All About Corn

Colorful Corn Corn contains many B vitamins along with Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and Linoleic Acid. It contains more vitamin A than any other grain cereal. The starch content in corn makes it a high energy food. Combine corn with legumes and you have a complete protein.

Corn may be stored in a several different forms for a variety of uses. It comes in white, yellow, red or blue. Nutritional content varies from one color to another. For instance, yellow corn is a good source of Vitamin A while white corn is not.

Canned sweet corn is great for shorter term storage. Storage conditions determine, to a large extent, how long canned foods maintain optimal quality. One cup serving contains 133 calories and 4 grams of protein.

Freeze dried sweet corn re-hydrates quickly and tastes great. A #10 can may contain 15-24 (½ cup) servings which contain 70-100 calories and 2-4 grams of protein each. Brands vary significantly so be sure to read the label. Freeze dried products take more storage room than dehydrated. Good choice for longer term storage with a shelf life of 25-30 years properly packaged in a #10 can.

Dehydrated sweet yellow corn is a good choice. A #10 can should contain 77 (1/4 cup that re-hydrates to be ½ cup servings = 50 calories and 1 gram of protein) servings. Simmer 30-35 minutes to re-hydrate. It takes longer to prepare but notice that one #10 can actually contains up to three times as much food as freeze dried corn. Great for longer term storage 25 year shelf life when properly packaged.

Corn meal has a shorter shelf life. Cornmeal will maintain best quality only for 6-18 months. This makes it a great candidate for shorter term storage but avoid storing it long term unless packaged specifically for long term storage. The corn meal you purchase in the store has had the outer skin and germ removed. Grinding your own corn meal is much more nutritious … similar to the difference between white flour and freshly ground whole wheat flour.

Flint corn is a type of field corn. It has a hard starchy interior like popcorn. This hard interior tends to shatter when ground instead of mashing into a powder resulting in a grittier textured flour. It makes great corn meal. Shelf life is 25 years if stored properly in sealed plastic buckets or #10 cans.

Dent CornDent corn also known as field corn. It has a very thick skin that doesn’t soften up enough to eat even after hours of cooking. It makes good corn masa for tortillas or tamales. It is higher in starch and lower in sugar than table corn. Dent corn is an okay choice for grinding into cornmeal but makes great flour. A ½ cup serving contains 100 calories and 3 grams of protein. Shelf life is 25 years if stored properly in sealed plastic buckets or #10 cans.

Popcorn contains a higher moisture level than other corns (13-15 percent). Ideally long term storage Popped Cornproducts should have a moisture content of 10 percent or less. However, it can be popped or ground into cornmeal or flour which makes it quite versatile. It produces a grittier flour than dent corn. Popcorn is harder than other grains and should only be ground in a grinder capable of handling it or it may damage the grinder. Older popcorn may not pop well but can be re-hydrated by sprinkling with a little bit of water, shaking it and allowing it to re-hydrate.

Cornstarch is a commonly used thickener. It has an indefinite shelf life and stores well in a #10 can. It contains calories (107 calories in one ounce) but has little nutritional value.

Fresh Sweet CornNote: Seed corn is not safe to be used for food storage as it contains a fungicide. However, it would be a great idea to rotate some through your storage so you can grow fresh corn in your garden. Germination rate declines with the passage of time. Depending on the particular seed and storage conditions sweet corn may have a germination rate of only 50 percent after 3 years while popcorn may have a decent germination rate after 5-10 years. For best results, rotate your seed corn annually.

 

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