Is Corn a Vegetable?
However, the corn you buy in the grocery store may be categorized as a vegetable or grain depending on how it is harvested at the time of harvest. This can be confusing for some.
It’s a Grain
Corn is a staple in many American and Mexican kitchens. It’s a great source of carbohydrate, starch and protein, and can help keep you full longer.
Its high fiber content supports digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight. Moreover, corn is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
However, if you’re wondering about the classification of corn, it can be more complicated than just being, Is Corn a Vegetable or a grain. Like cucumbers, tomatoes and avocados, corn can be considered a fruit, vegetable or grain depending on where it’s grown.
Among the most popular varieties of corn are sweet corn and dent corn. The former is picked when it’s immature and has liquid-filled kernels that are soft and tender. It is generally eaten as a sweet vegetable while the latter is picked at what’s called the milk stage and has hard, dry kernels.
It’s a Fruit
Corn is often shunned by today’s health-conscious eaters due to its high carb and sugar content. This is a common misconception, since corn is high in many important nutrients and vitamins.
Fortunately, you don’t have to let that confusion get the best of you. New York City-based nutritionist Amy Gorin, RDN, is here to clear up the confusion and help you determine whether or not corn should be a part of your healthy diet!
Generally speaking, fruits are what grow from the seed or flower of a plant (like tomatoes and avocados), while vegetables are the leaves, stems, and other parts that come from a plant. This broad classification also includes grains, which are small, hard, dry seeds produced by grain crops like wheat, rice, maize and soybeans.
It’s a Vegetable
Corn, also known as maize, is a starchy vegetable that comes on a cob with a husk. It’s a delicious and nutritious summertime favorite, with yellow or white kernels and a mildly sweet flavor.
Unlike other grains like rice, barley and wheat, corn kernels don’t go through the process of being dried before harvesting. This allows the kernels to retain their nutritional value and is what makes it a vegetable, not a grain.
But in the end, the question of whether corn is a vegetable is a little bit more complicated than you might think. The dietary definition of a vegetable is the edible part of a plant (think leaves, stems or roots) that is usually eaten as part of a meal, says registered dietitian Christine Stefanski.
But the whole kernel, the part where popcorn and other products are made from, is considered a grain. This is because corn is classified as a caryopsis, which means that its kernels are the fruit of the plant.
It’s a Side Dish
Corn is a starchy vegetable that comes in kernels on a cob. It is also a common ingredient in many recipes and makes a tasty snack, especially popped corn.
When roasted, it takes on a richer, sweeter flavor and can become a stand-alone side dish. It’s easy to prepare and is a great addition to summer dinners.
This spicy corn salad features a few dashes of heat from Sriracha, crunchy red bell pepper and creamy crumbled Cotija cheese. It’s a perfect complement to roast turkey or mashed potatoes.
Creamed corn is always a hit at parties and gatherings, but this recipe is made with fresh corn and only five ingredients. Shallots, smoked paprika and butter make for a much more flavorful version than the canned variety. This is the perfect side dish for any occasion!
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