Looking for more than corn on the cob

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 April, 2009, 12:00am
 

Wayne asks: I love sweetcorn. But what other ways can I prepare it other than boiling?

Wynnie says: Sweetcorn is low in fat, cholesterol-free and is a great source of vitamin C. What's more, corn is one of the best food sources of two antioxidant carotenoids - the plant version of vitamin A - called lutein and zeaxanthin.

Scientific studies have found that people who eat lots of lutein and zeaxanthin have a lower risk of developing a chronic eye disease called macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in large amounts in the macula area of the retina. The macula allows us to see fine details clearly. These two yellow pigments seem to protect the eye in two ways: first, they protect the retina against free radical damage, and second, they act as filters so helping to absorb damaging blue light rays.

The health benefits of lutein extend beyond eye health. This carotenoid may prevent hardening of arteries, helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

In addition to its antioxidant benefits, sweetcorn provides further health benefits as it contains ferulic acid which is released when you cook it. This plant nutrient helps to battle against certain types of cancers.

Sweetcorn is a very versatile vegetable. It can be eaten straight from the cob, or added to soups, salads (mix a spicy dressing of olive oil, lime juice, chilli, chopped basil and fish sauce, and add to corn with tomatoes and red onion) and even desserts. This soup recipe is another delicious way to enjoy it.

Sweetcorn chowder

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 ears cooked sweetcorn

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 cup skimmed milk

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper

handful of chopped coriander

Method:

Remove corn kernels from the cob by a knife from the top to the bottom of the cob, rotating until you've removed all the kernels.

In a saucepan, saute the onions in oil over a medium heat, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the potato cubes, corn kernels and stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook partially covered for about 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Season to taste, add milk and warm through.

Serve in small bowls with chopped coriander

Wayne's diary

Breakfast: Shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings; milk, chocolate milk

Lunch: Rice with pork or chicken and vegetables; soya bean milk, apple juice

Dinner: Rice with several dishes e.g. pork, vegetables, shrimp, chicken

Snacks: Chips, sweetcorn; cream soda, Sprite

Exercise: One hour badminton a week, three hours jogging twice a week, two hours football every school day

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