Featured Vegetable: Corn
Explore These Amaizing Kernels
Would you believe that corn can be considered a grain, vegetable and fruit? When corn is harvested before maturity and the kernels are soft, it is considered a vegetable. If picked when mature, corn is considered a grain. And surprisingly, a kernel of corn on the cob is a whole fruit.1 A typical ear of corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows of yummy goodness!
Corn originated thousands of years ago in central Mexico. Over the years, Native Americans transformed the crop from a wild grass (Teosinte) with small, spaced out kernels to what is known as today’s modern corn. It wasn’t until Christopher Columbus brought corn from the West Indies to Spain that it quickly spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Did you know that corn is grown on every continent except Antarctica? 2
Select & Savor the Sweetness
Look for sweet corn with fresh green husks, and soft, golden silks that are not wilted or discolored. Kernels are typically yellow, white or a combination of both. Corn is an economical and convenient choice that is available fresh (mostly during the summer months and early fall), frozen and canned. Want to taste the true “sweetness” of corn? Most of the corn from Florida is the “supersweet” variety that can have double the sugar content of regular corn.3
Choose Corn & Everyone Wins
One medium ear of cooked, yellow corn is about 100 calories and a good source of fiber, which can aid in digestion and help you feel full. Corn also adds some B vitamins and vitamin C to your diet. It is a nutritiously, delicious choice enjoyed by all ages. Get the kids involved and teach them how to husk the corn. Head outside and see who husks their ear of corn the fastest. Continue the games at the dinner table – whoever has the fewest kernels left on their ear of corn at the end of the meal is the winner. They will be grinning from ear to ear!
Corn Complements Any Cuisine
Of course you can steam or boil corn, but summer time is the season for grilling. If you haven’t tried grilled corn, you must! Experiment with different seasonings, to add a unique flavor twist.
“Before grilling you should always pull back the husk, take out the silks, and then put the husk in place on the cob. Then soak the corn for at least 30 minutes in lightly salted water. This will bring out the naturally sweet flavors of the corn and allow you to use less butter or other fats.”
Spice up your meal with this Fruits &Veggie-More Matters® Corn on the Cob w/Chili Lime Butter recipe. Check out these Campbell’s Kitchen recipes to taste and see just how diverse corn recipes can be!
- Hearty Chicken & Vegetable Chowder
- Santa Fe Chicken Sauté
- Corn and Black-Eyed Pea Salad
- Polenta Corn Bake
- Bulgur Salad
1http://www.harvestofthemonth.cdph.ca.gov/download/Summer/021712/ED_Corn_%20Newsletter_Final.pdf Harvest of the Month Corn. Accessed March 5th, 2013.
2http://www.ksgrains.com/corn/cornclass09.pdf Kansas Corn in the Classroom. Accessed March 5th, 2013
3http://www.panen.org/sites/default/files/SNAC%20Materials/corn_newsletter2.pdf PA Nutrition Education Network – Corn Newsletter. Accessed March 5th, 2013.