Back To Basics- How To Freeze Sweet Corn To Enjoy All Year Long
The season for fresh sweet corn doesn’t last long where I live. I started freezing it years ago, because truthfully, you can’t beat the crisp, sweet taste of locally grown corn on the cob in the dead of winter! And, the price of fresh produce in the cold seasons can be a bit steep (cauliflower was almost $7 a head last year, ouch). Plus, I wholeheartedly believe that supporting my local farmers and eating fresh from the field corn, is better for me, better for my family and my community.
Friends of mine admit that they don’t typically freeze corn because they think it’s too much work. I’m hoping to change their mind, and yours, about how simple and rewarding this process can be. I like to freeze a dozen or so cobs at a time, so the task doesn’t seem so daunting. Before you know it, you’ve got enough in your freezer for a good chunk of winter.
Read on for instructions on how to freeze sweet corn!
First, use fresh corn. By fresh, I mean freshly picked. Visit your local market, or head to a corn stand on a farm and ask when it is the best time to purchase the corn freshly picked. Plan your work around those days. Around me, they are picking it daily, so I know I can visit every few days to purchase some for freezing. I usually buy a dozen, cook a few for dinner, and freeze the rest.
You’ll need a large pot full of boiling water, for parboiling the corn first, and a large bowl full of water with ice. Husk the corn, doing your best to remove all of the silk from the cob. Working with just a few cobs at a time (I usually do 4 ), place them in the pot of boiling water and set the timer for 4 minutes. As soon as the time is up, use tongs to move the cobs to the ice water. This will stop any further cooking from happening. Leave the cobs in the ice water for at least 3 minutes to cool. Keep adding ice to this water as needed.
Once cool, use a sharp knife to cut the corn from the cob. I try not to cut too close to the cob, I usually aim for about 3/4 of the kernel. This process is messy! For best results, cut the kernels off in a cookie sheet to catch everything. I scoop the cut corn into medium freezer bags, in two cup portions, since that’s usually about what we would consume at dinner. Our corn has been so large this year, that I have been getting 3-4 bags for the freezer from every 6 cobs or so.
After I’ve labelled the bags, I freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. Once completely frozen, they lay relatively flat, all stacked up in the freezer. I can take a bag out in the morning and just have to reheat the corn for dinner. I also know that I have a 2 cup portion which is a breeze to add when making soups and chili.
There is such an abundance of produce in the summer. I do feel really great when I can preserve the best of what my community has to offer for my family. And when winter has been long and hard, this is a welcome treat. It honestly tastes just like summer!
Tell us… Do you make the most of summer produce and preserve some for the winter? What are your favorite summer fruits and vegetables to “put up” for the fall and winter?
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