Corn Produce Guide + 31 Corn Recipes

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Corn Produce Guide is an informative guide including nutrition information, varieties, how to store it, and a round up of 31 corn recipes!

overhead shot of corn on the cob on round white marble board

Corn on the cob used to be one of my favorite things to eat in the summer when I was growing up.  My mom would boil it and serve it piping hot, so I inserted the corn cob holders into each end of the corn, slathered on a bit of butter and ate it left to right, row by row.

Memories. 🙂

I still love my corn today, and during the summer I prepare it weekly.  I normally cook up a few ears at a time and either eat it right off of the cob like I did in my childhood, or remove the kernels and toss them into my dishes during the week.

There’s nothing like biting into the plump, crisp kernels and tasting that milky, sweet flavor.  To me, corn just tastes like summer.

close up overhead shot of corn on the cob

Corn Produce Guide 

Corn, or maize, is one of the most popular crops in America.  The corn plant is an annual that’s a member of the grass family with a stout, solid stem and large, narrow green leaves.

The interesting thing about corn is that it’s considered to be a vegetable, grain and a fruit.  

  • A vegetable is considered to be the edible part of a plant, so when you eat corn on the cob, it’s a vegetable.
  • Once the kernels are removed from the cob, the individual kernels are considered to be whole grain.
  • The definition of fruit is an edible part of a plant that contains a seed, so when the kernels are popped into popcorn, corn is then considered a fruit!

Origin of corn

The biological origin of corn, or maize, is traced back as far as 10,000 years ago to a Mexican grass called teosinte.  Teosinte was simply 12 kernels protected by a hard casing, so it hardly resembles the plump, juicy corn that we know today.

Corn was first domesticated by native Mexican people 10,000 years ago, and Native Americans taught Europeans how to cultivate it.

Since corn was introduced to the world by European explorers, it’s grown widely all around the world.

Varieties of corn

There are 4 main varieties of corn:

  • Field corn:  Field, or dent corn, is used to feed livestock.  There’s a small dent on the top of each kernel, which is an indication that the corn is dry, starchy and not very sweet.
  • Sweet corn:  Sweet corn is the corn that you see in the supermarket.  It’s plump and sweet, and is normally white, yellow or bi-color.  You may see Super Sweet Corn at the market, which is sweet corn that has been “sugar enhanced” so that it tastes even sweeter.
  • Indian corn:  Indian, or flint corn is extremely hard and dry.  Normally it’s used as a harvest decoration, but due to its high nutrient value, they’re often used to produce corn meal, corn flour, polenta, hominy and grits.
  • Heirloom corn:  Heirloom corn is crimson red or purple-black in color, and is very rare.

close up front view of corn on the cob with silk

Uses of corn

The corn industry in the United States is vast.  There are 90 million acres of corn planted in this country, and most of it is grown in the Heartland region.  10-20% of the corn produced in the U.S. is exported to other countries.

99% of the corn grown in America is field corn, which is used to feed cattle, hogs and poultry, and produce ethanol bio fuel.

Corn is also used to produce the following:

  • corn starch
  • corn syrup
  • cornmeal
  • masa
  • polenta
  • corn flour
  • alcohol

How to grow corn

I’ve never grown corn in my garden because I don’t have the space and corn is very inexpensive.  If you’re interested, click here.

Corn nutrition facts

The health benefits of corn differ depending on the type of corn that you eat.   Sweet corn tends to be higher in vitamins, and popcorn tends to be higher in minerals.

Corn is a whole grain and contains 2.4 grams of fiber per serving, which means that it can improve digestion and prevent constipation.

There are about 77 calories per serving of corn, with 22 carbohydrates, 3.4 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of sugar.  

For more nutrition facts, see here.

distant overhead shot of corn on the cob on white marble board

How to store corn on the cob

Store fresh corn on the cob in the husk in the refrigerator for 1-3 days. 

Once corn is shucked and cooked, it will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

How to freeze corn on the cob

Shuck the corn and freeze the cobs in an air tight container for several months.  

Corn may also be removed from the cob and frozen.

How to cook corn on the cob

There are two main ways to cook corn on the cob — boiling and grilling.

Boiled corn

  • Place the shucked corn in a large stock pot and cover with water by about 2″.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Immediately remove from heat and allow to stand covered for 10 minutes.  
  • Drain the corn in a colander and enjoy!

Grilled corn

close up of partially shucked corn

31 Corn Recipes

Corn is so versatile, and works beautifully in both sweet and savory dishes.  This round up of delicious corn recipes  includes Mexican sweet corn cake, street corn, corn chowder and corn salsa.  

I hope these recipes show you how to eat corn in exciting new ways this summer!

31 Corn Recipes

Corn Produce Guide is an informative guide including nutrition information, varieties, how to store it, and a round up of 31 corn recipes!

Sources:

Encyclopedia Brittanica

Healthline

Huffpost.com

New York Times

Organic Facts

USDA

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