Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Preserving Corn; Canning, Freezing and Recipes

Preserving Corn; Canning, Freezing and Recipes

By Jalapeno Gal77 - via APN

cornNot having corn in our food storage is just NOT an option.  Our family loves sweet corn and there is so much you can do with corn in recipes it is worth the time and effort it takes to freeze or can corn.  Freezing fresh corn is a lot easier than I thought it would be and had I known how easy, I would of done a lot more a lot sooner.  I will discuss freezing corn and canning corn in this article and I will add a few recipes at the end for things like corn relish and corn salsa.

One thing I like to stress to readers when they are canning for food storage is to know approximately how much of that item your family eats each week and then multiple it by 52.  (There are 52 weeks in a year)  For example; my family of 4 eats 2 pints of corn a week.  52 weeks x 2 pints of corn = 104 pints a year. That is how much I would need for us to eat corn twice a week for a year.  That is not including extra if I use it in recipes.  Another way to do this would be; 2 pints = 1 quarts.  So if I wanted to jar the corn in quarts instead of pints I would work it this way.  104 pints divided by 2 = 52 quarts.  Knowing how much your family eats of what you store is an important step to knowing HOW much to store of one thing so you’re not over stocking on one item and under stocking on another.

Freezing Corn

Things you will need:
  • Freezer bags/vacuum seal bags and sharpie
  • stockpot
  • ice water
  • bowls
  • tongs
  • Knife or corn kernel er
  • Pull the husks off of the corn.  An easy way to do this is to microwave the corn for about 4 minutes an ear and the husks and silks slide right off.
  • Fill your stock pot with water and bring to a rolling boil.  Put 3 or 4 ears of corn in the water and return it to a boil.  Blanch it about 3 minutes.
  • Get your bucket or tub of ice water ready and pull the corn from the stock pot with the tongs and drop immediately into ice water to stop the cooking process.
  • Once the corn is cool, Place ear standing up in your bowl and cut the corn off the cob using a sharp knife or your corn kernel er.  (Those are really cool by the way and save so much time.)
  • Mark the date on your freezer bags and then begin putting your corn in the bag.  Leave about 1/2 an inch to an inch air space at the top of the bag, but squeeze the air out when you seal it.  If you choose to you, can use smaller size bags for dinner size servings.  We have a deep freezer we keep the big bags of corn in, but we also use the sandwich size bags to keep in the freezer in our kitchen so we can just grab it for dinner and heat it up. :)
Canning your corn  

41ExleWRSrLNote: It is recommended that you pressure cook the corn verses water can it. The choice is really yours. I know people who do both, but the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends pressure cooking it. (chapter 4 page 11)

Things you will need:
  • Canning tools (Jar lifter, labels, pressure cooker, rings, lids, ladle, funnel, jars)
  • Corn
  • tongs
  • Knife/Corn Kernel er
  • bowls
  • ice water
Canning corn Process
  • You’re going to follow all the steps above listed under freezing corn. (Except the bag it and freeze it part)
  • Wash/ boil the seals and jars
  • Spoon the blanched corn kernels into the jars and leave about an inch head-space at the top of the jars. Do not pack the corn in tight.  Add a half teaspoon of salt and a tsp of distilled white vinegar to each pint jar.
  • Pour boiling water into the jar making sure to leave the 1 inch head-space
  • Wipe the rims to make sure the rims are dry and place the seals on and then screw the ring on finger tight.
  • Follow the steps that your pressure cooker gives on canning vegetables carefully.
  • Place processed jars on a towel to cool for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, check your seals to make sure they sealed properly.  If some did not seal properly, you can process again to seal that jar or you can use it for dinner that night :)   Your choice.
As you can see, preserving your corn isn’t that difficult and you will save money in the long run to use towards other things instead of buying corn at the store!!

Uses: Corn makes corn oil, corn syrup, corn starch, corn sweeteners, ethanol, whiskey and many other things.

As promised (I didn’t forget this time :) ) Here is a recipe I use for a delightfully sweet corn relish.

SWEET CORN RELISH- 6-7 pint jars

  • 8-10 cups of fresh corn from the husks, scrape the juice (milk) from the husks into the pot as well, about 10 ears of fresh corn
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped (About 7 cups)
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped cucumber (Including the peel)
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Pablano Pepper  or a small jalapeno (Both are optional, they just add a small amount of heat to the relish which I love)
  • 4 cups red ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Cut the corn off the cobs into a large pot and scrape the juice, also known as the corn milk into the pot.  You should have at least 8 cups of corn.  Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil using high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  • Sterilize your jars as the mix is cooking.
  • Pour hot corn relish into hot jars and leave about a 1/4 inch head space.
  • Using a plastic or rubber utensil (anything but metal) gently push the air bubbles out of relish.
  • Wipe rims dry and place seal on jar.  Screw rims on finger tight.
  • Process in a water canner for 15 minutes then remove.
  • Let cool for 12 hours and check seals.  If sealed, you can store in a cool dark place for up to 2 years (or longer, ours never lasted longer than that because we eat it :) )  Or eat!
Enjoy your corn relish on or with anything!!!
Now for my FAVORITE!!

CORN SALSA- makes about 3 cups of salsa

  • 2-3 cups of your frozen corn
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onions, I usually add a little more, its all according to your taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers (don’t forget to wear gloves)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
These ingredients are optional, but if you add them there will be altercations to the ingredients above:
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • about a 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
Mix all the ingredients and chill in refrigerator 2-3 hours. Stir before serving.
If you choose to add the extra ingredients you will need to add more lime juice, a little more cilantro and about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. You can add more or less of any of the ingredients to get the taste you and your family likes. If you have any ideas to add to the recipe please feel free to add it to the comments!!

Keepin It Spicy,
Jalapeño Gal