To make dried corn, separate the kernels from the cob, and dry them in a food dehydrator for 8-12 hours at 140°F. For freeze-drying, place the kernels in a freeze-drying machine to freeze and then remove moisture from the kernels. Store dried and freeze-dried corn in a cool, dry place.
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What is the Best Way to Preserve Corn?
The best way to preserve corn for a longer period of time is by dehydrating it. For best results, freeze-dry or dehydrate corn in a food dehydrator. Dried corn lasts for several years.
How to Make Dried Corn in a Food Dehydrator
Fresh corn on the cob can be dehydrated directly on dehydrator trays:
- Select fresh and mature corn on the cob.
- Shuck the corn and remove the silk. Rinse in cold water and pat it dry with a clean towel.
- Cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife or a corn stripper.
- Spread the corn kernels out on the dehydrator trays in a single layer, making sure they do not touch each other.
- Set the dehydrator to a temperature of 135–145°F and let the corn dry for 8–12 hours. The drying time varies depending on the humidity levels in your area and the thickness of the corn kernels.
- Stir the corn occasionally to make sure it is drying evenly.
- Once the corn is completely dry and brittle, remove it from the dehydrator and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Store the dried corn in an airtight container. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
How to Make Freeze-Dried Corn
Make freeze-dried corn at home by following these simple steps:
- Choose fresh, sweet, and mature corn with full kernels.
- Remove the outer layer and the silk. Wash the corn in cold water and dry it with a clean paper towel.
- Remove the kernels from the cob using a corn stripper or a sharp knife.
- Blanch the corn by placing it in boiling water for 3–5 minutes, then immediately transfer it to a bowl of ice water to cool it down.
- Drain the corn and spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the corn for 1-2 hours.
- Transfer the frozen corn to a vacuum-seal bag or container. Remove as much air as possible from the bag or container before sealing it.
- Place the bag or container in a freezer dryer and turn it on. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the freeze-drying process. Generally, the process takes between 24 and 48 hours.
- Once the process is complete, remove the freeze-dried super-sweet corn from the bag and store it in an airtight container.
What are the Benefits of Dried Corn?
Dried corn is full of flavor, packed with nutrition, and has several benefits:
- Corn is a versatile ingredient and can be added to casseroles and soups
- Dehydrated corn can be ground into cornmeal and used to make cornbread
- Dried corn has no cholesterol and is low in saturated fat
- Dried corn is a gluten-free meal option
- Dried corn is a good source of fiber, protein, and vitamins such as niacin and folate
- It is a convenient, healthy snack for camping trips
- It is a good source of antioxidants
Is Dried Corn the Same as Popcorn?
No, dried corn is not the same as popcorn. Dried corn is simply corn that has been dried out to remove moisture.
Popcorn is a specific type of corn that is bred to have a hard outer shell and a starchy interior. When heated, the moisture inside the popcorn kernel turns to steam, causing the kernel to burst and turn inside out, creating the fluffy, crunchy popcorn we know.
Do You Have to Cut Off the Corn Kernels to Make Dried Corn?
Yes, you’ll need to cut the kernels off the cob to make dried corn. This is because the moisture in the kernels makes it difficult for corn to dry properly and can lead to mold growth during the drying process.
How to Rehydrate Dried Corn
You can rehydrate dried corn by boiling the kernels in water for 10–15 minutes. Drain the water and then use the corn in recipes.
What Can Dried Corn Be Used For?
Dried corn is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways:
- Dried corn adds a sweet, nutty flavor to chili, soup, or corn chowder.
- Dried corn can be roasted and seasoned with spices for a flavorful side dish.
- Dried corn gives salads a crunchy, flavorful topping.
- Dried sweet corn adds a satisfying crunch to seafood risotto.
- Grind dried corn into cornmeal and use it to make corn muffins or pancakes.
- Mix rehydrated corn with beans, cheese, and meat to make burritos.
How Long Does Dried Corn Last?
Dried corn can last for up to one year if stored properly. Freeze-dried corn can last for several years. The reason freeze-dried corn lasts longer is that more moisture has been removed.
Storing Dried and Freeze-Dried Corn
Dried and freeze-dried corn should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct light. To ensure freshness, label containers and rotate the stock regularly using the FIFO method (first in, first out).