Fresh, sweet corn: is there anything better? Here in Ohio we are blessed with an abundance of local growers so we have access to the freshest corn and the best prices. Corn on the cob is an always delicious favorite but there are so many other ways to enjoy fresh corn.
While corn is a higher in calorie than may other types of produce, with most of its calories coming from carbohydrates, it still has a place in a well balanced food plan. Besides offering Vitamin A, iron, and thiamine, one cup of corn has 48% of the dietary requirement for fiber. We can't discount that it is also satisfying and tastes good. Food that doesn't appeal, no matter how good it is for you, doesn't get eaten. And why should it when there are so many delicious and healthy alternatives?
This is a very simple salad with only a few ingredients, yet it packs a lot of flavor. The corn on the cob is quickly blanched and then the kernels are cut off the cob. Roasted, grilled, or microwaved corn could also be used, though the flavor profile will change a bit. While raw corn tastes good, it is not totally digestible. Cooking breaks down the cellulose so that the vitamins and nutrients can be released. It's also important not to overcook the corn. We want to preserve its fresh flavor and crunch.
Buy corn that is a close to fresh picked as possible and keep it cold. The sugars in corn start changing to starch as soon as it's picked. Heat accelerates the process. While corn at a farm stand is always tempting, consider the stand before purchasing.
If the corn was picked early in the morning and sits in a hot stand throughout the day it would be better to buy from a supermarket that has kept the corn chilled. Some supermarkets, like Giant Eagle at Legacy Village, buy freshly picked corn directly from local farms and keep it cool for optimum freshness and taste.
Avocados add a richness and creaminess to the salad, plus a nice contrast to the crunch of the corn and onion. Avocados have over 20 essential nutrients as well as a nutrient booster which enables the body to absorb more fat soluble nutrients such as Alpha and Beta-carotene.
Avocados have around 50 calories per two tablespoons. Compare that to butter that comes in at a whopping 204 calories for two tablespoons. Think about using some mashed avocado on sandwiches to replace butter or mayonnaise and add a lot of flavor at the same time.
Herbs are about more than just enhancing taste. They are densely packed with vitamins and minerals. Cilantro offers vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, zinc, and thiamine. Beside that it has a wonderfully distinctive flavor and aroma. Red onion adds a little bite and sweetness as well as crunch. Limes serve a number of purposes in this recipe: a tangy bit of sweet citrus taste, a healthy dose of potassium and vitamin C, and a way to keep the avocado from oxidizing.
Oxidizing is the browning that happens to cut apples and other fruit in the presence of oxygen. If an acid like lemon juice or lime juice is added, the browning is retarded. In this recipe, lime juice keeps the avocado looking fresh.
Fresh Corn and Avocado Salad
- 4 large ears of corn
- 1 red onion
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
- (olive oil - optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Husk the ears of corn and just barely blanch them - 2 to 3 minutes at most.
- Cool and carefully cut the kernels from the cob.
- Cut the red pepper and the avocado in a ¼" dice and add them to the corn.
- Add the zest the lime, then squeeze the juice of the lime over all, making sure the avocado is well coated to help prevent browning.
- Finely chop the cilantro, leaves only, and add to the bowl.
- Toss well.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve chilled or at room temperature as a side dish. This is also good scooped up with corn chips.
(Olive oil can be added if a richer salad is desired.)
Classes made possible through the generosity of Hillcrest Family YMCA & Legacy Village Giant Eagle