Fresh-picked corn is a quintessential summer treat. It's a good source of soluble fibre, vitamin B, folic acid and the antioxidant lutein. While it's technically a grain, we treat the sweeter varieties as vegetables and pick them immature to enjoy their plump and juicy kernels. Cobs can be grilled or boiled whole, or the kernels can be stripped and used to add sweetness and colour to salads and chili.

Here are our best tips for buying, storing and cooking corn to maximize its flavour.

Buying The peak season for fresh corn is May through September in warmer climates, with local Canadian corn usually ripening in late summer.

While corn colours can range from blue to deep purple, our most common varieties are yellow and white. Yellow kernels are larger and full-flavoured, while the white are smaller and sweeter.

When choosing corn, look for bright ears with tight-fitting husks and silks that are pale and fresh-looking. Buy corn in the husks whenever possible.

Storing As soon as corn is harvested, its sugars begin converting to starch and start to loose sweetness. This starch, when heated, is what helps makes a soup creamy, and is why corn is a common ingredient in chowders. For sweet-tasting corn, you'll want to cook it as close as possible to when it was picked. If you have to store corn, keep it in its husk or in its original packaging and remove just before cooking.

Cooking Corn is delicious whole, either boiled or grilled, or stripped from the cob.

Boiling: Husk and remove silks. Cut in half for easier handling.

Grilling: Trim the loose silks from the corn and soak the husks in water for 10 minutes before continuing as the recipe instructs.

Removing kernels: Cut the stalk off at the end of the cob to create a flat surface, then stand the cob upright and slice off the kernels with a sharp knife. Do this on a baking tray to help contain the kernels.

Longing for corn in the winter? Frozen corn is readily available in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Add it straight to whatever you're cooking without defrosting. Small amounts of frozen corn will defrost in minutes at room temperature for recipes that do not require cooking.

Use up fresh or frozen corn in any of these best-ever recipes:

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad
Grilled Corn With Chipotle Lime Butter
Black Bean Chili with Corn
Black Bean Corn Salsa
Grilled Corn with Lime Chili Butter
Grilled Corn with Smoky Orange Mayonnaise
Corn and Bacon Chowder
Eat-the-Bowl Rainbow Chili
Upside-Down Nacho Bake
Clam Chowder
Corn and Zucchini Saute
Creamed Corn
Dilled Potato and Grilled Corn Salad
White Balsamic-Glazed Salmon with Corn and Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Peel and Eat Shrimp Boil
Upside-Down Corn Tart

Tags: corn, grilling, hearty salads


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