Corn Hacks

I’ll spare you the corny jokes and cut right to the chase. It’s officially corn season and we wanted to share with you our favorite corn hacks and utilization tricks!

Shucking corn is the worst part of fresh corn. It’s a mess and seems almost impossible to get all the “hairs” off. A trick we use in the professional kitchen is plastic wrap… if it’s static-y enough to attract your hair, why wouldn’t it attract corn hair? Simply pull a piece of plastic wrap from the roll and run in along the corn, and the hair will come right off.

Need to cut the cobs in half? Using a knife straight through the cob can be tough, not to mention dangerous since corn is prone to rolling. Instead, insert the front of a knife into the flesh of the corn just until you reach the cob. Roll the knife forward until the cob has made a complete rotation. Then, snap the corn in half with your hands. Easy and safer!

If you’re cutting the corn off the cobs for kids or using it for a dish, don’t throw away the cobs! The juice that comes off the cobs when you cut into it is great flavor. Instead, throw them in a pot of water with onion, celery, bay leaf, and desired spices. Simmer for two hours, or until the corn flavor is prominent. Utilize the corn broth in soups in place of vegetable stock or water.

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Raining or cold (or just too dang hot) outside but you wanted to grill or char your corn? Do it inside on the stove! Turn the flame on medium-high and place the corn directly over the flame. Rotate as needed until your corn is charred! Same great flavor as the grill.

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Hopefully these tips help you enter into corn season with ease!

-K

What’s in Your Food?: Vitamin D

Vitamin D… That’s the stuff that comes from the sun, right? What many people don’t know is that a healthy vitamin D level can also be maintained through food.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. What does that mean? Fat-soluble vitamins get stored in fat molecules and that’s how they travel and are distributed in the body. So if you’re getting your dose of vitamin D, it’s best to take it with or after you’ve eaten something containing fat. Other fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, K, and E.

Let’s talk about the benefits of vitamin D. It can:

  • delay the aging process
  • stimulate cell death in some cancer cells
  • help prevent cancers such as kidney cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer
  • stimulate bone growth
  • aid in healing of broken or fractured bones
  • help prevent osteoporosis
  • alleviate migraines (if taken with calcium)
  • prevent tooth decay
  • alleviate asthma

A vitamin D deficiency can cause:

  • muscle pain
  • muscle weakness
  • hearing loss

Let’s go back to the part where vitamin D can help alleviate migraines, when taken with calcium. The absorption of calcium is increased with the presence of vitamin D. So this not only can help migraines, but can also help bones absorb calcium better, for stronger bones. Vitamin D also aids in the absorption of vitamin A.

So what prevents your body from absorbing vitamin D?

  • antacids
  • mineral oils (they bind to vitamin D and hinder its absorption)
  • alcohol (depletes your body of the vitamin D that is present)
  • magnesium (these vitamins compete, rather than work together)

As all things, vitamin D is good in moderation. Excessive vitamin D in the body can cause diarrhea (ew, who wants that?), muscle weakness, nausea, and excessive thirst.

Whew, that was a lot of lists. Let’s get to the important part already… where vitamin D is found in food!

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Salmon and avocado is a great combination for flavor. The vitamin D from the salmon and the fat from the avocado is a great combination for effective absorption of vitamin D in the body, since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin.

 

Vitamin D is found naturally in:

  • salmon
  • tuna
  • sardines
  • milk
  • eggs
  • cod liver oil
  • sunflower seeds
  • beef liver
  • some brands of yogurt
  • some brands of orange juice
  • basil

For more information of vitamin D and how much is in certain foods, check out this great article.

All is good in moderation, but knowing what’s in your food is important! Why is it healthy for you? What should you eat it?

Pretty soon, you’ll be all shaped up to kill in food trivia 😉

-K

 

Disclaimer: This blog does not provide medical advice, rather is simply an informational tool to broaden the readers understanding of various health topics. Seek the advice of a professional physician with questions regarding medical conditions or treatments. Relying on information read on this website is at your own risk.

Techniques: The Cantaloupe

If I’m being honest, I’ve been spelling cantaloupe wrong my entire life until I started preparing this post. I even designed the summer produce list with the misspelling on it and had to re-do part of it. To think I almost won my third grade spelling bee, and I didn’t know how to spell cantaloupe? Absurd.

The cantaloupe, also known as the muskmelon, originated from tropical plants. There are many health benefits to cantaloupe. Cantaloupes are a good source of beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A when ingested. They are a great source for Vitamin C, and also contain Vitamin B-9. Cantaloupes are made up of mostly water – about 90%. Though you of course need to drink plenty of water, water-filled fruits can help you stay hydrated.

Though cantaloupes are available year-round, they are ripest in the summer. Not only is the flavor better when the melon is in season, but the vitamins and overall nutritional benefits are at their highest.

When choosing a cantaloupe, the easiest way to tell it’s ripeness is the weight of the melon. If it feels slightly heavy, that’s usually a good indication of a ripe cantaloupe.

Somewhat similar to cutting a pineapple, the easiest way to cut a cantaloupe starts with removing the skin. Once this technique is mastered, it can be applied to a variety of fruits – oranges, grapefruits, cantaloupes, pineapple, honeydew melon, and watermelon. Then, the seeds are removed and the melon is sliced or diced from there. Check out our tutorial:

 

All you need is a knife, cutting board, and a spoon.

If you found our tutorial helpful, we’d love for you to share it! I’ve seen people try to cut different fruit all kinds of crazy ways, and always want to share my hacks with everyone.

For more technique videos, check out our YouTube channel!

-K