Nothing can compare to the taste of grilled corn on the cob with a drizzle of butter, salt, and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. This is just one of the many delicious ways to dress up cooked corn for a nice hot meal.
However, there are times when I prefer to have cold corn in a salad so it made me wonder if we can safely eat raw corn.
So is it safe to eat corn raw?
Corn is safe to be eaten raw or cooked. Typically sweet corn tastes better than dent corn when eaten raw. Simply remove the shucks and silk and rinse the corn thoroughly before biting into it. Adding olive oil and salt will enhance the flavor and turn your raw corn into a tasty treat.
You also want to pick the youngest and freshest corn that you can get when eating raw corn.
You can also slice the corn kernels from the cob and add fresh raw corn into your salad, quiche, stir-fries, and soups. Raw corn can add a pleasant crunch to these dishes.
Since raw corn is safe to eat then why is corn usually cooked?
Why Corn Is Usually Cooked
Although you can eat raw corn, most people are more familiar with cooked corn.
There are a few reasons why corn is often cooked in the USA:
- Dent corn is a fibrous and chalky tasting corn species when eaten raw. Cooking this corn makes it taste better and releases more nutrients.
- The corn purchased at most supermarkets is picked before they’re ripe and will be days if not weeks old. Raw corn should be consumed from fresh picked corn otherwise the raw corn won’t taste great.
- Corn grown on most US farms are usually sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. It’s safer to rinse and cook this corn to remove as much of the contaminants as possible before eating.
Now if you have access to corn from a local farmer at a farmer’s market or if you grow your own corn then eating raw corn is an option you can try.
So what are the best ways to eat raw corn?
Eating Raw Corn
You can eat raw corn the same way you would eat cooked corn. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Try to get sweet corn since fresh sweet corn will be crunchy, sweet, and have tender kernels. This corn species is the preferred one for eating corn raw.
- Eat freshly picked corn. When corn gets older the kernels start drying out which means it’s harder to bite into and less sweet and flavorful.
Fresh corn also has a lot of health benefits such as vitamin B, C, fiber, and essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. So eat freshly picked corn as these nutrients start to degrade the second the corn is picked.
Here’s how to eat raw corn on and off the cob.
Eating Raw Corn On The Cob
1. Look for the youngest and the freshest corn cob. This cannot be stressed enough since an older corn will not taste as good raw.
It can be a bit challenging to find fresh corn at grocery stores since they are picked days before they’re ready and are days or weeks old by the time they’re sold in the store.
The best place to get fresh corn is from a local farm or farmer’s market where the corn cobs are picked fresh. They will have the best taste.
2. Remove the peels from the cob and get rid of all the silk. Wash the corn thoroughly under running water to get rid of any dirt. Dry off the corn and eat it directly on the cob as you would eat a cooked cob.
3. Add your favorite seasonings and rubs to your corn. Try olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to enhance the flavor of the raw corn.
Eating Raw Corn Off The Cob
1. Follow the same steps as eating raw corn on the cob by using the freshest corn and rinsing it thoroughly. Next use a sharp knife to remove all the kernels from the cob and place them into a bowl.
2. You can eat the raw corn kernels on their own or add some olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing to create a delicious salad.
If you’re willing to try a fresh veggie mix then chop some tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, onion, cilantro and mix them with the raw corn kernels and any dressing of your choice. Your raw lunch is ready.
3. You can also keep the raw kernels for later use. But remember that the raw corn will not remain as sweet and tender once it’s refrigerated. So eat as much fresh corn as you can and throw the rest in the refrigerator.
Refrigerated raw corn is great to add to soups and other cooked dishes since they’re ready-to-go.
Best Ways To Use Raw Corn
You can use raw corn in a variety of ways from including it in a salad to adding it on top of soup as a fresh and colorful crunch.
Here are a few examples of how to use raw corn:
1.Try Making Raw Corn Soup
You can make a cold soup with raw corn and other seasonal vegetables like tomato, zucchini, kale, spinach, carrot etc.
Simply blend all these veggies together and top it off with some herb of your choice like basil or parsley. Your refreshing cold soup is ready.
2. Another great way to use raw corn is by adding it to your salads.
You can either make a fresh corn salsa by adding some onion, tomato, jalapenos, cilantro and lemon juice to it, or add it to your existing salads. It goes really well with chicken and salad bowls.
These are just a few ways that you can enjoy raw corn. Happy snacking!