Spicy Corn Chowder

Seasonal and Local- More Than Just Buzz Words

Let’s rap for a moment about seasonal eating. I know that seasonal and local are buzzwords when it comes to food; but if you look beyond the hype, seasonality and locality when it comes to the food we consume is becoming more and more important. I recently watched the movie Food Fight, which profiles one of my culinary idols, Alice Waters, and talks about the battle raging between small organic farms and governing bodies; did you know that big agriculture farms get loads of subsidies, while small organic farmers get nothing? Zilch, nada, NOTHING. And these big farms spray harmful pesticides and fungicides that not only poison our food, but the workers too. So when you support local farmers, through farmer’s markets and the like, not only do you get better tasting food (it’s true, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), but you contribute to sustainability and ethics in modern farming.

Say No To GMO Corn

Now much of the corn available today is genetically modified (GMO), because the modern yellow variety that we associate with summer bbq is bred for its high sugar content; and living in a world that is sugar obsessed the demand is high, which results in genetic modification to ensure uniformity and yield. However, organic yellow corn contains beta carotene that supports eye health and can prevent age related macular degeneration.

I’m currently in the process of writing an e-book dedicated solely to creating a digestive solution that everyone can stand behind; and corn is a digestive health food. Corn contains soluble fiber that regulates the flow of waste through the digestive tract, which serves to control our blood sugar. And those silky threads on the husk are a useful diuretic and can relieve prostate enlargement.

So what have we learned? Corn, when organic, is good for the eyes, the bowels and the prostate! Moving on…

Corn Chowder

Once corn started showing up on farmer’s market stands I knew that I would be taking advantage! Organic corn is sweet beyond belief and needs nothing but a light smattering of organic butter to shine. Although Edmonton seems to be experiencing a September heat wave, weeks ago I could see my breath on my morning walk; so chowder making was more than appropriate.

Now you’ll see corn chowder made in several ways, with potatoes, or without; but I appreciate the body that adding organic potatoes provides. The beauty of organic corn is that it lends itself so nicely to a wide variety of flavor profiles. This corn chowder is chive infused and lightly spiced with red chile flakes; but you could easily add basil and leave the spice out- you know I love customizable meals!

If where you live is experiencing a late summer heat surge such as Edmonton, then get to thy market, buy some corn, remove the husks and freeze them for a taste of summer in the depth of winter; in October, November and beyond, you’ll thank me!

4 large corn cobs, corn kernels removed
2 spring onions, sliced
3 new potatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
1 tbsp chives, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth

In large heavy bottom pot on medium high heat, melt the coconut oil, add the corn, garlic, onion and 1/2 tsp salt; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove half the amount of corn, garlic and onions and set aside.

Add the potatoes, the remaining salt, chile flakes and chives and cook for an additional 5 minutes, continue to stir. Add the broth and pepper. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. With an immersion blender, blend the corn chowder until smooth.

To serve, garnish with the reserved corn and onion kernels.