Sinking your teeth into a perfect yellow fresh corn on the cob is certainly one of summer's pleasures.
Buying: Pick cobs with bright, plump kernels showing no signs of wrinkling. Husks should be intact, fresh, green, not damaged nor spotted, and the silks – pale green.
Storing: Corn loses its sweetness as the sugar converts to starch. Store corn with husk intact in the vegetable crisper or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use within 1-2 days.
Preparation: Corn can be cooked in or out of its husk. Try cooking it on the barbecue, or boil for 5 minutes (husk removed).
Nutrition: An average corn cob (about 130g) provides about 640kJ energy, 5g protein, 3g fat (0.4g saturated fat), 25g carbohydrates (2g sugars) and 3g fibre, as well as small amounts of a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Sweet corn has good antioxidant activity and, in particular, contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are stored in the eye and help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, both important causes of blindness.
Ways to use corn
- Colourful salad
Colourful food is fun to eat and gets kids eating more veges, so add fresh sweet corn kernels, slices of red apple and seedless grapes to the dinner salad bowl.
- Corn soup
Combine 1 litre salt-reduced chicken stock with 2 chopped celery stalks, 1 tablespoon salt-reduced soy sauce, kernels from 3 cobs, and a 310g can creamed corn in a large saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes on a medium heat, add 3 small chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced and cook through.
Liven up your 5+ a day vege serves by mixing the kernels from three cobs with chopped red onion, mango, cucumber and avocado in a large bowl. Toss well, adding fresh lime juice to taste. Serve on top of grilled fish or as a corn chip salsa.
Add kernels from one corn cob to pikelet batter. Serve with a dollop of plain, low-fat yoghurt and chopped coriander.
- Au naturel
A corn cob has about 640kJ, so it makes a great snack. Microwave for 5 minutes in the husk, then peel and eat (mind the steam!).