Healthy Corn Recipe: Corn Cakes

Corn CakesOne of the easy healthy recipes that makes a scrumptious snack, side dish or easy appetizers, corn cakes is fried until golden and served with a delicious sour cream dip flavored with cilantro. This is a Mexican-inspired recipe that can also be served with salsa or guacamole. You can also have corn cakes for breakfast, smeared with butter and corn syrup, in lieu of pancakes. Adapted from Cooking For Friends, corn cakes also make a fun and awesome party food.

Made from simple ingredients, the batter consists of yellow cornmeal, baking powder, granulated sugar, whole kernel corn, water, skim milk, egg, and dried chives. The flour, baking powder, and the sugar are mixed separately to make sure they are evenly distributed. Hot boiling water is added to the yellow cornmeal to make the base for the batter and mixed until it is nice and smooth. The other moist ingredients, namely the eggs, kernel corn, and milk as well as the chives are added to the batter and stirred. It is important that when you add the flour mixture to the moist batter, you only mix it just until all the flour is moistened. Do not over mix the batter when you have added the flour mixture or the dough will be dense as opposed to light, fluffy and airy. A bit of lumps is desirable. This incorporates air into the cakes as it fries and cooks so that it is crunchy on the outside and tender inside.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp. flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. granulated sugar, Boiling water, 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1/4 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, 1 egg, slightly beaten, 1 tsp. dried chives, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro, 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream

Preparation Instructions: Corn Cakes2

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and sugar. Set aside. In a medium-size mixing bowl, add enough boiling water to the cornmeal to make a stiff batter. Add milk, stirring until smooth. Add corn, egg and chives. Add flour mixture; stir until flour is just moistened. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Drop cornmeal batter into oil by rounded teaspoons. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are brown. Transfer cooked cakes to a serving dish, using paper towel to drain excess oil. Continue cooking cakes until batter is gone, adding more oil if needed. Stir the cilantro into the sour cream and serve with the cakes.

Corn cakes are especially wonderful served with Mexican dishes and make a stellar starter for a Mexican-themed meal. It also works with Asian dishes, particularly Indian food. This corn cake recipe is quick and easy to prepare so you can make it at the last minute. Alternatively, you can add cilantro to the batter and use chives for the sour cream instead of the other way around.


Healthy Corn Recipe: Corn Soup

Corn SoupDelicately sweet and so simple to do, corn soup is a comfort food and makes an appetizing start to family healthy meals. This soup has a light texture and full corn flavor that is best savored with crusty bread or warm biscuits. Cornbread and salad also make a superb accompaniment to this dish. You can use fresh, frozen or canned corn to make this recipe. Ideal for hot summer or cold rainy days, this soup can be served hot, warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Garnish corn soup with fresh herbs like cilantro for a Mexican flavor. You can also sprinkle roasted chile on top or diced tomatoes and diced avocado. If your having Mexican for dinner, serve corn chips or nachos with the corn soup easy appetizers.

All you need to make this soup are a few ingredients including corn, onions, olive oil, water, flour, chicken or turkey stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Most of the flavor will come from the corn so buy the best corn you can get. Sweet tender corn is best because it has the most flavor and makes a delicious soup rather than mealy bland ones. When buying fresh corn, it is best to buy freshly picked varieties. If possible, cook the corn the same day you bought it, ideally on the day it is picked. Once picked, the corn’s sugars start converting to starches and after three days, the sugar starch ratio of 80:20 that it started with will shift to 20:80.

Ingredients1 cup water, 2 cups corn, canned, fresh or frozen, 1 tbsp. grated onion, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. flour, 3 cups chicken or turkey stock, Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions: Corn Soup2

Bring water to boil in a soup kettle. Add corn. If using canned corn, drain first. Add onion. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or a bit longer if using frozen corn. Remove from heat and put through a strainer. Set aside. Measure and add olive oil to soup kettle. Stir in flour to blend. Add stock and seasonings. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Stir in corn pulp and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Choose fresh corn that has full and plumb ears. The silk hairs coming out of the corn should be a golden pale and slightly sticky. The more hairs there are the better. The husk should ideally be a gold green color and not brown. You know that the corn is fresh when you pop out a kernel and the juice that comes out is milky.


Healthy Corn Recipe: Corn Souffle

Corn souffleFor something more than the usual side dish healthy recipes of mashed potatoes or gratin, try this flavorful and luscious corn souffle. It goes well as garnishing for grilled or stewed fish as well as steaks and roasts. You can use leftover mashed potatoes to make this recipe and quickly assemble this dish in no time. While the term souffle might bring to mind complicated and sophisticated preparations, in easy healthy recipes are bit rustic and consists of two parts: making the pastry and making the potato puree and corn mix. The pastry creates a crispy golden crust on the outside while inside is a nice, creamy and rich potato and corn puree—smooth and airy like souffle.

Unlike a pie, the pastry mix and the potato and corn puree are mixed together after mixing separately. The heat from the oven allows the corn souffle to rise beautifully and create a tender brown crust. The water, milk, salt and butter are boiled together to incorporate the ingredients and cook them before baking. The mixture is taken of the heat and the flour is gradually added, stirring constantly to incorporate the dry ingredient. You can use a whisk or a hand blender or electric mixer to obtain a smooth and even consistency without any lumps. The eggs are then added one by one, while still stirring constantly until a souffle-like mixture is achieved.

Ingredients: 1 lb. potatoes, 0.55 lbs. (about 1 cup) cooked corn

For puff pastry: 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, ½ tablespoon salt, 16 tablespoons butter, 19 tablespoons flour, 10 eggs

Preparation Instructions: Corn Souffle2

In a saucepan, bring water, milk, salt, and butter to a simmer and stir well. Remove the pan from the heat and incorporate the flour, mixing with a blender until smooth no trace of lumps are present. Crack the eggs and separate the white from the yolk. Whisk in separate bowls. Whisk the yolk until it turns whitish and whisk the whites until it becomes foamy and stiff. Add the eggs to the milk and flour mixture and fold together. Prepare the potato puree. (1 lbs. potatoes for every 2 lbs. puff pastry) To the 2 lbs. puree, add 0.55 lbs. cooked corn kernels. Mix well. Mix the potato/corn mixture and the egg/flour/milk mixture and blend until smooth. Coat the baking cylinders (about 1 in diameter) with butter and sprinkle with flour. Fill about ¾ full of the mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 400 degree F oven or until puffed and golden.

The fresh corn should be cooked at this point, which is done by steaming or boiling. Scrape off the flesh off the cob with a sharp knife, making sure to get only the kernels and not the hard grainy parts. The potato puree is also prepared ahead of time. It is important to make it as creamy and as luscious as possible. To do this, use a potato masher or pass the mashed potato through a sieve and add lots of butter and some milk or cream to make it nice and smooth.