When I lived in the UK I thought corn only came from a tin.
Sure it was a vegetable and it grew somewhere, but I didn’t know you could buy it in another form. Only when I came to Australia did I realise corn came on cobs and tasted really, really good.
Fresh corn is now one of my favourite vegies. As well as being a beautiful colour, it’s so juicy and sweet. I love it barbecued, cooked in the oven and made into fritters. Plus preparing it involves one of my favourite words – “shucking”. I still eat (and enjoy) tinned corn, but I also like getting my mitts on the fresh stuff.
While corn does have some starch in it, it’s still low in kilojoules and fat and high in fibre.
Corn also contains the antioxidant lutein. I always think of lutein as a slightly bizarre antioxidant – because it occurs in such a diverse range of foods. It’s available in
- the generally antioxidant rich green leafy vegies
- egg yolks
- honeydew melon
- yellow flowers
- Brussela sprouts
- Green peas.
While green leafies are the best source, with 1/2 cup of cooked spinach giving 6mg of lutein, sweetcorn is also useful – 1 cup of sweetcorn provides 2.5mg of lutein.
Lutein is primarily important for the health of your eyes and in preventing macular degeneration.
The macular is an area at the back of your eye, in the middle of the retina. It’s responsible for the central and detailed part of your eyesight. You’re reading this blog using your macular, you drive your car using your macular and it also helps you recognise faces. The macular is chockablock full of lutein and this needs to be constantly replenished, to protect the macular from free radical damage.
This is a thick and rich soup: hearty and filling. I wanted my soup to have a smoky flavour and so I again used chipotle chillies, but this is not obligatory. It doesn’t freeze, but keeps well until the next day. Serves 3.
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 3 cobs of corn, remove kernels and keep the cobs (or about 2 cups of tinned corn)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 chipotle chilli
- 1 potato, finely diced (I left the skin on)
- 1.5 cups skimmed milk
- 3/4 cup cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Melt the butter in a large pan and saute the onion, celery and carrot, stirring occasionally, for about 4 – 5 minutes or until soft. Add the corn kernels, bay leaf and chilli and continue to saute, stirring occasionally for another 2 minutes.
Cut the leftover corn cobs into three and add to the pan, along with the potatoes and milk. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Do not boil the milk.
Take out the corn cobs, chilli and bay leaf and discard. Add the cottage cheese and parsley and stir through.
- Solomon, Charmaine, Complete Vegetarian Cookbook , 2002, Harper Collins, Sydney.