Corn is a staple ingredient for most households worldwide. From flour to oil to high fructose corn syrup and everything in between. It is such a versatile ingredient. So what exactly do we know about this popular vegetable?
Sweet corn is in peak season between the months of September to May. It is perfect in soups, salads, main courses and even desserts. Let’s take a closer look at why this is a great vegetable to include in our varied diet.
According to The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, one serve of vegetables either weighs approximately 75g or is the equivalent of half a cup of cooked vegetables. The average corn (including the inedible portion) you receive in your FarmGate Online order weighs approximately 160g. Once cooked, the edible portion which remains is approximately 85g, or simply put, about one serve of vegetables.
So what does eating 85g of corn provide me with nutritionally?
According to the Nutrient Reference Values of Australia, 85g of corn provides us with approximately:
- 5% of our daily protein, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc recommendations
- 10% of our daily phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, thiamin (Vitamin B1), niacin (Vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) and folate (Vitamin B9) requirements
- 15% of our daily biotin (Vitamin B7) needs
- 20% of our daily fibre recommendations
You will be familiar with most of these nutrients from my previous posts but lets take a closer look at pyridoxine.
Pyridoxine commonly known as Vitamin B6, plays an important role in the breakdown of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins within our body). It also assists in the production of red blood cells. Pyridoxine has been shown to influence our immune system, our steroid hormones (such as oestrogen and testosterone) and our cognitive performance.
Keen to know more?
Additional nutritional information:
The health benefits of corn, in particular fibre and antioxidant composition, are an ongoing area of research.
One study published in 2007, discussed the array of nutritional benefits of including a variety of wholegrains in your diet. More specifically, focusing on the seemingly high antioxidant content of these wholegrains. In fact, corn has been shown to have the highest vitamin C content of all wholegrains studied, including wheat, bran and rice. Interestingly, some wholegrains, including corn, showed a similar antioxidant profile to that of fruit and vegetables.
In addition to this, soluble (digestible) corn fibre has been studied rather closely. The majority of the studies published focus on a synthetic form of this nutrient rather than from the source (corn) itself.
Two studies published in 2016 found that soluble corn fibre supplementation may increase calcium absorption in both the adolescent and post menopausal populations. This is of particular importance as both populations are at risk of not meeting their calcium requirements due to changes in their physiology.
For those of you following a low FODMAP diet, corn is high in the sugar polyol sorbitol and is relatively high in oligosaccharides. Therefore, consumption of corn is not recommended. If you have any queries, please contact an Accredited Practicing Dietitian for more information.
I have never tasted anything quite like the corn here at FarmGate Online. Just simply steamed it is so sweet, juicy and even buttery. You really don’t need to do anything to this beautiful produce. However, if you are looking for a little more creativity, I’ll leave a few recipes for you to peruse…
- Have a bit of a sweet tooth or are you simply looking for more inventive ways to add vegetables into your day? Why not give these sweetcorn pancakes a try? Perfect for a slow Sunday morning breakfast.
- These quinoa corn fritters are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Plus they are jam packed full of nutrients. What’s not to love?
- When I think of corn, my mind goes straight to Mexican cuisine. These vegetable enchiladas are a wonderful way to showcase this produce.
- This jerk-style pork with corn, black beans and avocado recipe has my mouth watering!
- This fried chicken with creamed corn and coleslaw recipe requires a little time and love. However, I promise you the end result will be worth it. A rather decadent and satisfying meal.
- This side-dish screams summer. Roasted corn, manchego and lime. Simple, quality ingredients which together make a winning combination.
- This recipe is a personal favourite of mine. My mother-in-law makes this every Christmas Eve. It is Nigella Lawson’s sweet corn pudding. A few handy hints: used 3 cobs of cooked sweet corn instead of canned sweet corn and use half the quantity of double cream.
- For those of you craving a heartier, comfort dish, why note try this spicy sweet corn noodle soup? It’s sure to tick all of the boxes.
Recipe for the week:
I first stumbled across this recipe a few years ago when I was looking for interesting salads to make for an upcoming dinner party. This recipe is sure to surprise your guests. It has this umami flavour from the miso, the sweetness from the corn and the nuttiness from the spelt. The radish, coriander and spring onion provide a welcome freshness to your mouth. Trust me, this one is a recipe you will make again. Perhaps not weekly, but one to save when you’re looking for something a little different.
TOASTED CORN AND SPELT WITH MISO DRESSING
- 6 corn cobs
- 300 grams spelt
- 80 grams smoked almonds coarsely chopped
- 3 small spring onions thinly sliced
- 3 radishes
- 75 grams shiro miso
- 80 mL brown rice vinegar
- 60 mL soy sauce
- 80 mL extra virgin olive oil mild-flavoured
Char-grill corn over medium heat on a barbecue, turning occasionally, until charred and tender (15-25 minutes). Wrap in clean tea towels and set aside to steam and cool.
Meanwhile, cook spelt in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender (20-30 minutes), then drain and spread on a tray to dry and cool (30 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl.
For miso dressing, whisk ingredients (doubling if serving the following day) in a bowl to combine, then pour over spelt, season to taste, toss to combine and set aside.
Cut kernels from corn cobs, then add to spelt along with almonds and refrigerate until required, or overnight. Before serving, season to taste with extra dressing if required. Add coriander and spring onions, toss to combine, then scatter with radish shaved thinly on a mandolin.
Adaptations which I made to the recipe:
- If you are running short on time, you can simply steam the corn cobs instead of char-grilling. You will of course lose the smoky flavour. I counteracted this by adding some paprika into the miso dressing.
- 6 corn cobs sounds like quite a lot. Just use whatever you have at home. You can add in extra vegetables to bulk it out a bit more.
- I didn't have smoked almonds so I toasted raw almonds alongside 2 tablespoons of pepitas and 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds until golden brown.
- I have made this recipe with barley before. Feel free to substitute whichever grain you have at home.
- This salad is wonderful the next day. Add in a can of tuna for an easy, balanced lunch.
Nutrition Composition Per Serve (130g):
|Kilojoules||Protein (g)||Fat (g)||Saturated Fat (g)||Carbohydrates (g)||Fibre (g)||Sodium (mg)||Calcium (mg)|
Note: this analysis is based on the above recipe serving 10 people as a side dish. Regular miso and soy were used in this nutrition composition. The sodium content will be lower if you choose to used reduced salt products.
What does this nutrition composition mean for me?
The following information is according to the Food Standards Code Australia and New Zealand.
- A good source of protein (>10g/serve)
- A good source of fibre (>4g/serve)
As always, feel free to comment below with recipe inspiration or head over to the FarmGate Online Facebook Group and show me what you’ve created.