I love corn, especially when it’s in the form of corn chowder. It’s a nourishing and healthy food although it’s been demonized over the years. You may read about corn and hear things like, “It’s fattening and unhealthy,” “It’s moldy,” or “It’s all genetically modified.” Corn has received a bad reputation mainly because of low-quality processed forms such as popcorn, deep-fried corn chips, corn oil, and corn syrup. However, corn as a whole food is healthy.
Corn can be considered a vegetable or a grain, depending on when it’s harvested. Fresh corn that is soft with kernels full of liquid is a starchy vegetable (corn on the cob or as a side dish). Fully mature corn that is dry is considered a grain (popcorn kernels, tortillas, cornmeal). The nutrient content of fresh soft corn and mature dry corn also differs. In this recipe, fresh corn is used.
Health Benefits of Corn
Fresh corn has a number of health benefits:
- It’s a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Corn is a good source of beneficial resistant starch.
- Corn is loaded with many vitamins including vitamin C, folate, and B vitamins as well as many minerals (magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and iron).
- It’s a great source of plant protein providing about 8 grams per half cup.
- Corn is a good source of the vision-promoting nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.
- It can promote healthy weight gain quickly in those with cancer (or other need for weight gain) and offers many cancer-fighting nutrients.
- Whole corn may help with blood sugar balance due to its fiber and a wide variety of nutrients. In fact, diabetics can eat fresh, unprocessed corn.
Since it can promote weight gain, eat only small portions of corn.
What About GMO Corn?
About 90 percent of American field corn is genetically engineered. Most of this corn is fed to livestock or made into corn-based sweeteners and oils. However, most sweet corn (corn on the cob) is not genetically engineered according to the Environmental Working Group. In Mexico, it’s illegal to grow GMO corn (Mexico has over 20 ancient varieties of corn). But if you still have concerns, simply choose USDA Organic corn since the use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products.
Corn Chowder: Easy Recipe and Healthy!
This is the perfect soup for optimal nourishment, especially when you’re on a liquid diet (dental work, digestive discomfort, or fighting a cold/flu). It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and delicious. Use Hannah sweet potatoes (light yellow) if you prefer a slightly sweeter soup. This chowder can be fully blended or you can leave it chunky. Either way, you’re going to like this recipe.
- 1 Hannah sweet potato (medium or about 2 cups of 1-inch chunks)
- 2 1/2 cups water or homemade broth
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cups sweet onion, chopped
- 1 tsp unrefined sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
- 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped finely
- 5 cups organic sweet corn (5 cobs or a one-pound bag of frozen corn)
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1. Peel the potato and cut it into small one-inch chunks. Place potatoes in a small sauce pan with the water (or broth). Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover. Let potatoes simmer until tender (but not mushy). Set aside.
- 2. While potatoes are cooking, melt butter in a large frying pan (at least 2 inches deep) over medium-low heat. Add the onion and salt. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add celery and cook for another 5 minutes.
- 3. Add the cooked potatoes with all their liquid, the red bell pepper, corn, black pepper, and herbs. Stir well and cover. Reduce heat to low and cook it for an additional 5 minutes.
- 4. Use a blender to puree about 3/4 of the soup with its liquid, leaving 1/4 of the soup with its solid ingredients (corn, bell pepper, potatoes). Mix everything together (the puree and the solids) and serve.