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Food & Recipes

11 Creative Ways to Use Corn Before Summer Ends


You can eat it canned, frozen, and dried, but you just can’t beat the taste of farm-fresh corn. It’s sweeter, more flavorful, and a great way to make the most of your summer eats. Even though corn isn’t a super popular backyard veggie to grow, you’ll find tons of buying options at farmers’ markets, supermarkets, and roadside stands. Best of all, it’s not very expensive. So pick up a dozen or two ears at a time because there are so many ways to enjoy it. 

1. Mix up some corn salsa. 

Some people like their corn salsa mixed in with their traditional tomato salsa. Others prefer to have a bean-based blend. Whatever your preference, mix up corn salsa like you would any other salsa. The corn is already in pieces, so you don’t have to cut it up more. Then you’ll want to chop up other ingredients like peppers and onions. A little lime will go a long way in either salsa. Then scoop it up with your favorite tortilla or corn chip. 

2. Be creative with your corn on the cob. 

You probably already eat corn on the cob, but chances are, it’s pretty standard and/or ordinary. There are so many ways to enjoy corn on the cob, though. There’s not really a “wrong” way to eat corn on the cob. Season it up however you like it, and don’t be afraid to try some things, like these unique corn on the cob recipes. You might invent a whole new amazing way to eat it. 

3. Sauté up some corn fritters. 

If you’ve never had them, warning: You’re about to be addicted. Hands down, corn fritters are one of the most savory ways to eat corn in summer. This recipe with jalapeño and cilantro salsa is an easy and good recipe to start with. One of the best parts of corn fritters is dipping them in different salsas, so give your favorite a try. 

4. Turn it into a salad. 

There’s a fine line between corn salsa and salad. As in, once you add a few ingredients, your salsa easily becomes a salad. You can also just add corn to any salad you already like to make. Your favorite cobb salad would be great with some added corn. You can also try the Southwest tortellini pasta salad here.

5. Let corn be the star in tacos. 

You’ll find plenty of taco recipes that use corn salsa as an add-on, but it’s not just an accessory. Instead, let your corn be the focus of your tacos. A bean and corn taco is perfect for a No Meat Monday dish. Pair it with fresh cilantro and your favorite cheese, and that’s pretty much all it takes. 

6. Make your own corn tortillas. 

Disclaimer: Most corn tortillas are not made from fresh corn. Instead, they are made from a special corn flour called masa harina. However, there is a way to make tortillas out of fresh corn, so if you’re a more adventurous cook, give it a try. (Here’s a tutorial to get you started!) 

7. Use your fresh corn on pizza. 

Yes, corn does belong on pizza. Sprinkle it on top of a cheese or basil pizza to bring just the right amount of sweetness and flavor. Then do some experimenting on your own. For instance, you might find you love it with sausage! Start by just adding a little bit of corn salsa on your pizza. If you like the flavor, start roasting it on top when you bake the pizza. 

8. Create your own corn atole. 

Corn atole is a traditional Mexican drink using corn and milk. It sounds a little odd, but don’t judge it too soon. It’s actually considered a dessert by many, and it’s really yummy. Here’s a traditional recipe to get you started. Try having it in place of an after-dinner coffee or in the morning instead of your chai. 

9. Heat up a corn soup. 

Corn soup is so easy to make. You just cut the kernels off your corn and then slow roast it over the stove. Add fresh herbs like this recipe calls for, and you have a great way to use all that corn you bought over the weekend. You might want to freeze some to have an easy fall or winter meal, too. 

10. Turn it into a cake. 

There’s cornbread, which is kind of obvious, and pretty cake-like. (Try folding fresh corn into your favorite cornbread recipe.) However, you can take it another step further by making it more of a dessert cake. Taking it to this level is like finally embracing sweet potatoes as being great for sweet potato pie. Corn cake it just as delicious. 

11. Throw it in a stir-fry. 

Corn works well as an addition in just about any stir-fry. You can also just mix it it with fresh veggies on the grill or roasted in the oven. For instance, it’s perfect with zucchini or fresh beans; a little bit of olive oil or butter is all you need. 

Of course, there are my other ways to use corn. For instance creamed corn or cheesy corn are both delicious and require very few ingredients. There’s also corn soufflé, corn chowder, and corn quesadillas. You really can’t go wrong to try corn as an accessory in your favorite dish. Chances are, you’re going to like it. 

This post was written by Stacy Tornio, the author of The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book and the mom of two adventurous kids. Together, they like planning vacations centered around the national parks.

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