While fresh corn cooked and eaten on the cob is a ubiquitous summertime meal, the kernels scraped off the cob make a versatile addition to a wide variety of dishes, from salads to salsa. You can eat the kernels raw, but cooking them briefly intensifies their flavor. Corn is a good source of fiber and nutrients, such as vitamin B-6 and folate, but it is also high in simple sugars like sucrose. To include corn in a balanced diet, eat it in moderation.
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In the Microwave
Put the corn kernels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add water, using approximately 2 tablespoons of water for every 2 cups of corn.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave on the highest setting for two to three minutes. Pull away the plastic wrap and stir the corn kernels.
Replace the plastic wrap and microwave on high for two to three more minutes. Drain the corn carefully and use as desired.
On the Stovetop
Heat canola or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Plan on 2 teaspoons of oil for every cup of fresh corn kernels.
Add the corn kernels to the skillet. Cook until the kernels are light golden in color, stirring frequently with a spatula or wooden spoon, about five minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Allow the kernels to cool and add your choice of seasonings.
In the Oven
Put the corn kernels in a large bowl. Add a small amount of vegetable oil and your choice of seasonings.
Stir the kernels with a large spoon to coat them thoroughly. Arrange the corn in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet that's been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Roast the corn at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until the kernels begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Stir the corn several times during the cooking time to keep the kernels from sticking to the baking sheet.
Things You'll Need
Fresh corn kernels scraped off the cob
Canola or olive oil
Wooden spoon or spatula
Rimmed baking sheet
Nonstick cooking spray
One medium-sized ear of corn yields about 1/2 cup of corn kernels.
Season cooked corn kernels with freshly minced herbs, spices or a small amount of flavored vegetable oil, instead of salt and butter.
Fresh corn starts to lose its sweetness as soon as it is picked. Prepare corn as soon as possible after it's been picked or purchased, and don't store it uncooked in the refrigerator for more than a day for the best flavor.
- The Atlantic: Chart - This Is What You Eat in a Year (Including 42 Pounds of Corn Syrup)
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Full Report (All Nutrients): 11910, Corn, Sweet, White, Frozen, Kernels Cut Off Cob, Unprepared
- Better Homes and Gardens: How to Cut Corn Off the Cob
- Eating Well: Corn & Tomato Saute