Archive | August 26, 2011

Corn – It’s In Season, Versatile, and Good for You!

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

One of the great late summer in-season vegetables is corn. Corn is believed to have been originally cultivated in central Mexico more than 7,000 years ago. Today it is grown on almost every continent in the world.

Corn is nutritious providing about 10% of the daily value of folate, thiamin, phosphorus, vitamin C, and magnesium. It is also a source of fiber and antioxidants. Popcorn is a whole-grain and, if air-popped or prepared with a small amount of oil, can be a nutritious snack.

When choosing fresh corn, it is best to look for corn stored in a refrigerated bin. If you are at a roadside stand, corn should be displayed out of direct sunlight. Overexposure to heat can encourage bacterial growth. Store corn in an air-tight container or tightly wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator if you do not intend to cook it on the day of purchase. Do not remove its husk since this will protect its flavor.

Corn is so versatile – it can be eaten off the husk, as a side dish, and added to soups, salads, salsas, pizza, and breads.

This corn soup recipe is one of my favorites.

Sweet Corn Soup with Poblano Puree
Serves 4 Hands-on Time: 30 mins. Total Time: 40 mins.

Ingredients
1 poblano pepper
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
5 cups fresh yellow corn kernels (from about 10 ears)
salt and black pepper
1/4 cup light sour cream

Directions
1. Heat broiler. On a broilerproof baking sheet, broil the pepper, turning occasionally, until charred, 8 to 12 minutes. Wrap in a paper towel; let cool for 10 minutes. Use the paper towel to slide off the skin. Remove the seeds.
2. In a blender, puree the pepper with 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth; transfer to a bowl. Rinse out the blender.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (do not let it brown), 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add the corn, the remaining 2½ cups of chicken broth, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. In the blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, adjusting the consistency with water as necessary.
6. Serve the soup with a dollop of light sour cream and the poblano puree.

Tip
You can refrigerate the soup and the poblano puree (separately) for up to 2 days. Warm over medium heat until heated through.

Nutritional Information

Calories 257; Fat 11g; SatFat 5.5g; Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 355mg; Protein 9g;
Carbohydrate 38g; Sugar 7g; Fiber 6g; Iron 1mg; Calcium 19mg
Adapted from Joan Munson’s Sweet White Corn Soup with Poblano Puree from www.realsimple.com