Can You Eat Raw Corn on the Cob? Benefits & Drawbacks

can you eat raw corn on the cob
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Coernl

Corn on the cob is often served grilled or boiled, drenched in butter and salt. But did you know you can eat raw corn on the cob? We're going to look at why you should consider not cooking this delectable vegetable.

If you’ve never even thought to eat raw corn on the cob before, you aren’t alone. The bright yellow late summer vegetable is usually boiled or grilled on the barbecue before being slathered with butter and seasonings. While those are delicious ways to prepare corn, they aren’t the only way! Eating raw corn on the cob allows the full flavor of the corn to shine — if you have good corn, why cook it at all? We’ll take a look at some of the things you should keep in mind when eating raw corn, as well as give you some tips on how to eat it. 

Read More: Raw Vegan Diet: Risks, Benefits, and Easy Recipes

Raw Corn on the Cob: Pros and Cons

Benefits of Eating Raw Corn

Vegetables are a part of a balanced diet and filled with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. However, sometimes those good things start to disappear when the kernels are cooked. Corn is no different — it retains more of the nutrients when eaten raw. So if you want to get the most out of a cob of corn, skip the grill or pot. By eating raw corn on the cob, you’ll reap the highest amount of: 

  • Vitamin B  
  • Plant protein 
  • Folate 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Potassium 
  • Digestive fibers 

Corn has a bad reputation for being difficult to digest, and this is due to the cellulose it contains. The trick here is to chew the corn well, which helps break down those hard-to-digest fibers.

Potential Drawbacks

Corn is a delicious part of many diets but is best consumed in moderation. Eating too much corn may lead to: 

  • increased sugar levels in the body
  • risk of pellagra, a vitamin deficiency 
  • weight gain due to the high sugar and carbohydrate content 
  • bloating and flatulence due to high starch content 

How to Prepare Raw Corn on the Cob

When eating raw corn on the cob, you want to choose the freshest ears.
When eating raw corn on the cob, you want to choose the freshest ears.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Capri23auto)

There are a few things you need to take into consideration before you bite into those juicy yellow kernels. You’ll want to: 

  • go to a farmers’ market or directly to a farm to get organic corn
  • select ears that feel dense and heavy for their size 
  • shuck the corn and remove all the silk
  • rinse to remove any bugs, dirt, or debris 
  • consume within a few hours of purchasing

It’s recommended to purchase directly from a farmer because you can ask them when the ears were picked – the fresher, the better! The cobs you find at grocery stores are typically picked before they’re ripe, meaning they won’t be as tasty.  Another thing to be very mindful of is whether or not the farm in question uses chemical pesticides or herbicides. When eating raw corn on the cob, choosing organic corn is a must. To select the most flavorful ears of corn, peel back the husk to see if the kernels are plump and juicy.

After you’ve shucked your corn and rinsed off any dirt and debris, you can bite right into it. If you want to enhance the flavor even further, you can rub a bit of olive oil or salt directly onto the cob. 

Sweet Corn + Peach Bruschetta

Toasted baguette is the perfect base for a sweet corn and peach bruschetta.
Toasted baguette is the perfect base for a sweet corn and peach bruschetta.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / pixel1)

Classic bruschetta is made using tomatoes, but by using fresh peaches and raw corn, you can enjoy a sweeter twist. 

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob 
  • 2 peaches, diced
  • ½ block feta, or vegan feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil 
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp honey, or vegan honey alternative
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • baguette, sliced and toasted 

Instructions

  1. Combine corn, peaches, feta, and basil in a medium-sized bowl and toss gently to mix. 
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt & pepper to a small bowl, and whisk to combine. 
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the corn and peaches and toss to coat. 
  4. Finally, spoon the topping onto your toasted bread and enjoy! 

Black Bean & Raw Corn Salad

This colorful and delicious salad really hits the spot.
This colorful and delicious salad really hits the spot.
(Foto: CC0 / Flickr / Marco Verch Professional Photographer)

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 
  • ¾ cup fresh corn kernels 
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion 
  • ½ red pepper, diced 
  • ½ avocado, diced 
  • ¼ jalapeño, deseeded and diced
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp lime juice 
  • 1 tsp honey, or vegan honey alternative 
  • ½ tsp chili powder 
  • ½ tsp cumin 
  • salt & pepper, to taste 

Instructions

  1. Place the beans, raw corn kernels, onion, red pepper, avocado, and jalapeño into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, add the olive oil, lime juice, honey, and spices. Whisk to combine. 
  3. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and toss gently to coat. 

Tip: You can also turn this into a salsa by chopping the vegetables into smaller pieces. 

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