Aw, Shucks! It’s Corn Picking Time!
It’s corn picking time in Arkansas and that means that fresh, juicy, sweet Arkansas corn can be found at your local farmers market, you-pick-it farm, or right in your own backyard! Many of our local grocery stores are also stocking their produce bins with locally grown ears of corn. Corn production in Arkansas is on the rise: 1 million Arkansas acres were planted with corn in 2013, the highest number since 1951. Two-thirds of Arkansas corn production goes to feed our booming poultry industry.
One ear of corn provides 10 percent of your daily recommended amount of fiber. It’s a great source of antioxidants and B complex vitamins. You tap into healthy amounts of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese in corn, as well.
With corn in abundance this time of year, it’s time to support our local farmer and buy a bunch! Arkansans have a generations-long tradition of preserving the bounty of the season. And what better way to preserve all that sweet goodness than freezing? By freezing fresh corn on the cob, you can bring just of touch of Arkansas summer to your table on those cold, winter days.
How To Freeze Fresh Corn on the Cob
1. Choose fresh green ears of corn. Check to make sure the husks are green, not brown. Also choose ears that are insect free.
2. Husk the ears of corn, being careful to remove as many of the silks as possible.
3. Wash ears well in cool water, checking for insects and bad spots. Cut out bad spots with a knife.
4. To Blanch: (Blanching is plunging fruits or vegetables into boiling water for a set amount of time and then plunging them into cold water to stop the cooking process. It helps maintain the freshness, nutrition and color of your produce.)
- Fill a large pot that has a strainer about half full of water and heat to boiling on high on your stove top. (My pot is an 8 quart size.)
- Fill your strainer with clean ears of corn. (I lay my strainer on its side and lay the ears so they will stand up and down when they are blanching.)
- When your water is boiling vigorously, quickly place the strainer filled with corn into the boiling water.
Small ears (less than 2 inch diameter) – 8 minutes
Medium ears (2 inch diameter) – 9 minutes
Large ears (greater than 2 inch diameter) – 10 minutes
When boiling time is completed, remove strainer from boiling water and plunge ears into cold water. You can add ice to water to speed this along.
5. Remove ears from water when they cool to room temperature. Place on strainer or towels to dry.
6. Repeat blanching process until all ears of corn are blanched, cooled and dry.
7. Wrap each ear of corn individually in plastic wrap.
8. Place wrapped corn in labeled gallon-sized zipper bags and remove as much air as possible from bags.
9. Freeze until ready to use, or up to one year.