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Get Creative with Corn

Who can’t have a summer cookout without fresh corn on the cob? In fact, summer is when corn is at its prime!

Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services provides you with a variety of ways to incorporate this a-maizing food into your summer recipes.

Corn Facts

  • Corn is known as “maize” in most countries, which originates from the Spanish word “maiz.”
  • One ear of corn contains approximately 800 kernels in 16 rows (the number of rows is always an even number).
  • Corn is technically and nutritionally a grain, not a vegetable. The seed comes from a type of grass, such as wheat.
  • The most common edible corn is “sweet corn,” which can appear white, yellow orDelicious Grilled Mexican Cornbi-colored. Corn can also be found in black, bluish-gray, purple, green and red.
  • More than 3,500 various uses exist for corn products─most are for non-food purposes.
  • In the food industry, corn is a major ingredient in foods such as cereal, peanut butter, potato chips, baby food, marshmallows, ice cream, salad dressing, cooking oil, margarine, mayonnaise, chewing gum, juice and soft drinks.
  • High-fructose corn syrup is a manufactured corn sweetener found widely in processed foods, including soft drinks. The sweetener is known to have negative health effects including increasing triglycerides, which is the main source of fat buildup in the arteries.

Nutritional Benefits

Corn contains an array of health benefits including fiber, B vitamins (thiamin and folate), beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (for eye health). It is naturally low in fat and sodium and is a fantastic source of dietary fiber. Corn is a whole grain that provides a good source of premium carbohydrate fuel and counts toward your recommended three servings or more of whole grains per day.

  • One ear (85 g) 
  • 110 calories
  • 1 g fat
  • 0 mg sodium
  • 23 g carbohydrates
  • 4 g fiber

Top 10 Ways to Relish Corn 

  • Make a roasted corn salsa─great on burgers, in quesadillas or as a dip for baked tortilla chips
  • Add corn to your taco salad
  • Prepare a black bean and corn salad as a quick side dish
  • Mix corn into your favorite cornbread recipe
  • Add corn to a chili or chowder recipe
  • Spice it up with chili powder or sprinkle with a small amount of Parmesan cheese
  • Add to your favorite guacamole recipe
  • Sauté corn in a small amount of heart-healthy olive or avocado oil
  • Bring out the smokiness by cooking it on the grill! Many grocery stores sell grilled corn in the prepared food section
  • Microwave for easy prep
    • Remove silk and wash kernels
    • Close husks around corn
    • Microwave for 1-2 minutes until cooked

Buying and Usage Tips

  • Buy corn in its peak season, which is mid-to-late summer
  • Choose ears with green husks, fresh silks and tight rows of kernels
  • Refrigerate with husks on and use within two days for prime sweetness

 

Provided by Elana Paddock, RDN, LD, CDE and Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.

Categories: Cooper Updates
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