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Nutrition and Health

Corn provides vitamin A, minerals and protein. Corn is a source of carbohydrates and food energy. One cooked ear contains 85 calories.


Top quality sweet corn ears have fresh green husks and are well filled with bright-colored, plump and milky kernels. Ears should be free of insect and disease damage. Husks and ears should glisten with moistness. Corn is overripe if indentions have formed in the kernels or kernel contents are doughy when broken.


For highest quality, use ears promptly. If fresh sweet corn is to be kept for any period of time, husk, immerse and hold in ice water and refrigerate at temperatures near 32°F.


Boiling is the most common method of cooking corn. Place corn in enough unsalted, cold water to cover (salt toughens corn). Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to each gallon of water, as desired. Heat to boiling, boil uncovered 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let corn stand about 10 minutes before serving. Season with butter, salt and pepper.

Corn can be steamed by arranging corn on steaming rack. Place rack in steamer over 1 inch of water. Bring to boil. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until corn is tender crisp.

Some herbs that add interesting flavors to corn are basil, cayenne red pepper, celery seed, chili powder and rosemary.


Mexican Corn Salad

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 ounces Cojita cheese or Parmesan, crumbled (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus more for serving
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Prepare grill for medium heat. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until tender and charred, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool slightly. Cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a medium bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, cayenne, if using, cheese and the 2 tablespoons of cilantro, in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Add corn and toss to combine. Top with more cheese and cilantro. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Cover and chill. 4 servings

Dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Corn can be grilled and cut from cobs 1 hour ahead of time.

Scalloped Corn

  • 2 cups whole kernel corn
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup minced green pepper
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ¾ cup cream
  • dry bread crumbs

Place in baking dish and sprinkle with dry bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes.

Mexican Corn

  • ½ cup green chiles
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1¾ cups stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups whole kernel corn
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup grated cheese

Saute green chiles and onion in oil. Add chili powder and tomatoes. Add corn and pour into baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. During the last 5 minutes, sprinkle the grated cheese on top.

Corn Chowder

  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup raw, peeled, diced potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups whole kernel corn (fresh, frozen or canned)

Saute onion, celery and pepper in 2 tablespoons oil. Add potatoes, water, and spices, simmer until potatoes are tender. Mix flour with ½ cup of milk and add to potato mixture. Add the remaining milk with corn. Heat, but do not boil the soup.

Skillet Corn Bread

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 ears of sweet corn, kernels cut from cob (about 1 to 1½ cups)
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in 4 pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place rack in middle position. Place a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet or 9×9-inch metal pan in oven to preheat for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal and buttermilk. Set aside.

Process the corn kernels in a blender until very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and deep yellow, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Carefully add the oil to the hot skillet and continue to bake until oil is just smoking, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and add butter, carefully swirling pan until butter is melted. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of oil mixture into the cornmeal, leaving remaining oil mixture in pan.

Whisk corn puree, beaten eggs, baking powder, baking soda and salt into cornmeal mixture until well-combined.

Pour mixture into the hot skillet and bake until top begins to crack and edges are golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let corn bread cool in pan for 5 minutes. Place a plate over the top of corn bread, then carefully turn over the skillet until the corn bread releases. Then cover corn bread with a serving plate and flip it so it’s right side up. Serve warm.

Additions: Stir in ¼ cup chopped jalapeños, ¾ cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, or 3 to 4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon just before baking.

Leif Albertson, Extension Faculty, Health, Home and Family Development. Originally prepared by Roxie Rodgers Dinstel, former
Extension Faculty, Health, Home and Family Development.

Revised February 2023