September 10, 2012

Frozen Corn

Let’s talk about “putting up” the harvest. After spending all spring seeding and transplanting, and then all summer growing, weeding and tending, it is late summer/early fall and time to start harvesting. Best part of the year, in my opinion!

There are lots of ways to preserve food, I tend to can some items (boiling water bath (BWB), as I don’t own a pressure canner) and I freeze some items (usually the ones that are too low-acid to can in a BWB).

Right now, it is corn season and every supermarket, farmer’s market and roadside stand is advertising fresh corn. The taste of freshly picked and cooked corn is like no other summer taste, fresh and delicious. But if you preserve it properly, you can get that same taste in the dead of winter, when everything is cold and dreary outside ...

I freeze my corn because it is a low-acid vegetable that you would need a pressure canner to can properly. You can freeze the entire cob, if you have a lot of freezer space, or you can freeze kernels. The most important thing to remember is that you ought to blanch your corn – or any vegetable - before you freeze it. While not absolutely necessary, it is recommended for long term storage (longer than several months) in order to kill the enzymes in the corn. These enzymes are what cause the corn to grow and mature. Killing the enzymes (during blanching) tells the food to stop maturing (freezes the “maturation”) and so helps to preserve the flavour, colour, and texture of the vegetable for a much longer period of time. Plus, blanching helps to remove dirt and bacteria. Be careful not to over-blanch however, because it will remove colour, taste and vitamins from the vegetable.

So, husk the Corn Cobbs, getting as many of the silks off as possible. Leave Corn Cobs whole for now.

Blanch 3-4 minutes (in boiling water).

Then immediate drop the Corn Cobs into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool. Cool 3-4 minutes.

Run your knife along the Corn Cob to cut off the kernels. Cut about 2/3 of the way down each kernel.

Then, when all kernels are off, run the knife back DOWN and then UP the Corn Cobs, to get the “milk” out of the rest of the kernels. That way, when you freeze it, it is almost like cream-style corn but fresher.

Pack into freezer-safe containers. 

I find that 2 Cups is a good serving size, as most recipes call for 2 cups of corn. 1 Corn Cob makes about 1 cup of Corn Kernels and “milk”, so 2 Corn Cobs per freezer container is a good serving size.

Label and Freeze.


If you don’t blanch the corn, you can still freeze it but it should be eaten within around 2 months of freezing. If you blanch first, and it is good quality corn, you can probably freeze it for as long as 10 months or so.

I use these in Soups, Chili, Cornbread, Salsas (mix in after opening canned salsa), Casseroles, etc. Even just heated up as a sidedish. Basically, anywhere you might open and use a can of corn, you can use this instead.

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