Each month the Whole Grains Council spotlights a different grain. The first Thursday of every month we will be featuring this grain on the blog. These blog posts will include fun facts, nutritional information and health benefits, and storage and cooking tips about the grain.
This month, the Whole Grains Council is featuring corn as the grain of the month! You may be thinking, “Isn’t corn a vegetable?” Yes, corn is a vegetable, but it is also considered a grain. It is classified as a vegetable when still on fresh and classified as a grain once it is dried.
• There are six main types of corn: sweet corn, flint corn, dent corn, pod corn, flour corn, and popcorn.
• Corn is not just produced for the food industry. It is also used in things like plastic, glue, soaps, and more!
• The typical ear of corn consists of 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows.
• Over 3,000 grocery products contain corn in some form.
• Corn is produced on every continent in the world, aside from Antartica.
Nutritional Information and Health Benefits
• Corn has a high vitamin E content, since vitamin E is an antioxidant, it helps slow down processes that cause damage to cells.
• Corn does not contain gluten and is often an ingredient in foods and recipes that are gluten-free.
• The vitamins and carotenoids found in corn can also contribute to eye health and skin health.
• Corn contains a fair amount of fiber, around 9%-15% depending on the type of corn.
• When boiling sweet corn on the cob, try adding sugar to the water rather than salt. The sugar boosts the flavor while salt causes the kernels to toughen.
• When purchasing corn as a grain product (such as corn flour or cornmeal) look for the label that says “whole corn” rather than “de-germed corn”. Once corn is de-germed, it is no longer a whole grain and is missing some of the nutrients that whole grain corn provides.
• Try finding recipes that substitute all-purpose flour for corn flour if you are needing a gluten free recipe
• When storing fresh corn, it is best to leave it in the husk and place it in the refrigerator
• If you are not planning on eating the corn within about three days, consider blanching, then freezing it, or just freezing the raw kernels
Celebrate October’s grain of the month by heading over to your local corn maze, enjoying some fresh corn on the cob or even making some homemade corn bread with fresh ground corn meal made with your Nutrimil Harvest.