A Tasteful look at Sweet Corn

By Danielle Pothier, MS, RD, CHWC, Wellness Specialist Northwestern Lifestyle Medicine and Johanna Setta, Food Access Coordinator, Healthy Roots Collaborative

Is there anything better than eating fresh sweet corn? Its complex sweetness makes it a great accessory to any barbeque. However, corn tends to get a bad rap due to it higher starch content compared to other vegetables, thus believed to offer little or no nutrition value and therefore should not be eaten. When in fact, one ear of corn counts towards one daily serving of vegetables and contains a variety of nutrients, such as fiber (3 grams), protein (4 grams), Vitamin C (15% of the Daily Value), and Thiamin (10% of the Daily Value), to name a few.

While corn can be a healthy option, it’s the toppings that could be reconsidered. Next time, instead of smothering it in butter and salt, season your cob of corn with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or with some of your favorite herbs and spices, such as chili powder, parsley and chives. Corn can also make a great additional to any soup, salad, or salsa.

This crop pops up in Vermont from August to September. There are many varieties of sweet corn and although you might think this crop is a space hog, it’s actually conducive to growing in small backyard spaces. Sweet Corn is wind pollinated, so it’s better planted in blocks not rows.

Sweet Corn is best when it’s fresh. So pick it up from your local farmer and enjoy with your family for dinner that night. If you need to store it for a day or two, pop it in the fridge with the husk on it. If you aren’t ready to eat that week, you can also choose to freeze kernels to enjoy throughout the year by peeling the husks back and shaving the kernels off the cob. Put kernels into a freezer bag and remove the air before sealing and don’t forget this delicious treat is in your freezer.

Looking to buy Sweet Corn? Check out the Farm and Food Directory to find out which farms in Franklin & Grand Isle grow Sweet Corn by going to www.healthyrootsvt.org