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While mourning the fact that they canceled the “Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival” this year – we nonetheless celebrate The Glory of Corn!

“Corn on the cob is full of starch and terrible for any diet. You’d be better off eating a snickers bar!” So postulates one opinionated soul at in answer to the question as to whether corn on the cob is good for when you are on a diet. Low-carb diets, such as Atkins, seem to agree – they flat-out forbid its use in their “induction” phase. Add to this the fact that most people cannot fathom eating it without a couple of tablespoons of butter, and you have pretty much a dietary nightmare. Right? Right?

I am going to go on record saying that I vehemently disagree with this whole negative point of view! Eaten in moderation, my beloved corn-on-the-cob not only provides a much cherished “taste of summer”, but also provides plenty of nutrition, as well!

Now, I suppose I could be a bit biased. After all, the “Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival” which is pretty much a celebration of all things corn, takes place right down the road every year around Memorial Day (except for 2009 – it has sadly been “canned” this year because of the economy). At the Festival, corn is revered, loved, and inhaled. Kids and adults alike revel in the enjoyment of chomping into this iconic treat.

“Yea, yea, yea, so it tastes good!” I can hear you saying. “But what about the nutrition?” Sharron Coplin of Ohio State University has an answer to that. She states, “A medium-sized ear of corn — about 7 inches long — has 110 calories and is a good source of thiamin and folate, and it offers about 3 grams of fiber. The beta carotene in yellow corn also provides about 5 percent of the vitamin A you need each day. (White corn doesn’t have any vitamin A.) Just watch the butter and salt, which could drastically increase the calories and sodium you consume with that cob. A cob of that size provides slightly more than a half-cup serving of vegetables. On a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, you should be eating 2.5 cups of vegetables every day.”

So how do we incorporate this somewhat controversial starch/vegetable into a weight loss diet? Easy. Balance, moderation, and skip the butter. But you don’t have to skip the taste – you just have to be willing to be a bit more creative.

Here is how I’ve started doing it – all for the relatively low caloric price of about 110-125 calories per ear.

The Corn of Thinlandia: Low-Sodium Low-Fat Roasted Sweet Corn with Chili Powder & Lime

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Partially husk your corn; taking off the icky outer leaves and keeping the inner ones semi-attached, while attempting to clear out all of the corn silk and washing the corn-on-the-cob.

3. Pull the remaining husk up over the corn, and tie it in place.

4. Place in oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until it is soft, turning it once or twice.

5. While corn is roasting, get your chilli powder mixture ready. This is where you can get really creative, as this seasoning is really up to you and your chili powder cravings. You like adobo? Use it. Chipotle pepper? That’s great too! If you like it, use it – the sky’s the limit!

Just to give you some ideas, here is the mixture I really enjoyed on my corn tonight:

1 teaspoon sodium free chili powder
1/4 teaspoon fajita seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cumin
few grinds black pepper
few sprinkles of Also Salt salt substitute

6. Cut up a lime or two.

7. Remove the corn from the oven after 30 minutes or so. Untie the string and remove the husks.

8. Take a wedge of lime and dip it in the chili powder mix. Slightly squeeze the lime as you rub the seasoned lime
wedge all over the roasted corn.

9. Enjoy this summery treat as you savor it guilt-free!

3 Responses to “While mourning the fact that they canceled the “Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival” this year – we nonetheless celebrate The Glory of Corn!”

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