How to Dry Corn: 7 Ways to Do It Right
For any adult, one kind of ripe corn cobs associates with the taste of a happy childhood, when grandmothers in white scarves for a penny sold yellow delicacies to all comers. With what pleasure the teeth dug into the juicy flesh of corn, it seemed that there was nothing more delicious in the world than this cereal. Although times change, but culinary traditions remain unchanged, and today's kids are also reverently delighted to enjoy the sunny miracle.
- How to choose corn for drying
- How to prepare the vegetable for drying
- How to dry corn in the home
- In oven
- In an electric dryer
- In a microwave oven
- In the sun
- Drying in the storeroom
- Heat-sink drying
- Homemade dryer
- How to read the product
- How to Dry Corn Stalks
- How to store Dried Corn
- What are the benefits of dried corn
- What to cook with dried corn
- Corn halva
- Stew with tomatoes and corn
- Hot Corn Salad
Unfortunately, the season for this gastronomic treat is limited because corn loses its ripeness very quickly. Of course, the kernels can be frozen or dried to taste the healthy vitamin product for a long winter. Pragmatic housewives prefer this method of preservation, because in the dried form corn kernels retain the same composition of valuable components. There are several options for drying corn, which we will tell you about. And what technique is more suitable for harvesting, each housewife will decide for herself, based on the needs of her family.
How to choose corn for drying
At home you can dry corn in any form:
- on the cob;
- without the natural wrapping;
But in any case it is necessary to choose the correct source material, that is, corn. Criteria for choosing a vegetable for drying:
- Late varieties, which are harvested in late summer or late fall, are more suitable for harvesting.
- The cobs should be ripe, but not overripe.
- Choose bronze-colored varieties.
- The cobs should be undamaged, without signs of rot or mold.
- Harvesting should be done in dry weather.
Basically, these are the basic criteria for determining the quality of raw materials for the preparation, which later can be used to prepare delicious and nutritious dishes of different categories.
It is useful to know: By the way, corn dried on the cob can also be cooked.
How to prepare the vegetable for drying
As noted earlier, corn can be dried whole cobs or individual kernels. Therefore, the method of preparation for the process in the two cases will be different. The first option is ideal for owners of a private home, because usually in such estates there is a dry cellar or ventilated basement room. Preparation of the cereal product for drying consists of several steps:
- Select quality specimens.
- On each cob, bend the leaves, but do not tear them off.
- Next, tie each cob individually or make a braid out of them.
- Hang the resulting "garland" in a place where there is good air circulation. The test for readiness is simple - even with a slight shake the kernels will start to pop out of the cob on their own.
To dry corn in kernels you should perform the following actions at the preparatory stage:
- Remove all the leaves and stigmas (hairs) from the cob.
- Carefully separate the kernels. To facilitate this rather time-consuming procedure, put the whole cobs for 5-7 minutes in steep boiling water, and then pour a stream of ice water.
- The kernels extracted from the cob spread out on a piece of dry cloth spread on a flat surface.
- Allow to dry for a day. No moisture should remain on the surface.
Prepared according to all the rules, the vegetable products will pass without loss in the drying process by any method.
This is interesting: Dried corn can be used not only for culinary purposes, it is a valuable raw material for medicinal forms according to folk recipes. From dried kernels at home you can prepare a variety of cosmetics.
How to dry corn at home
There are several effective methods of home corn drying. All techniques have their own nuances, but they share the main goal - to ensure the preparation of a quality product with a long shelf life. Since corn kernels have a fairly strong outer shell, the drying process requires much more time than the preparation of other crops. Let's describe in detail the most popular options for home drying of the popular cereal.
In the oven
Removing moisture from grains by drying in the oven is a classic of the genre. This technique was used even before the advent of electric and gas units. In the olden days, our ancestors dried corn in a Russian oven, so the full cycle took a long time. Thanks to the use of modern kitchen appliances, this process can be reduced several times. On average, drying the product in the oven takes 2-3 hours. The sequence of the procedure and some rules that should be followed to get a good quality product:
- Separate the grains of the vegetable crop from the cob, rinse, dry.
- Be sure to remove excess moisture before sending the corn to the oven.
- While the kernels are being prepared for drying, turn on the oven and set the desired temperature mode. The best temperature is 45°C, but if you want to accelerate the process, you can dry the product at 100°C, but then the time of heat treatment should be reduced to 30 minutes.
- After proper preparation, place the corn kernels on a parchment-lined baking tray. The thickness of the corn layer should not exceed 3 cm.
- Regardless of the type of oven, leave the door of the unit ajar during the drying process. Such a measure will ensure the circulation of air masses and will not allow moisture to accumulate inside the device.
- To dry the grain evenly, stir it periodically. If more than one tray is used for drying, then swap them from time to time.
- After 2-3 hours from the beginning of the process, remove the workpiece from the oven. But this is not the end of the drying process. Corn should be brought to the right condition in room conditions or outdoors.
- In the oven it is very convenient to bring sugar varieties of corn to readiness after drying the cobs in the natural way. But it is obligatory to remove the grains from the cob.
Important point: When drying in a gas oven, you should remember that the combustion emits substances that negatively affect the quality of the product.
In an electric dryer
Today, convection drying of products is most common both in enterprises and at home. The principle of this technology is based on drying the material by washing it with any kind of coolant: a jet of hot air, gas-steam mixture, furnace gas. This method of removing moisture is provided by two devices: an electric dryer and an air grill. Of course, the method is quite time-consuming, because it takes about half a day, but the output is a well-dried product of high quality.
Scheme of cooking this way step by step:
- Before sending the corn kernel into the dryer, it should be held over steam for 10-30 seconds. For this purpose, it is convenient to use a colander. Such a treatment will allow you to preserve the corn after the heat treatment its natural color.
- Next, set the device to 45-60°C, but you can at the beginning of the process for about an hour dry the product at a temperature of 100°C, and then switch to a moderate mode.
- Place the prepared corn on the tray of the device in a thin layer, and then send it to the chamber.
- If you dry the corn in the oven, be sure to leave a gap between the body of the device and the lid, so that no humid air accumulates.
- If the desired condition of the grain is not achieved after a full cycle, finish drying the material at room temperature.
In the microwave
Technical features of the microwave oven do not allow you to dry corn kernels this way. The fact is that without adding water, the product will turn out over-dried with cracks, and its taste with this kind of processing leaves much to be desired. If you add water, however, the corn will simply boil rather than dry out.
In the sun.
Natural drying corn in the sun, despite the possibility of using smart home appliances, is still very popular with hostesses. If there is stable sunny weather, this method is ideal, if only because after three days of being outdoors the corn is completely deprived of moisture. So it does not need to be dried additionally.
The preparation process consists of only a few steps:
- Spread the prepared grains evenly on a tray covered with a sheet of paper.
- Put the tray with the workpiece in a place with maximum sun exposure.
- During the whole period of drying, periodically stir the corn. An indicator of the readiness of kernels is the hardness and shriveled surface of the product.
If the weather lets you down, and the corn has not reached the desired state, you can finish drying it in the oven.
Drying in utility rooms
Drying the corn in a utility room is a good idea if you want to get whole corn on the cob. Usually in this form corn is dried for feeding poultry and livestock. The whole process can take from a few days to a few weeks.
Such material is dried in a cellar or basement, but you can allocate a veranda for this purpose. The cobs are usually tied to a strong rope one by one at a distance of 50-70 cm or by weaving "braids".
Drying on a radiator
You can also dry corn on the balcony or directly on the radiator. When choosing this option, you need to:
- Select special grids for drying, so that they are sized to fit the dimensions of the radiator.
- Cover the grate with paper, too, and then place it on top of the heating element.
- Distribute the corn kernels in an even layer.
Some home craftsmen for the drying of corn construct a unit made of perforated tin, consisting of several tiers. Such a homemade dryer is suspended over a gas stove, and the constant circulation of hot air ensures the gradual removal of moisture from the product.
You can as an example for practical application in the home cite other creative options for drying corn kernels. But all such folk methods have one unifying feature - they are based on the natural process of dehydration of the product.
Useful tip: Popcorn fans should know that in order to get their favorite treat, they should choose sugar corn varieties. The primary drying of the product is done under a shelter. Whole cobs are tied by the leaves. It is impossible to over-dry such varieties, otherwise the corn will not "explode". If the product is still too dry, it should be kept in a humid room for a couple of days.
How to determine if the product is ready
It has already been mentioned above, by what signs you can determine that the corn kernels have reached readiness. It largely depends on the method of drying:
- In the natural method of air drying whole cobs at the slightest shaking of the kernels themselves begin to spill out.
- If household units were used to remove moisture from the vegetable crop, then you can tell if they are ready by their shriveled appearance and hardness. Well-dried corn kernels hit the surface like pellets when dumped on the surface.
These simple tests will help determine the degree of readiness of the useful product.
How to Dry Corn Stalks
In general, corn belongs to those products, all parts of which can be used to meet different needs. Therefore, when processing the cobs before drying the kernels, the hairs or stigmas should not be discarded, because it is a very valuable raw material for the preparation of medicines according to folk recipes. By the way, in the pharmaceutical industry, corn stigmas are very in demand, they go to the production of many drugs for the treatment of diseases of the liver, kidneys and gallbladder.
How to prepare the raw material for drying:
- Collect the fibers from young corn cobs. It is best to make a harvest in the summer. For drying for medicinal purposes, only the fibers that are inside the cob are suitable. Remove the black tops.
- Collected raw materials neatly distribute on a sheet of thick paper. A porch or any other room with good ventilation is optimal for drying valuable material. You can use an electric dryer to prepare the raw material, setting the appliance to 40°C. The oven is also suitable for drying, but the process should take place with the door of the machine ajar.
- Tumble the hairs regularly during the drying process. If they become brittle, the raw material can be considered ready.
How to store dried corn properly
- For long-term storage, corn kernels are best packed in airtight containers or canvas bags. When storing the material in a glass container in the lid be sure to make a few holes, so that the useful kernels do not "suffocate" from lack of air.
- Stigmas also carefully poured into bags or paper bags. Store the product in a dry, dark place.
- The temperature doesn't matter, and the humidity for storing the cobs shouldn't exceed 16%, while the optimal figure for the kernels is 13%.
If you follow these simple rules, the valuable product will retain its unique properties for two years.
What are the benefits of dried corn
The most important advantage of corn is that it is on the list of the safest foods. From the nutrient-rich grains you can prepare a lot of nourishing and useful dishes that are quickly digested by the digestive system. It is clear that the degree of usefulness of any product determines its composition. After drying corn kernels, the whole set remains exactly the same as in a fresh vegetable. This complex consists of:
- Nicotinic acid, known as vitamin PP, keeps skin and hair normal and normalizes liver function.
- Retinol rejuvenates the skin and has a beneficial effect on vision.
- Thiamine (vitamin B1) is necessary for the normal functioning of the CNS and also supports carbohydrate metabolism.
- Tocopherol is especially useful for the female body, as it inhibits the aging process, prevents the development of cancer, is necessary for the normal course of pregnancy.
- Minerals in corn contain a huge amount: it is zinc, iodine, copper, iron and another whole group of elements necessary for the normal course of biochemical processes.
- Corn is rich in fiber, which is good for the intestinal function.
- Starch, the content of which is very rich in corn kernels, is necessary for the normal functioning of the intestines and muscle tissues.
- Organic acids are involved in metabolic processes, regulate cholesterol levels and hematopoiesis.
Listed here are only the main active components of the composition of the grain. Making up the overall combination, all of the incoming substances in the body work simultaneously in different directions.
It is worth noting that corn has a fairly high indicator of nutritional value - the caloric value of a hundred-gram serving of pure product is 338 kcal. But despite the high energy content, in dietary nutrition, including the fight against overweight, corn product is one of the main ingredients.
Corn is considered a universal food, because it can be used to prepare almost any dish. The presence in the diet of this product positively affects the work of all organs and systems of the human body. Let's list the main actions of the cereal, which are beneficial for health:
- Increases metabolism.
- Improves the outflow of bile.
- Stabilizes the composition of the blood.
- Has a diuretic effect.
- Increases resistance to stress.
- Replenishes vitamin deficiencies.
- Saturate tissues with useful minerals.
- Promotes normalization of intestinal flora.
- Exhibits a moderate laxative effect.
- Due to the content of antioxidants it cleans tissues from toxic products.
- Neutralizes the effect of free radicals.
- Exhibits anticarcinogenic activity.
- Improves intestinal peristalsis.
- Stimulates brain activity, which is especially useful for children's growing body.
- Improves memory, so this product is a must include in the diet of older people.
- Reduces the intensity of premenstrual pain in women.
One can still long list the useful properties of corn, but the main advantage of this unique product is that in any form of preparation it quickly gives a good feeling of satiation and is perfectly absorbed by the body.
Important point: Corn porridge is prescribed by nutritionists for peptic ulcers and gastritis, liver and gallbladder problems. Of course, with all the usefulness of this natural product, you can not forget about the norm of its consumption.
What can be made from dried corn
Archaeological excavations in what is now Mexico have yielded stunning results. It turns out that the ancient Aztecs successfully cultivated corn 10-12 thousand years ago. Today it is a traditional food for us, but only a hundred years ago it was considered an exotic culture in Russia.
Thanks to tireless work of breeders all over the world there appeared many different varieties of this useful grain. Today corn is cultivated on every continent. Some sorts are cultivated specifically for vitamin fodder for cattle and poultry, other kinds are processed and arrive on the shelves of stores as flour and groats. But if you try and take care of the collection of valuable material in advance, you can provide a reserve for the family diet for a long time. After all, it is impossible to make compote from dried corn kernels. Corn is perfect with vegetables and meat, it is used to prepare hearty porridges and soups, and processed from the grain flour is excellent for baking a variety of homemade delicacies.
We offer housewives to note a few interesting recipes for homemade dishes involving corn.
This treat will also make home sweet tooth happy. Given that it takes little time to prepare it, such a delicacy for children can be prepared at least every day. After all, corn halva is much healthier than store-bought sweets.
How to cook:
- Soak dried corn seeds overnight.
- In the morning, boil the kernels in the same water, but lightly salted. They should turn white.
- Now mix the resulting mass with honey in the proportion 2:1.
- Boil the composition until a drop breaks in the cold water.
- Add syrup or a delicious topping to the mass.
- The hot mass is distributed in individual portions, giving it the desired shape.
When the homemade halva cools down, you can enjoy it both adults and children.
Stew with tomatoes and corn
This dish is also from the series of "quick hand". But the taste of this stew is excellent. It can be served instead of a side dish to fish or meat.
The set of ingredients includes:
- cherry tomatoes - 2 cups;
- garlic - 2 cloves;
- corn (dried or frozen) - 2 cups;
- green onions - to taste;
- butter - 20 grams;
- salt and ground black pepper - 0,25 tsp;
- wine vinegar (red).
- The primary preparation consists of the following operations: finely chop the onion, and the tomatoes are divided into two parts.
- Dry corn is better to soak overnight, and then boil for an hour. Without soaking, the boiling process will take twice as long.
- Now in a large frying pan first heat the oil.
- When the butter has melted, add the onion and the pressed garlic mixture.
- Sauté the mixture for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
- Add the tomatoes and corn.
- Cook the stew at medium heat for no more than 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and vinegar. Serve hot.
Who once tried this traditional Georgian dish, will never forget its amazing taste. But the most amazing thing is that this masterpiece can be cooked at home without any effort by any hostess, even an inexperienced one.
The following products will be required:
- dried corn - 2 cups;
- cheese - 1 kg;
- corn flour - 1 cup;
- water - 2-2.5 liters.
Sequence of operations:
- Boil large corn kernels for about 70-80 minutes.
- In the process of cooking, stir the mass regularly so that it does not stick.
- When the kernels begin to fall apart, add the full amount of flour, and cook for another 30 minutes, rubbing the lumps that form.
- Then take the pot off the heat. Add the cheese to the future elardi. It can be cut into slices or slices. Suluguni is ideal for this dish.
- Thoroughly mix again, put on low heat.
- Boil it for 5-8 minutes. Cheese should boil away completely.
- Ready dish with a wooden spatula on plates.
- Serve elardi hot.
This classic American delicacy has long since caught on in our culinary space as well. Prepare from dried kernels a product for a quick snack can be in the microwave in just 5 minutes. To do this, you will need to take the following ingredients:
- corn - 40 g;
- hard cheese - 20 gr;
- salt - a pinch;
- Butter - 50 gr.
We would like to pay attention to the fact that the sugar corn kernels must be well dried, otherwise the popcorn will not work.
Algorithm of the cooking process:
- First of all, finely grate the cheese.
- Next, in a plastic container with a valve on the lid pour the grains. On the bottom of the container preliminarily lay baking paper.
- Now turn on the machine at maximum power. Be guided by the activity of "explosions": when they become less frequent - popcorn is ready for tasting.
- Before you start tasting it, melt the specified portion of butter.
- Pour the popcorn into a large bowl, add butter, salt and cheese. Stir everything well, so that the added components are evenly distributed.
Note: you can microwave popcorn with caramel or garlic in a similar way at home.
Hot Corn Salad
And this is the perfect dish for very busy hostesses. The main requirement is to have at hand the necessary grocery kit:
- butter - 15 g;
- green onions and any fresh herbs - ¼ cup chopped;
- corn - 4 cups
- sweet bell pepper - ½ cup - dice the product;
- mustard seeds - ½ l.ch;
- turmeric - ½ tsp;
- salt and sugar.
Step-by-step cooking process:
- Although it is better to use fresh corn, but in the absence of such take the dry product and boil it after soaking overnight.
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter, add chopped peppers, white fragments from the onion slices, the rest of the spices.
- With constant stirring, cook the dish for no more than 3 minutes.
- Then add corn and stew on medium heat, but with the lid closed, for 5 minutes.
- After removing from the stove, add the green part of the onion, pepper and salt the salad, mix it well and serve.
Note: This salad would be great as a side dish to seafood dishes.
Mastering the rules of home-drying corn is useful for every housewife. Having at the disposal of such a versatile product, you can at least every day to make a pleasant variety in the daily family diet, without spending money on it. But the main purchase that all the household will get is a reliable support for the body. The small grains of the most ancient cereal crop can be used to maintain beauty and health.
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