Preserving Corn (While We Can Afford To)
Thanks to the weather conditions all over North America, crops are failing at alarming rates, especially corn. The price of corn has sky rocketed and I can only assume will continue to do so. Corn is of course animal feed but it is also a major ingredient in just about everything we buy today. I went to the farmers market and was asked to buy corn for $5 a dozen (this of course is locally grown but not organic). Later that same week, corn was on sale at the grocery store for $2 for 10 cobs. I grabbed as much of the $2 corn as I could (it also happened to be local).
You can freeze a cob of corn as is. No prep. Don’t shuck it or cook it, just throw it in the freezer (although I usually look for bugs and give it a rinse first). To cook your frozen cobs of corn, you can cook them with the husks on (takes a bit longer) or you can husk them while frozen and just throw the frozen corn in the boiling water just like you would if it was raw. The corn is best if used before 8-12 months in the freezer.
Corn can be canned using a pressure canner. Because it is a low acid food, you cannot properly can corn in a water bath canner. Make sure you use an USDA approved corn canning recipe.
The easiest and most space effective way for me to preserve corn is of course my ever faithful dehydrator (which you can purchase here). To do this, you can cook your corn as if you were going to eat it. Once it is cool to the touch, slice the corn off the cob. Break up the little pieces of corn and spread it out on your dehydrator trays. It takes around 6 hours (or more depending on the humidity in your area) for the corn to dry. I find frozen bagged niblets of corn dehydrate a lot faster (and sometimes nicer) than your own cobs. Once it is dehydrated, you can enjoy it as is for a snack. It is sweet and crunchy (make sure you drink lots of water). You can also grind it into corn meal or corn flour. You can add it, as is, to soup or stews.
I’m personally going to do as much as I can. There has been rumor of the cost of corn going up to $9 a bushel in some areas.
Make sure to store your dehydrated corn in a cool, dry area in a airtight container.