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Corn on the Cob – Freezing

August 26, 2012

Nothing tastes better than sweet corn in the middle of the winter – especially if you grew that corn in your own backyard.  Freezing corn is very simple and worth the little time that it takes.  You will thank yourself in the middle of the winter.  This corn will taste much better than anything you’ve ever had from a store.

NOTE:  Read all instructions before starting so you can have everything ready.

Start with fresh corn on the cob – as fresh as you can get.  Harvest corn in the early morning, especially if the weather is hot.  Harvest the corn at its peak maturity.  Immature corn is watery when cooked and over-ripe corn is chewy and doughy.   If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the refrigerator or put it on ice.  The sugars break down quickly at room temperature.

Use a large pot, filled 3/4 full with hot water, put it on your largest burner.  Bring water to a full rolling boil.  I add about a teaspoon of sugar to the water to retain the sweetness of the corn.

All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes that, over time, break down and destroy nutrients – changing the color, flavor and texture of food during frozen storage.  Corn requires blanching to destroy the enzymes before freezing.

Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the corn in the boiling water.  The water should return to a boil in a minute or less.  If it takes several minutes or more to return to a boil, you are using too small a pot or adding too much corn at one time.

I put about 6 corn cobs in the pot at one time, cover the pot and cook corn for 4  minutes.

Get a large bowl filled with ice and cold water.   After the corn is blanched, immediately put it in the cold ice water to prevent it from overcooking.  Keep adding more ice each time, to keep the water very cold.  Cool corn for the same amount of time as blanching (4 minutes).  Since corn on the cob floats, stir it around so the top can cool off too.

If your bag of ice has a large chunk in it, use this.  It lasts a lot longer than the smaller pieces.

Using a bundt pan when cutting the corn off the cob is a genius idea.  Put the pointed end of the ear into the hole in the middle of the bundt pan.  As you cut the corn off of the cob, it will fall into the pan.  I found it easiest to just cut it off with a sharp knife.  Some people like using an electric knife.

I bought one of these gadgets at Bed, Bath and Beyond but found it very hard to use.  It took a lot of muscle and it kind of chewed up the corn.  Glad I only paid $2.99 for it.

I had two bowls on the counter  –  one to put the cooled corn in and one for the cut corn.

Close up, the corn comes off  in strips.  As you put these in the bags, they will easily separate into separate kernels.

Fresh corn is very juicy, which makes it hard to seal in freezer bags using a FoodSaver.  When the air is being sucked out, the juice also comes out, preventing the bag from sealing.  I put the corn in larger zip lock bags and put it in the freezer to freeze the kernels before bagging it in individual bags.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that you shake the bags every couple of hours, otherwise you will end up with one big block of corn.  (I know this from personal experience and it wasn’t pretty!)  If you are going to eat the corn within three months, it is just fine to leave the corn in these larger bags.  Leaving it like this for an extended period of time will cause freezer burn to the kernels.

Once the corn is frozen, measure and divide into individual bags and seal in your FoodSaver.

When you are ready to serve the corn, it just takes about 3 – 4 minutes in the microwave, from frozen.  It doesn’t need to be cooked, just heated up.

Weight Watchers:  1/2 cup corn equals 2 PointsPlus

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