Fresh summer corn

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Let’s keep our summer garden series rolling with another popular veggie: fresh summer corn.

The season for corn is July through August.  Corn is low in fat and full of fiber and B vitamins. Look for ears of corn with green shucks, moist stems, and silk ends that are free of decay.  Kernels should be small, tender, plump, and should fill all the spaces in the rows.  When storing fresh corn, keep it unshucked, wrapped in damp paper towels, inside a plastic bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.  The shelf life is usually four to six days.

Let’s talk about the most important part, eating the corn.  If you want to preserve your corn, feel free to call the Extension Office for information on canning and freezing.  There are various ways to prepare corn for eating, including:

To steam: Remove shucks and silks. Trim stem ends. Stand ears in a tall pot with 1 inch of water. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam the corn for 5 minutes.

To microwave: Place ears of corn, still in shucks, in a single layer in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes, turning the ears halfway through cooking time. Allow corn to rest several minutes before removing the shucks and silks.

To boil: Remove shucks and silks, then trim stem ends. Carefully place ears in a large pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 4 minutes or until the kernels are tender.

To grill: Turn back the inner shucks and remove the silks. Sprinkle each ear with 2 tablespoons of water and nonfat seasonings such as salt, pepper, and herbs.  Replace shucks and tie them shut. Place ears on a hot grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them often.

Here’s a new corn recipe to try:
Zucchini and Corn Sauté
* 2 cups fresh or frozen corn
* 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
* 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 medium sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons canola oil (optional)
* 1 teaspoon garlic salt (optional)
* 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

In a large skillet, saute zucchini and peppers in oil until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients. Saute 3 to 4 minutes longer or until corn is tender.

Yield: 10 servings
Nutritional Analysis: 62 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 230 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
Source: “Kentucky Corn.” Sandra Bastin, Food and Nutrition Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences.