There are certain foods that I call SOO’s. Special Occasions Only. It means that they’re special treats to savor once in a while, but not every week. My SOO’s aren’t just chocolate or ice cream either. Sweet summer corn is one of my seasonal splurges that I enjoy once or twice a summer and that’s it.
Why? As much as I love sweet corn, it’s just that: sweet. It comes with a fair amount of natural sugar but not much else in the nutrition department. As we head into peak late-summer allergy season, I’m trying to eat as low-sugar as possible to stave off those itchy eyes and scratchy throat—and that includes limiting natural sugars. It makes a big difference in how I feel. So corn is making a much celebrated albeit short-lived appearance in my kitchen.
If I’m going to eat corn, I want it in this salsa.
A perfect blend of sweet, spicy, salty, and tangy, it pairs well with just about anything grilled (or do a double-corn-whammy and try it with these healthy homemade corn chips). I just can’t get enough fresh salsa in the summertime. My friend makes a killer homemade salsa (which I capital L Love…) that she cans with her homegrown tomatoes, but I still have a soft spot for fresh salsa this time of year.
It’s important to note that the corn in this recipe is raw. That’s right. No fussy boiling required. Raw corn is super sweet and crunchy, almost like it was made for salsa!
I’ve learned that you can turn just about any fruit or vegetable into a salsa. One of my favorites is this Spicy Stone Fruit Salsa. It inspired me to try adding a nectarine in with the corn in this recipe…and it’s absolutely delicious. It adds an unexpected fruity layer that pops with the help of a little lime juice.
For years, I’ve bought organic sweet corn whenever I can to avoid pesticides and GMO’s. I know the whole GMO thing can be really confusing, but to help sort things out a little, here’s a must-read post (and a yummy oven-roasted corn recipe). My motto is when in doubt, go organic. This time of year because corn is actually in season, it’s pretty easy to find organic sources, especially at farmers’ markets…or in your own backyard if you have a garden!
Want just a few more corn recipes to indulge in this season? You’ll probably like some of these…
- Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Sweet Corn & Avocado from Two Peas & Their Pod
- Skillet Glazed Corn with Ginger, Lime & Coconut from Cara’s Cravings
- Creamed Corn Popsicles from Family Fresh Cooking
- Spicy Summer Black Bean Salad from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Sweet & Spicy Corn Salsa
3 ears of raw sweet corn, kernels cut off
1 medium ripe peach or nectarine, pitted and chopped
1 medium Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1 medium Serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Yep, it’s that easy!