Showing posts with label ear of corn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ear of corn. Show all posts

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Corn It's A-maze-ing


Fall is in the Air!

The days are getting shorter, the night air is getting cooler and spiders are coming out in full force (at least here in the Northwest). I even observed my neighbor across the street making a new coffin for his annual Halloween extravaganza. A “dead” giveaway that fall is fast approaching. Soon we will see signs for haunted corn mazes, and it will be tough to find a locally grown ear of corn. So now is the time to look at all those delicious recipes for corn, and make it while it’s fresh from your nearby grower. Don’t miss out while it's still readily available.

What is corn?
corn ear of corn
Corn products tasty and nutritious.

Seems like a silly question… but is it? It’s not a “green leafy” veggie, obviously; it’s not a fruit (like cucumbers and avocados actually are); and it’s not a root vegetable…. So “what is it?” It is actually a grass grown cereal grain. It's important to make this distinction because corn is so often served as a vegetable with a meal. Understanding this difference is important to having a well-rounded diet, especially if you are thinking you ate your vegetables. If you ate corn, you actually ate a grain, which is a carbohydrate. It is NOT a vegetable. But corn does have its place in our American diet. In fact, given the history of corn it is more American than apple pie! Camp Silos is a history resource for kids and has a great interactive history of corn, from the first Thanksgiving in 1621. 

Lend Me an Ear

Do corn products have nutritional value?  The answer is a resounding yes! No matter the color of the corn you choose, you can be sure it offers you a cornucopia of benefits. Here is a sampling of what you get when you bite into this yummy piece of American history.
  • Antioxidants - protect our cells from damage.
  •  Vitamin A - needed by the retina of your eye.
  •  Quality Fiber Content - crucial for a healthy digestive system.
  •   High Protein Content - 5 to 6 grams per cup.
  • Provides many B complex vitamins - essential for handling stress.
  • Vitamin C - necessary for boosting your immune system.
  • High in Potassium - essential for functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles and nerve system.
  • Eat corn with legumes, and studies show the combination packs even more of a nutrient power punch.
  • How many calories in corn - One cup is about 143 calories of nutritious deliciousness!
The Versatility of Corn

Corn can be used in many ways. Corn oil, corn syrup, corn flour, baby corn, frozen corn, and we can’t forget fresh corn. You can boil corn, grill corn, make corn bread, tortillas and corn puddings or treat yourself to a fabulous corn salad. There seems to be no end to Corn recipes. It is probably one the most versatile and most used foods we have in our diet. It is the most popular crop sold in the US. So let’s resist the temptation to take this gift from our native predecessors for granted, and keep in mind as we eat it, that it is an incredible source of nutrients, and a tasty morsel for our mouths. In fact, give yourself a real treat and eat some sweet corn fresh and raw right off of the cob!

Don’t forget the Corn Maze!

haunted corn mazes
Richardson Farm corn maze in Spring Grove, IL

Maize, it's not just great nutrition, but great fun too! Soon all of the corn plantings we saw during the summer months will be turned into corn mazes. Mazes date back about 4,000 years. They were used in the artwork and architecture of ancient civilizations. Where is the largest corn maze in America? Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, IL is comprised of four corn mazes covering 33 acres of corn. This year's maze is a Girl Scout motif. 

Cornmaze.com is a website dedicated to information about corn mazes, where you can also find a corn maze near you. You can also type in your location with corn mazes in your browser's search box (Ex. Doylestown corn mazes) to find local corn mazes. 

Where is your favorite corn maze located? Share your family fun with us and let us know where you've visited a corn maze and how long it took you to solve it! Have a FUNTASTIC and healthy time!

Gwendolyn Adams
Contributing Writer