Tricounty News

Sweet corn is coming

It is sweet corn season in Minnesota – enjoy fresh corn on the cob, a summer tradition! Sweet corn is an excellent vegetable to store frozen. It is easy to freeze and produces a tasty, quality product when properly frozen.

When harvesting, do so early in the morning before the heat of the day. Plan to freeze the corn as soon as possible after harvest. Once husked, the ears are blanched in boiling water for four minutes followed by a complete cooling in ice water for about eight minutes. Drain and cut the kernels from the cob.

An electric knife is a handy tool for cutting off the kernels. Package the corn in freezer containers, leaving one-half inch headspace. Seal and freeze at 0°F or below to maintain quality frozen corn for up to one year.

Blanching, followed by chilling in ice water, are critical processes for producing quality frozen corn. The enzymes in corn need to be inactivated by blanching in boiling water for the recommended time prior to freezing to prevent loss of color, nutrients, flavor, and texture. The ice cold chilling process prevents the corn from becoming mushy because of overcooking the starch.

You can enjoy the great taste of summertime sweet corn all year long by following these simple, basic procedures for freezing vegetables.