By Erin Huffstetler | 08/06/2015 | 5 Comments
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I’ve been shucking, blanching and freezing lots of corn lately, and that got me thinking about the cobs. I don’t really like to add them to our compost pile, since they take so long to break down, but throwing them away just feels wasteful. Were there other uses for them that I was overlooking? There sure were. Check out all these cool uses for corn cobs that I recently discovered (and can’t wait to try).
Make Corn Stock
Toss your corn cobs in a stock pot with a few spices; cover with water; and boil until the liquid reaches a rich golden color. Remove the cobs, and strain out the spices; then, use the resulting corn stock in any recipe that calls for vegetable broth. Freeze any that you don’t plan to use right away. I like to freeze my broth and stocks in pint and quart containers, so it’s easy to grab the right amount for any recipe.
Make Corn Cob Jelly
Capture that sweet corn flavor in a jelly. Just boil the cobs, add sugar and pectin, and you’ll end up with a gorgeous yellow jelly that’s supposed to taste like honey. Here’s a recipe to try. Imagine what a cool gift this would be.
Throw a couple dried corn cobs on the fire the next time you grill out to give meat a sweet, smoky flavor. This same trick would also work well on a camp fire.
Use Them for Fire Starters
Lay your corn cobs out in the sun to dry. Then, use them for fire starters. We go through a lot of fire starters at our cabin, so I’m excited to give this one a try.
Use Them as Pot Scrubbers
Replace store-bought pot scrubbers with dried corn cobs. Just grab a cob anytime you have a pot that needs extra attention, and use it to cut through stuck on food. It won’t damage your pot, and you can throw it away (or compost it) when your done. So much better than hanging on to a stinky sponge.
Make Animal Bedding
Ground up corn cobs are sold as animal bedding because they’re so absorbent. Make your own pet bedding by running cobs through a chipper/shredder. I’ve had a chipper on my wish list for a while now. As soon as I get one, I’m going to try this. It would be great to have free bedding material for the chickens. I’m also betting this would work in place of the saw dust that we use in our compost toilet at our weekend homestead.