Corn on the cob is a well-loved summertime treat many people enjoy. It’s a delicacy that’s associated with outdoor gatherings, barbecues, and picnics, and it’s a wonderful choice for anyone looking for a nutritious and tasty food that is easy to prepare. But what do you do when corn is out of season? Learn to make buttery Instant Pot Corn on the Cob.
The answer is simple. You freeze it. By freezing corn on the cob, you can preserve its sweet, juicy flavor and enjoy it all year round.
In this blog, you’ll discover the health benefits of corn, delicious corn recipes you can try at home, and detailed step-by-step guide on how to freeze corn on the cob.
What are the health benefits of corn?
Sweet corn is a nutritious vegetable with high levels of dietary fiber, making it a valuable addition to any healthy diet. Fiber is essential for maintaining good digestive health and reducing the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer.
It also keeps you feeling fuller for a longer amount of time. Adding just 100g of sweetcorn to a meal will provide you with 2.4g of fiber, and including it in dishes with pulses or whole grains can help you meet your daily fiber needs.
In addition to fiber, corn is also a rich source of folate (vitamin B9), an essential nutrient that is particularly important during pregnancy. Folate is vital for developing healthy red blood cells and fetal development.
Sweet corn also contains vitamin C, which is important for maintaining a robust immune system, fighting fatigue, promoting collagen synthesis, and enhancing iron absorption. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat and can be lost during cooking, so steaming sweetcorn is an excellent method for preserving this nutrient.
Magnesium and potassium are other nutrients found in corn that contribute to overall health. Magnesium plays a role in muscle and bone health, energy metabolism, and reducing fatigue, while potassium helps to balance bodily fluids and regulate muscle function.
But keep in mind that sweet corn, like all starchy vegetables, contains carbohydrates and sugar, which can increase blood sugar levels. While it can be a healthy component of your diet, moderation is key. If you have diabetes, it is recommended to monitor your portion sizes when consuming corn.
To learn more about the health benefits of corn, check out Corn 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.
Equipment you need for freezing corn
- Ziplock freezer bags or plastic wrap
- Large pot
- Large bowl
- Paper towel
How to freeze corn on the cob?
Let’s go through the step-by-step guide on how freeze corn on the cob the right and easy way.
Step 1: Choose fresh corn
The first step is selecting fresh sweet corn. Look for one in season and free from any blemishes or bruises—the fresher the corn, the better.
Tips when buying fresh corn at the grocery store
- Look for ears with bright green husks that are wrapped tightly around the kernels. Avoid ears with brown or dry husks, which can indicate that the corn is past its prime.
- The silk top of the ear should be moist and not too brown or dry.
- Gently press on the kernels through the husk to feel for plump, juicy kernels. Avoid ears that feel hard or have gaps between the kernels, indicating that the corn is old or has been poorly stored.
- A fresh ear of corn should have a slightly sweet and earthy aroma. If the corn smells sour or moldy, it’s best to avoid it.
Step 2: Blanch the corn
Blanching the corn is an essential step in freezing corn on the cob. The blanching process helps stop the enzyme activity in the corn and preserves its flavor and texture.
To blanch corn, fill a large pot with clean water and bring it to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, add the whole corn and let it boil for 4-5 minutes. You can blanch multiple whole cobs of corn at once; make sure they are all fully submerged in the boiling water.
Is it okay to freeze uncooked corn on the cob?
While it is generally recommended to blanch corn before freezing, there are some potential benefits to freezing unblanched corn.
Freezing corn straight away can be a time-saver since you don’t have to wait for the corn to cool down after blanching. It can also help retain more nutrients like vitamin C.
However, unblanched corn may develop a tough texture or a stale taste during freezing, affecting its overall quality when thawed. It may also have a shorter shelf life in the freezer as blanching helps kill bacteria and enzymes that cause food spoilage.
Step 3: Cool the corn
After blanching, remove corn from the boiling water using a tong and place it in a large bowl filled with ice water to quickly halt the cooking process. Leave the sweet corn in the ice bath for the same amount of time it was blanched and proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Dry the corn
Pat the cooled corn dry with a clean paper towel to remove any excess water. Ensure the corn is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
How to dry corn for homemade cornmeal
- Cut kernels off the cooled corn cobs using a sharp knife.
- Spread the kernels out in a single layer on a clean, dry surface like a baking sheet, a towel, or a clean countertop.
- Let the kernels air dry for several hours or overnight. Stir or toss the kernels occasionally to ensure that they dry evenly.
- If the corn is not completely dry, you can dry it further in a low-temperature oven. Preheat your oven to 150°F (65°C) and spread the corn kernels out on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and keep the door slightly ajar to let moisture out. Check the corn every 30 minutes and stir it to ensure even drying. This process may take several hours.
- Once the corn has dried completely, keep it in a cold, dry location in an airtight container.
Step 5: Package the corn
Wrap the corn cob tightly in a freezer bag, ensuring that it is completely covered and that there are no exposed areas. Freezer bags are ideal for preventing freezer burn and keeping the corn fresh. Alternatively, you can freeze only the kernels, adding corn directly to chowders and soups easier.
To maximize the shelf life of frozen corn, it’s a good idea to label the package with the date it was frozen. You can also vacuum seal the bags when packaging the corn.
By removing as much air as possible, you can save space and preserve the corn’s nutrients, texture, and flavor.
Is frozen corn as good as fresh?
While fresh corn is considered the ideal choice, frozen corn is a convenient and tasty alternative. Frozen corn is typically processed and packaged at its peak freshness, which helps to lock in the nutrients, texture, and flavor.
The quality of frozen corn can vary depending on factors such as the storage conditions and its quality before it was frozen. However, if the frozen corn is stored properly and is of good quality, it can taste very similar to fresh corn.
How long does frozen corn last?
The shelf life of frozen corn can vary depending on several factors, such as the packaging, storage conditions, and the initial quality of the corn. However, in general, corn frozen in your kitchen can typically last up to 6 months in the freezer before its quality deteriorates.
It’s important to store frozen corn at a consistent temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or below to prevent freezer burn and other types of deterioration. Freezer burn can cause the corn to develop a dry, tough texture and a bland taste.
If you notice any signs of freezer burn or other deterioration, such as a grayish-white color or ice crystals on the surface of the corn, it’s best to discard it. Additionally, if the corn has an off odor or flavor, it may indicate that it has gone bad and should be discarded.
How to cook frozen corn
Boiling is a classic way to cooking corn. Here’s how to do it:
- Pour the desired amount of frozen corn into an instant pot and cover it with water.
- Heat water until it reaches boiling point and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook corn for 5-7 minutes or until it’s tender.
- Drain the corn and serve it with butter, salt, and pepper.
If you’re short on time, the microwave method is a very quick and easy way to cook frozen corn. Here’s how to do it:
- Place the desired amount of frozen corn in a microwave-safe dish.
- Add a tablespoon of water, then cover the dish with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid.
- Microwave the corn on high for about 3-5 minutes or until it’s cooked through.
- Drain the corn and serve it with your favorite seasonings.
Oven Roasting Method
Roasting frozen corn in the oven gives it a delicious charred flavor. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to a nice 450°F (230°C).
- Spread the frozen corn in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle the corn with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Roast the corn for 15-20 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
- Serve the corn hot with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
Sautéing frozen corn is a quick and easy way to add it to your favorite dishes. Here’s how to do it:
- Heat a tablespoon of oil or butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the frozen corn to your skillet and cook it for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle the corn with your favorite seasonings, like cumin, chili powder, or smoked paprika.
- Cook the corn for an additional 2-3 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
- Serve the corn warm as a side dish or as a garnish on tacos, salads, or soups.
Delicious Sweet Corn Recipes to Try
Sweet corn is a tasty and versatile ingredient that can be utilized in a variety of recipes. From salads to soups, it can add a sweet and savory flavor to any dish. Whether you’re looking for a full meal or a quick snack, sweet corn is an awesome addition! Here are 12 sweet corn dishes that are definitely worth trying.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn is a classic summer dish that is simple to make and packed with flavor. To make grilled corn on the cob, simply brush the corn with melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill it over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. You can also add some chopped herbs, like cilantro or basil, to the butter for an extra burst of flavor.
Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter
Corn on the cob with her butter is a simple dish that is easy to make and never misses. To make it, boil or grill the corn and serve it with a generous dollop of herb butter made with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, and thyme.
Sweet Corn Fettuccine
Sweet Corn Fettuccine is a pasta dish with a sauce made with sweet corn. It is typically made with fettuccine noodles, a creamy sauce, and fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels. The dish can be topped with additional ingredients such as bacon, garlic, and Parmesan cheese to add more flavor and texture.
Sweet Corn and Crab Cakes
This savory cake is made from a mixture of sweet corn kernels and lump crab meat, along with other ingredients like bread crumbs, eggs, mayonnaise, and spices. The mixture is formed into cakes, then pan-fried or baked until golden brown and crispy on the outside. The combination of sweet corn and crab creates a flavorful dish that can be served as an appetizer, main course, or as part of a brunch spread.
Cornbread Muffins with Honey Butter
These savory-sweet muffins are a perfect side dish for a summer barbecue or picnic. To create the dish, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt, then stir in corn kernels, milk, and eggs. Bake in a muffin tin until golden brown, then serve with a dollop of honey butter.
Corn and Black Bean Salad
Corn and black bean salad is a great side dish for any summer meal. To make it, simply combine cooked corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, and chopped cilantro in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Corn chowder is a comforting and satisfying soup perfect for cooler weather. To make it, sauté onions, celery, and carrots in butter until they are tender. Add flour and cook for a minute or two, then slowly whisk in chicken or vegetable broth. Add cooked corn and let the soup simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Finally, stir in cream and chopped herbs, like thyme or parsley, and serve.
Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas
These cheesy and satisfying quesadillas are perfect for a quick and easy dinner. Fill tortillas with corn kernels, black beans, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese, then cook on a griddle until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy.
Corn fritters are a tasty and easy appetizer or side dish. To make them, simply mix together corn, flour, eggs, milk, and spices, like paprika or cumin, in a bowl. Heat some oil in a pan and drop spoonful of the mixture into the hot oil. Cook the batter for a couple minutes on each side until golden brown, then drain on paper towels.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Sweet corn ice cream is a unique and delicious dessert perfect for summertime. To make it, steep cooked sweet corn in heavy cream for a few hours, then strain out the corn kernels. Add sugar, egg yolks, and a pinch of salt, then cook the mixture over low heat until it thickens. Let the mixture cool, then churn it in an ice cream maker until it is smooth and creamy.
Corn and Bacon Risotto
This hearty dish is perfect for a cozy dinner at home. Start by sautéing diced bacon and onions in butter, then add Arborio rice and cook until lightly toasted. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked and creamy. Stir in corn kernels and grated Parmesan cheese.
Corn and Tomato Salad
This colorful salad is perfect for a suer picnic or barbecue. To create the dish, mix corn kernels, ripe tomatoes, and diced red onion with a simple dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Following the simple steps above , you can freeze fresh corn on the cob and enjoy it all year round. For more delectable corn recipes, check out Jalapeno Corn Dip With Cream Cheese, Mexican Street Corn Soup, and Instant Pot Corn Dog Bites