Corn can be confusing.

My husband loves corn muffins and corn bread.  In fact he likes anything corn. He’s not big on the vegetables in general.  We often debate about whether or not corn is a vegetable at all.  I say it’s not and even if it is, it’s largely indigestible and loaded with sugars.  And therefore, he can’t count it as a serving of veggies in his diet. He says, “Well, what is it, then?”  A grain. . . I think.

So, I did some looking to find out.  This article from the New York Times says, yes, it is, a grain (duh) and offers some explanation about how our produce gets categorized one way or the other: 

“The criteria is whether it comes from the reproductive part of a plant or the vegetative part of the plant,” Dr. Pritts said. “If it comes from the reproductive part of the plant, it’s a fruit. If it comes from the vegetative part of the plant, it’s a vegetable.”

Botanically speaking, corn is a caryopsis, or dry fruit — popularly known as a grain.

Dr. Pritts allowed that corn, like a tomato, is eaten like a vegetable, “so to a normal, everyday person, it’s a vegetable.”

So, there you have it, argument resolved. Hubby, if you are reading this–no using grains in place of “real” vegetables!

CORN MUFFINScorn.jpg
This is a great basic recipe.  Use it as is or experiment with it—add some bacon bits, jalapenos, or cheese. Yum it up to your liking!

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour (to make it a bit heartier, you can do half white, half wheat)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup veg oil
1 cup milk (soy or cow’s)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line muffin pan paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir gently to combine.
3.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
4.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Here’s a cool resource for you.  Traditional Native American recipes—corn and otherwise!