Corn is a staple ingredient that is an important part of several diets, like omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan.
This universal vegetable is crisp, tasty, and contains a lot of nutritional benefits.
Corn is full of iron, potassium, and relatively high in protein.
It’s also a nice source of energy as there are around 86 calories per 100 grams.
This makes it a great addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet plan.
Though most people enjoy corn cooked or grilled, you may be wondering if it is safe to eat corn when it’s raw.
So, can you eat corn raw?
The answer is yes – but there are some things you should know beforehand.
You’ll learn more about eating raw corn in this post, including how to prepare raw corn and how to tell when it is ripe and ready to eat.
Can You Eat Corn Raw?
If you grew up on a farm, like around the Midwest areas, you may know just how good corn from the cob can taste.
Despite this, you won’t be able to eat any type of corn that you find in a field.
Corn comes in two main types, one of which shouldn’t be eaten raw.
Sweet corn is a type of corn that can be eaten raw.
A lot of people enjoy its succulent flavors when spring comes around.
Sweet corn is juicy, slightly milky, and has a light sweet flavor.
Even though it can be eaten raw, there are things to be aware of before you take a bite.
It’s important to start with the youngest corn you can find.
Unless you reside in the countryside, you won’t be able to pick one straight off a stalk.
You can solve this issue by visiting a farmer’s market.
Sweet corn is best picked as peak season arrives.
This generally begins in spring and continues until the start of summer.
Squeeze your corn cob to see how young it is.
This should feel soft to the touch, but not excessively so.
The corn should also have a noticeable fresh scent.
An important part to note here is that you need to wash your corn very well before you eat it.
It’s hard to tell whether the vegetable has or hasn’t been sprayed, so you’ll need to stay on the safe side and wash it thoroughly beforehand.
As noted above, there is one type of corn that you should never eat raw.
This is called dent corn.
Also called field or yellow corn, dent corn should never be enjoyed raw.
This is one of the most popular and versatile types of corn, but as it contains a lot of starch, it needs to be cooked before you eat it.
The starch makes the corn taste bad and can be hard on your digestive system.
If you do cook dent corn, it will free up some of its nutrients and won’t be as hard to digest.
How To Prepare Raw Corn
Now that you know that it is suitable to eat raw corn – as long as it is of the sweet variety – there are some things you should know before you start to enjoy eating it.
Make sure that you do the following:
- Obtain your raw corn from a farmer’s market or straight from a farm to ensure it’s organic
- Look for corn ears that feel heavy and dense for their size
- Peel the shells off of the corn to remove its silk
- Wash the corn thoroughly to eliminate any dirt, debris, or bugs
- Eat soon after purchasing to ensure its as fresh as possible
It’s best to buy your corn straight from a farmer, as you’ll be able to enquire when the corn was picked.
The fresher the corn is, the tastier it will be.
Corn bought from the grocery store is generally picked before they turn ripe, so they aren’t as tasty.
Another point to be aware of is if the farm has or hasn’t treated its corn with chemical herbicides or pesticides.
If you do eat corn raw, it needs to be organic to avoid issues later on.
You can peel back the corn’s husk to see if its kernels are succulent and distinct, as this helps ensure you pick the tastiest corn available.
Once you’ve shucked your corn and washed off any debris and dirt, simply take a bite out of it to enjoy it raw!
One option is to rub some salt, lemon, or olive oil on it, as this helps maximize its crisp flavor.
How To Tell If Corn Is Ripe
It’s important to know when corn is ripe, especially when you want to enjoy it raw.
Picking ripe corn ensures that it is the tastiest that it can be.
Here are some tips to help you work out if your corn is or isn’t ripe:
- Choose corn ears that feel as though they weigh a lot for their size. Like other summer season vegetables, this shows that the corn is packed with tasty juices.
- Find ears that feel tight, filled out, and firm to the touch.
- Peel back the husk and look at the corn’s kernels. These should look plump and juicy, not frail or shriveled.
- One way of seeing if your corn will taste good when raw is to simply take a bite! If the kernels are soft, succulent, and sweet, you can begin removing them from the cob and adding them to your dishes.
Ways Of Using Raw Corn
One of the easiest ways of using raw corn is to add it to a colorful salad.
A good example is a chicken and sweet corn salad.
This mixes fresh ingredients, like tomatoes, basil, and raw corn with a filling bed of chicken pieces.
Toss a lemon vinaigrette on top to bring out all of the different flavors.
You can also remove raw corn from its cob and add it to soup or salsas.
Gazpacho is an example of a cold soup that tastes amazing with raw corn.
Of course, you can also enjoy raw corn by itself, either biting into the vegetable or eating the kernels out of a bowl with a spoon!
Yes, you can eat corn raw – as long as it is of the sweet variety.
Dent corn, also known as yellow corn, shouldn’t be eaten raw, as it contains a lot of starches.
These aren’t that tasty and can be hard for your stomach to digest.
If you do enjoy raw corn, remember to pick fresh, organic husks and wash them very well before you use the kernels.
- 8 ears fresh corn
- The corn husks should remain attached at the base as you pull them back. Close the husks back up around the corn cob after removing the silks (as much as you can). For 10 minutes, soak the corn in a big pot of cold water. This will stop the husks from grilling too quickly and burning. Drain and pat yourself dry.
- A grill should be heated to medium-high. Put the corn on the grill and cook for 15 minutes, flipping the corn every 3 to 5 minutes, until it is tender on all sides. Husks can be tied back and used as handles after being taken off the grill. Add chosen toppings and serve.
- Remove the corn husk and silks and preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the corn on the grill and cook, turning every 3 to 5 minutes, until all sides of the corn are cooked and light char marks form, about 15 minutes. Remove from the grill and serve with desired toppings.