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All about corn

Nothing says summer more than corn on the cob.  Here are some tips to buy, store and enjoy locally produced corn.  

Nutrition Spotlight!

Corn is a good source of folate and a source of fibre and vitamin C

Corn is part of the Vegetables and Fruit Food Group in Canada’s Food Guide

Buying local 

In Ontario we produce three types of sweet corn: yellow, yellow-and-white, and white corn. Why not try them all! Fresh and local corn is in season from July to October. Look for the Foodland Ontario logo or ask your store manager to find out if the corn you buy is locally produced. When you buy local food, you support farmers so they can keep producing high quality, affordable food we can all enjoy.

Shopping and Storing

Look for corn that has bright green and moist husks (the leaves of the corn).  The feathery silk should be stiff, dark and moist. If you can, try to feel the individual kernels through the husk. Look for corn with plump kernels, not ones that are dry and shriveled.

Cook corn as soon as you can after you bring it home – this is when it will be the sweetest. Corn starts to lose its natural sugar soon after it has been picked.

At home, store the fresh corn in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for two to three days.

Preparation

To boil: Remove husk and silk. Boil 3-4 minutes for young corn and 5-7 minutes for mature corn. 

To steam: Cook for 7-11 minutes depending on the size of the cob.

To microwave: Remove husk and silk. Place cob in a microwaveable dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2 minutes then let the corn cool before unwrapping.

To barbeque or roast in the oven: Leave husks on the cob. To protect the corn from burning, wrap the husks in aluminum foil. You can also soak the husks in cold water for 30 minutes before cooking. Corn should take 15-20 minutes to cook.

To freeze: You can freeze the cob whole or just the kernels. Corn will need to be blanched before freezing. To blanch just the kernels, slice kernels from the cob, place in boiling water for 4 minutes, then transfer to ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Freeze kernels separately on a tray before packing into freezer bag (this keeps the kernels from clumping together). To blanch whole cobs, place in boiling water for 7-11 minutes, then transfer to ice cold water. Corn can be kept in the freezer for up to one year.

Did you know? Some varieties of corn are grown just for popcorn. These special kernels pop because they contain a small amount of water in the centre. When the kernels get heated, the water causes pressure to build up and the kernel explodes. Popcorn can be made in an air popper or in a pot with a little bit of oil. If you like microwave popcorn, look for lower sodium and trans fat free varieties.

Don’t let summer pass you by without taking advantage of local corn. Here are some recipes to try:

Chicken and Corn Chowder

Masa (Corn) Pancakes

For more Ontario vegetables and fruit:

All about rhubarb

All about asparagus

All about carrots

All about tomatoes

Last Update – April 25, 2017

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