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Corn Sprouts

Corn Sprouts are sprouts grown from corn kernels.

Different types of corn kernels can be used, as they will all sprout. The kernels, though, and particularly Sweet Corn kernels, can be very expensive to buy.

If you are growing your own Corn Sprouts, make sure you are using corn seed that hasn't been treated with fungicides, etc, for field growth.

Growing Corn Sprouts in the dark helps to make them more tender. When grown in the dark, they will be yellow: when they have access to light, they will be green.

Not everyone is a fan of them: some people advise you to stick to other sprouts, and when you want corn, eat corn. Even a seller of corn kernels for sprouting says, "...frankly we've never liked it. Raw it is tough and chewy and steamed it is soggy and chewy. It is not at all unlikely that we are doing something wrong, but hey - we have so many sprouts we love we just don't care enough to try harder." [1] Others say, however, that that is true if you are using field corn -- that corn kernels meant for Sweet Corn or Popping Corn crops are very different.

When allowed to grow to several inches, they are referred to as Corn Shoots (see separate entry.)

From Field Corn Seed

The sprouts will be tender, but are often starchy and bland tasting.

Soak the seed for 8 to 14 hours; they will start sprouting in 2 days. They are often hit by blue mould while sprouting.

Sweet Corn

The sprouts will taste like sweet corn, though be less sweet.

Soak the seed for 24 hours. They will start sprouting in 2 1/2 to 3 days.

From Popcorn

The sprouts will be very sweet, but will have a tough hull.

Soak the (unpopped) popcorn kernels for 8 to 14 hours. They will then start sprouting in 1 1/2 days. They are often hit by blue mould while sprouting.

Cooking Tips

For all types of seed: after soaking, rinse with cool water, drain thoroughly. Place in sprouter or on plate out of direct sunlight. Some advise that a dark room is even better. (Direct sunlight won't benefit them anyway, as they have no leaves yet to do anything with it.) Rinse and drain every half day for as long as you continue to allow them to grow. They are ready to consume when the spouts are 1/4 inch (5 mm) tall, though you can let them grow taller. When the sprouts are the height you have come to prefer, store in refrigerator in sealed bag or container -- but store only 12 hours after their final rinse and drain to give them time to dry off first.


2/3 cup of seed will produce about 1 cup (1/2 pound / 225g) of Corn Sprouts.


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Bon mots

"This special feeling towards fruit, its glory and abundance, is I would say universal.... We respond to strawberry fields or cherry orchards with a delight that a cabbage patch or even an elegant vegetable garden cannot provoke."

-- Jane Grigson (English food writer. 13 March 1928 - 12 March 1990)

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