Produce Spotlight on Corn
Corn, also known as maize, is one of the most popular vegetables in the United States. The tall corn plant produces “ears” of corn, full of individual kernels. Corn is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid, which helps support digestive health, and provides minerals like potassium and magnesium. All in all, it is a heart-healthy choice.
Shopping for Corn
Look for bright green husks and shiny, golden silks (haylike strings inside the husk). Avoid husks that are rotting or wilting. Kernels should be bright yellow or white, plump, and similar in size. Avoid dried-out or discolored kernels. When buying frozen or canned corn, look for no added sugar or salt. Massachusetts-grown corn is available from July into October.
Sweet – most common type, with yellow, white, or yellow and white kernels and high sugar content; can be frozen, canned, or fresh on the cob.
Popcorn – dried corn kernels that expand and puff up when heated.
Flint – also known as Indian corn; starchy and not sweet; ground for flour and cornmeal.
Storage and Preparation
- Corn loses sweetness quickly; the sooner eaten, the tastier it is.
- Refrigerate fresh corn with husks attached in a plastic bag for up to 1 week. To prepare for use, peel husks, remove the silks, and wash with cool water.
- For longer storage, corn both on the cob and off can be frozen. Blanch prepared ears in boiling water for 4 minutes, cool quickly in ice water, and drain. Dry whole ears and freeze in labeled freezer-safe bags or cut kernels from the ear and freeze in labeled bags. Use within 12 months.
- Eat fresh corn on the cob. Shuck, wash, and boil ears for 4 minutes. Dress with butter, spices, lime juice, or herbs.
- Add fresh, frozen, or canned corn to soups, salsas, chilis, salads, or casseroles.
- For tasty sandwiches, stuff corn and black beans into whole-wheat pockets.
1 medium ear =
Using Locally Grown Produce
For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/. To locate places to buy local produce, visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher.