It’s officially corn on the cob season admittedly, we’ve had it with almost every meal this week. . For me, a true marker of summer is that first tender-crisp bite of sunshine lathered in butter. Two weeks ago I saw the first big bins of it at the grocery store and I bought just enough for dinner that night. Then when I went back this weekend it was on sale. So I stocked up on a huge haul of it. Of course, we have our own corn growing in the garden and, it’s on track to be “knee-high by the 4th of July so hopefully, we will be harvesting our own this fall. But in the meantime, I took the opportunity to buy in bulk and I decided to set some aside to enjoy through the winter.
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Why Freeze Corn?
The answer here is twofold. With the current state of the supply chain, the question of food security is on the minds of a lot of people right now. Additionally, since this is our first year homesteading one of our top priorities this summer is to gain as much food security as possible. I’m working to learn as many food preservation skills as I can, and as far as corn is concerned, freezing is a quick and convenient way to preserve the sweet taste of summer.
Do You Have to Blanch Corn Before Freezing?
Blanching is a critical part of the freezing process if you want to preserve the crunch and taste of fresh corn. That’s because the natural enzymes in corn need to be inactivated before freezing. The blanching process will help to prevent the loss of color, nutrients, and flavor during freezing.
Selecting Corn for Freezing
When selecting corn for freezing, look for clean, brightly colored cobs that have uniform coloration to the silk and are free of any dark or dry patches. Give the cobs a gentle squeeze to ensure that they are firm and free of soft spots. Peel back a small section of the husk and peek at the cob, avoid any cobs that have dry or moldy kernels.
Shucking the Corn
The first step is to of course shuck your corn. To do this peal back and remove the corn’s husk and all corn silk. Then, trim any dry ends or bare tops from the cobs.
The Blanching Process
Bring a stock pot or large wide pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. While the water boils, fill a large bowl with equal parts of water and ice. Gently add the corn to the boiling water and blanch for 4 to 6 minutes. Then remove from the boiling water and place directly into the ice bath for 4 to 6 minutes. Equal time blanching to ice bathing.
Removing the Kernels From the Cob
After you’ve completed the icebath drain your corn and transfer it to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife work top to bottom to slice the kernels free of the cobs. An electric knife is a handy tool to have for this job, but any sharp kitchen knife will do. Now, you could throw those cobs away, but I urge you to save them to make Corn Cob Jelly. It has such a light and refreshing flavor and it’s the perfect way to get a second use out of what might otherwise be considered trash or compost.
Freezing Your Corn
Once you have all of the kernels cut from the cobs, transfer them to Ziplock freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. Be sure to label your bags with the date before freezing. Frozen corn will last on average 6- 8 months so for best results, don’t forget your packaging date.
Yield: One ear of corn usually yields about 1/2 cup of kernels and 2 cups of corn is about the same amount as 1 14-ounce can of corn.
Using Frozen Corn
Frozen corn can be used in the exact same way that fresh corn can be used. Simply thaw in the fridge and drain any excess water before using, It makes a great addition to soups and stews. It’s perfect for folding into cornbread or muffins. You can even make it into creamed corn. Really, the sky is the limit. How do you preserve your sweet corn for the year? Tell us all about it in the comments. And, as always,