Simple and Sweet Corn

corn-296956_640Question: What did the corn say when it was complimented?

Answer: Aw, shucks!

Do you get it? I admit, that was kind of a corny joke. 😛

We’re about halfway through summer and we have learned about a lot of different fruits and vegetables – broccoli, rhubarb, green peas, radishes, raspberries, beets, and now, corn!

Have you been to the farmers market yet this summer?  If you haven’t, you still have plenty of time to go and enjoy some delicious, fresh produce!

Sometimes corn can be a little cornfusing – for instance, is corn a vegetable, fruit, or grain? The answer is, corn is considered a vegetable, a fruit, AND a grain. Say whaaat?

Corn is a fruit because it has seeds. Corn is a vegetable because it is harvested to be edible. Corn is a grain because it is a cereal grass from which kernels are harvested. Confused? Me too! It turns out that there aren’t very clear definitions for fruits and vegetables.

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To learn some more fun facts about corn, try out The Great Corn Adventure by clicking on the image  to the right.

 

 

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When it comes to the nutritional value of corn, there is no confusion. Corn is a great source of many vitamins and minerals. Listed below are some of the nutrients contained in corn.

 

Fiber helps the digestion process work properly. (Have you noticed that most fruits and vegetables contain fiber?)

Folate helps make new cells.

Niacin is used by the body to improve cholesterol. Having good cholesterol helps the heart stay strong.

Thiamin helps the body change food into energy.

 

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Corn tastes the best fresh of the cob but you can usually use canned or frozen corn as a substitute. There a many, many things you can do with corn!

  • When its on the cob you can grill, boil, steam, or microwave it.
  • Some people like it raw
  • There are many different types of corn salad
  • Use it as a taco or burrito filling
  • Add it to a salsa recipe
  • Make corn bread
  • Add it to a soup
  • Simply spice it up with your favorite spices
  • Sauté with some green chilies and onions for a side dish

Can you think of any other ways to enjoy corn?

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varieties

While there are hundreds of varieties of corn, these varieties are either yellow, white, or bicolor. Corn varieties can also be categorized based on the level of sweetness.

Normal Sugary corn needs to be picked, husked, and eaten within a short amount of time or its flavor is lost.

Sugary Enhancer corn is common in a home garden. It’s a sweeter than the normal variety but keeps the same texture.

Supersweet corn, as you can probably guess, is very sweet. The kernels also have a tougher skin.

 

recipes

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Summertime Corn Salad
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Veggie Omelet Muffins

 

Information for this post came from articles.extension.org, extension.illinois.edu, medline.gov

 

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