Baby corn (ข้าวโพดอ่อน)
Young Baby Corn
Baby corn is a cereal grain taken from corn (maize) harvested early while the stalks are still small and immature. It typically is eaten whole – cob included – in contrast to mature corn, whose cob is too tough for human consumption. It is eaten both raw and cooked. Baby corn is common in stir fry dishes.
Thailand is one of the biggest producers of baby corn which is why it’s used generously in Asian cooking. Corn is considered a starchy vegetable because of its carbohydrate content, but baby corn has the make-up of a non-starchy one. It has several health benefits and can keep your appetite in check. It’s rich in proteins, vitamins, iron and phosphorus and a great source of fiber.
Baby corn is a good choice for those trying to stay fit which is why baby corn soup and a simple, mildly spiced stir fry are recommended. It’s also rich in Vitamin C, E and antioxidants which work wonders for the hair and skin. Pregnant women are also advised to eat this vegetable as it’s a rich source of folic acid which is important during pregnancy. Baby corn also controls cholesterol and anaemia.
Baby corn is used in Asian salads, stir fry vegetables, Indian curries and Chinese Manchurian. Whether stirred or fried, baked or steamed, baby corn can turn your everyday meal around.
Baby corn is a low-calorie vegetable with 25 calories per 1/2-cup serving. By comparison, a 1/2-cup serving of regular corn kernels, which is considered a starchy vegetable, has 80 calories. The baby corn has a similar calorie content to other non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and green beans. As a low-calorie food, baby corn can fill you up without costing you too many calories, making it a good choice for those trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
Low-Carb, High-Fiber Corn
Just like the calories, baby corn also has a lower carb count than regular corn, but is still a good source of fiber. A 1/2-cup serving of baby corn contains just 4 grams of carbs, versus 15 grams in 1/2-cup of regular corn kernels, and 2 grams of fiber. Getting more fiber in your diet offers a number of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Fiber in foods such as baby corn also help keep you feeling full and have been associated with lower body weights.