many dishes, including tortillas, cornbread, and even some varieties of Indian pudding. It is most famously used in grits, a classic southern morning food.
In some circumstances, using cornmeal instead of flour will work well when making pancakes and other baked items.
Making cornmeal is simple, and since the corn kernels are already dried and ground up, you won’t have to worry about the texture. You won’t have to worry about the flavor, as the corn kernels are typically used as a building element in recipes that call for cornmeal.
Corn Salsa or Relish
Consider creating corn salsa or corn relish if you enjoy dipping sauces.
Both can benefit from and even flourish on the overripe maize kernels. The recipe is simple to create and typically takes one hour to complete.
In addition to the corn, you should season the relish or salsa and add sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and green and red peppers. You can also add other vegetables to the salsa according to taste.
How do you Remove Leaves and Hair from Corn?
You can easily remove the hairs and leaves from your corn with a vegetable brush. This foldable oval-shaped brush is perfect for cleaning corn. Brush the corn in one direction from the top down to remove any loose silk or leaves. There is no need to wash the corn after the silk and leaves have been removed. The silk is risk-free and can be used as a vegetable brush.
Once your ears have been cleaned, you can shuck the corn. When shucking the corn, you must use the appropriate technique. If shucking the corn by hand, be sure the tassel is still attached. You will have the leverage to shuck the corn cleanly as a result. Then split the husk and silk into two or three equal pieces. You should have the best view of your corn from here. You can then discard the remaining silk after that.
Is Canned Corn Healthier than Frozen Corn?
To discover healthy corn, look for canned or frozen versions. Although neither is better than nothing, frozen corn is by far the better option. While the manufacturing process can result in the loss of some nutrients in canned corn, this is not the case with frozen corn. Furthermore, canned maize contains a lot of sodium unless the label states “No Salt Added.” Carefully check the components. Simply because a product is labeled “organic” or any other fancy term does not mean that it is immediately better or healthier for you.
To better understand the dish and to decide what to eat, look at the ingredients list—frozen versus canned. Canned vegetables are preferred to frozen ones. Some nutrients are lost when fresh vegetables are blanched before freezing, but not significantly. Compared to produce frozen at the peak of freshness, produce picked too early, stored, and transported thousands of miles has fewer nutrients.
What is the Nutritional Value of Corn?
Eighty-eight calories, 1.4g of fat, 19g of carbs, and 3.3g of protein are found in one medium-sized ear of corn (6 3/4″ to 7 1/2″ long). In addition to providing vitamins C, E, and A, some fiber, and potassium, corn is a good source of thiamin. The USDA has given this nutritional data.
Corn is categorized as moderate, with a value that ranges from 56 to 69 on the glycemic index meter. One ear of corn contains 19 grams of carbs. Natural sugars account for 6.4 grams of total carbohydrates, while fiber makes up 2 grams.
Be aware that eating maize alone will not have the same glycemic impact as eating it with items high in protein, fiber, or butter. The GI is a measurement of foods consumed straight and alone; it has little to do with foods consumed as part of meals. Protein, fiber, and fats decrease glucose absorption into the blood.
Fats Corn has 1.4 grams of fat per medium-sized ear, which is naturally low. Monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy, make up the majority of the fat in corn.
Corn has more protein than most veggies do. Per ear of corn, there are just over 3 grams of protein. This is because corn is full grain and not a vegetable.
Minerals and Vitamins
Thiamin may be found in corn, which provides 13% of the daily dose (DV) or 0.16 mg. Additionally, it offers beta carotene, folate, vitamins C and E, and vitamin A. Potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium are additional nutrients in corn.
When ate plain. Ate plain, single corn on the cob has roughly 88 calories—clients like fat. One hundred twenty-five calories are in one cup of corn (off the cob). Naturally, adding butter will also increase the number of calories and other nutrients.
Due to the loss of vitamin C during processing, processed fruits and vegetables have long been thought to have a lesser nutritional value than fresh produce. According to research, apples’ vitamin C only makes up around 0.4% of all antioxidant activity, meaning most of the activity is derived from the fruit’s naturally occurring phytochemical mixture. This shows that even when processed fruits and vegetables lose their vitamin C, they may maintain some antioxidant action.
Here it is demonstrated that heat processing at 115 °C for 25 min considerably boosted sweet corn’s total antioxidant activity by 44% and its phytochemical content, such as ferulic acid, by 550% and total phenolics by 54%, despite a loss of 25% vitamin C. 210 mg of vitamin C/100 g of processed sweet corn has higher antioxidant activity compared to the sample’s remaining 3.2 mg of vitamin C, which made up only 1.5% of its overall antioxidant activity. These results refute the idea that processed product has a lower nutritional value than fresh produce.
Using a freezer is a great way to store your corn. When you freeze corn, it will become slightly mushy and retain some moisture. If you are not careful, you could end up with soggy corn when you reheat it. It is best to freeze corn after it is picked. The first step in freezing corn is to blanch it. This is a great way to preserve the texture and color of the corn. It also helps to clean the corn and remove bacteria.
After you have boiled and cooled the corn, you can remove the cob and freeze the kernels. You can then use the kernels to make corn chowder or corn broth. One of the easiest ways to freeze corn is to put it in a large bowl of ice and water. Place the cobs in the bowl, and submerge them in the ice water for at least two minutes.