Despite a challenging growing season that made it hard for farmers to plant their wet fields, local sweet corn is now available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. We are very fortunate to live in the upper Hudson Valley; home to best sweet corn in the world. You probably have your favorite variety of sweet corn, but new varieties have been developed that are sweeter and retain their sweetness longer, so try a new variety. Once sweet corn has been harvested the simple sugars that make it so sweet are converted to starches. So it’s best to purchase corn the day it’s harvested and eat it as soon as possible. According to The Ohio State University Cooperative Extension, if fresh sweet corn is to be kept for any period of time, husk it, immerse in ice water, and refrigerate at a temperature near 32 degrees F.
Although corn is considered to be one of America’s favorite vegetables, it’s actually a grain. Corn shares the nutritional profile of grains being high in carbohydrates, a good source of protein and thiamin (vitamin B1). Yellow sweet corn (as opposed to white) is also a significant source of beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), leutein, and zeaxanthin; two more carotenoids that promote eye health.
Corn is usually cooked before eating, but when you have really sweet corn it’s delicious raw. The recipe below uses raw sweet corn combined with other fresh Farmers’ Market ingredients.
Sweet Corn and Arugula Salad
8 ears sweet corn*
2 cups arugula*, torn into small pieces
2 cups cucumber*, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes*, halved
½ cup Feta cheese*, crumbled
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut raw corn kernels off the cob and combine with other vegetables. Add cheese and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 100 calories, 4g fat, 1g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 60 mg sodium.
Ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. For information about food and nutrition contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 885-8995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.