PRESERVE THE HARVEST SERIES: HOW TO FREEZE SWEET CORN
Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money. A sane approach to sustainability!
Next up…How to Freeze Sweet Corn.
LET’S TALK SWEET CORN
Sweet corn is available beginning about July 1 and runs through late September or early October depending on your climate. Peak season being between mid-July to mid-September 15.
WHERE TO BUY SWEET CORN
When buying sweet corn, just like any other fruit or vegetable it is always best to buy local when you can to get the freshest product available. Buying from your local farmer may not mean you always get the prettiest, but if taste is what you’re after, you can be sure they will have the best flavor. If you live in urban areas check out the Farmers Market, natural produce store or the organic section in your local grocery store. Most local grocers are now carrying organic produce. When the price is within reason, this is a great choice.
HOW TO CHOOSE SWEET CORN
The best way to buy a great ear of corn is to pick it up and inspect each ear. Does it have a good weight to it, feel full and plump in your hand and have plenty of golden silk tassels at the end? Do the husks look bright green, with minimal browning and curling? If so, chances are you have a good one. A good tip to remember is to buy fresh and eat or preserve quickly. Sugars begin converting to starch in sweet corn the moment it is picked. The sooner it is eaten the sweeter it will be.
It is possible to store your sweet corn for several days, but not recommended. Each day sweet corn is stored deteriorates the sugar content in the corn. Flavor and texture will be greatly diminished. If you must store sweet corn, keep it in the husk, place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. The colder temperature will help to retard the breakdown of sugars a little, but don’t wait too long. The best practice is to buy it when you know you are ready to eat it or preserve it.
HOW TO FREEZE SWEET CORN
Sweet Corn requires blanching, a high heat process that kills enzymes that cause the breakdown of sugar to starch. The breakdown is generally what causes the loss of flavor and texture in vegetables and fruits. Sweet Corn can be frozen as whole kernel or on the cob. I prefer whole kernel corn for the simple reason it tastes better and does not tend to get mushy or tough like frozen corn on the cob is known for. If you would prefer to freeze corn on its cob, simply stop after corn has been blanched and cooled in ice water, allow to drain well and freeze in heavy duty freezer bags or with a vacuum sealer. Making sure the corn is dry will help to prevent excessive icing of corn which can cause further breakdown of the corn when thawing.
OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper is invaluable when removing corn from the cob. For the past several years I used the somewhat tedious method of removing corn with a knife. It worked fine, but tended to make a mess. I also freeze a large quantity of corn every year, two to three burlap bags full and after so many ears, cutting that corn gets old. This year I tried something new and I am a believer. Never was something so simple and I am kicking myself that it took me so long. Once you get the hang of the angle that corn is whisked clean in moments and the mess is kept to a bare minimum. I love it!
How to cut sweet corn from the cob with a knife.
How to cut corn from the cob with the OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
- Corn, shucked with silk removed
- Stripper or sharp knife
- Prepare ice bath for sweet corn by filling sink with ice and add cold water. It is important to plunge sweet corn into ice bath after allotted blanching time to halt the cooking process.
- Bring large pan of water to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, add 4 to 5 ears of shucked corn and return the water to a boil. Set timer for 4 minutes.
- Once timer goes off, immediately remove sweet corn from the pan and plunge into ice bath.
- Allow sweet corn to cool for several minutes, remove from ice water bath, drain and shake to remove excess water.
- At this time corn can be frozen on the cob, or remove whole kernels with knife or corn stripper.
- Place whole kernels into heavy duty freezer bag, or vacuum seal as desired.
- Date and label sweet corn. Will keep for up to 1 year.
How to Freeze Sweet Corn shared with:
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