Tag Archives: blanching

Corn: On or Off the Cob

There’s nothing like eating fresh, flavorful corn-on-the-cob, grilled outside on a breezy summer day. But if you want to preserve some of that classic summertime treat for other seasons as well, then you might like to know about a few different ways to freeze corn.

Whichever freezing method you choose, select only tender, freshly-gathered corn in the milk stage. The milk stage is recognizable by plump kernels and a milky white fluid that secretes from cut kernels. (Some people even eat the kernels raw at this stage since this is when they are most sweet and moist). Husk and trim the ears, remove silks and wash well.

Blancher

Freezing Corn-on-the-cob is the only way to still bite it directly off the cob after freezing, but it is likely to become water-logged and mushy because it takes longer to blanch, freeze, and re-heat due to the presence of the dense cob. To freeze corn-on-the-cob, water blanch small ears (1¼ inches or less in diameter) for 7 minutes, medium ears (1¼ to 1½ inches in diameter) for 9 minutes and large ears (over 1½ inches in diameter) for 11 minutes. Cool promptly and completely to prevent a “cobby” taste. Drain and package. Seal and freeze.

Freezing Whole Kernel Corn is likely to produce crisper kernels than corn-on-the-cob, but must be eaten with a utensil or used as an ingredient in a recipe. To freeze whole kernel corn, water blanch 4 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and cut from cob. Cut kernels from cob about 2/3 the depth of the kernels. Package, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

headspace_creamcorn

Freezing Cream Style Corn creates a creamy texture as a backdrop for the crisp kernels which stands alone as a side dish quite well, but does not necessarily mix into other recipes as well as whole kernel corn. To make cream style corn, water blanch 4 minutes. Cool promptly and drain. Cut kernel tips and scrape the cobs with the back of a knife to remove the juice and the heart of the kernel. Package, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

Another way to prepare cream style corn for freezing is to cut and scrape the corn from the cob without blanching. Place the cut corn in a double boiler, and heat with constant stirring for about 10 minutes or until it thickens; allow to cool by placing the pan in ice water. Package, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

These recommendations come from So Easy to Preserve and are also available on the NCHFP website. More freezing tips can be found at http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/gen_freeze.html.

What you can do when you can’t can

Now that you know better than to can nut meats (except for green peanuts), what will you do to preserve those delicious fresh pecans, chestnuts, and other nuts? For ease and satisfaction, freeze!

Here are freezing tips specific to a few different types of nuts:

Chestnuts

Select fully mature chestnuts and slit their shells to prevent exploding during heating. Spread chestnuts in a single layer on a shallow pan and heat in a 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool, and package in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing. If you’d like extra protection, then double-bag with another freezer bag. Put in the freezer.

Pecans

To prevent brittleness while cracking, place nuts in a damp place overnight. Shell the nuts, keeping kernels as whole as possible. Spread in a thin layer to dry for 24 hours, then package in airtight containers and freeze.

Green (raw) Peanuts in the shell

Clean, wash, and rinse fully mature peanuts. Blanch the peanuts in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain, cool, package in freezer containers then put in the freezer.

Raw peanuts in the shell or out of the shell can also simply be packaged in freezer containers and frozen.

Information in this entry comes from So Easy to Preserve by E.L Andress and J.A. Harrison. (2011). pp. 288-289. Cooperative Extension/University of Georgia.