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Three basic methods to cook sweet corn

The growing season for fresh Indiana sweet corn is here, so now is the time to really enjoy it.

Sweet corn is a starchy vegetable, but it’s also a great source of vitamins B1, B5 and C, as well as phosphorus, manganese, folate and fiber. Folate is effective in lowering homocysteine, an amino acid that can damage blood vessels.

To begin preparation, remove the corn husks and silks. Pull back the husks until the ear of corn is completely exposed. Using your fingers or a vegetable brush, remove the silks. Now the corn is ready to prepare. 

The three basic methods of cooking corn on the cob are microwave, boiling and grilling: 

Boiling method: Discard corn husks and silk. Fill a large pot with water, making sure the water comes at least one-inch over top of the corn. Cover and bring to a boil, cooking for three to five minutes. If eating corn disturbs your digestive system, try adding a half to one teaspoon of ginger to the cooking water.

Microwave method: Wrap each prepared ear in a damp paper towel. Place ears on a microwave safe plate or directly on the glass plate in the microwave. Lay ears flat in a single row. Heat on high for two to six minutes. Cooking time will depend on the microwave temperature and how many ears you are microwaving. If you can pierce the corn with a fork and liquid squirts out, it is done. This is a great method if you are preparing for only a few people.

Grilled method: Peel back the husks and be careful not to pull them off, clean off silks, soak the corn in water for one hour, then place on the grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently every five minutes.

There are some easy dishes you can prepare using sweet corn. Add it to pancakes, waffles or potato cakes. Salads and salsas are other recipes you can prepare. Fresh corn, tomato, onion and black beans are a wonderful combination. Making corn relish provides a real treat in the winter. Regardless of how you enjoy it, now is the time to have fresh, locally grown sweet corn!

For more recipes and tips from Purdue Extension Educator Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross, subscribe to the Food & Nutrition email newsletter.

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