TGI Cornbread Recipe
So, I recently started up a Facebook group, in which we’ve started discussing the topic of the beginning of the “holiday stress period” i.e. The period in which we fret about gaining weight from things like:
- The extra tastes we unconsciously graze on as we stroll through the grocery store
- The basket of holiday cookies so thoughtfully given to us by our loved ones over which we feel guilted into eating a few…which in turn (and unbeknownst to our subconscious) morphs into devouring the entire thing
- The surge in Cortisol from stressing about keeping our sh** together and avoiding food-and-life-shaming from the crowd of (sometimes-judgmental) 20+ people for which we’re preparing to host a gigantic holiday meal & party
- And, probably lots more…
And then, I asked my people the following:
“I want to know from you, howI can help you get through this?”
And the answers that rang loud and clear were:
- A recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free mac n’ cheese
- Help me take care of my knees please!
- And, of course, a recipe for GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, STRESS-FREE CORNBREAD
I promise to create and provide resources for the former, but for now, here’s a kickin’ solution to the latter 🙂
Would I call myself a foodie?
I dunno. I like food. I like restaurants. And, I I love to cook. Is that enough to qualify me as a foodie? Gee-golly-gosh, ya got me (scratching head)?! I don’t actually care that much either, but here’s why I’m mentioning it: apparently, cornbread (in all of it’s delightful versions) and it’s “authenticity” is a topic that get’s people really heated.
Some say it it should have flour, some say it shouldn’t. Others argue it should have buttermilk, other’s say it should have mayo or yogurt. And still others quibble about whether it should be dense as a brick or light as a pancake. For more on the subject and it’s interesting role in American history, read here and here.
I’m not qualified to judge “best” vs. “worst” here, but…
what I am qualified to do is to create and translate those recipes that both tickle my taste-buds and keep us nourished and well into something that you, my friend, can recreate for yourself and your loved ones.
I did quite a bit of research figuring out this recipe so that I could make it light and fluffy, yet gluten-free, dairy-free and easily adaptable to vegan standards. And you know what, it is ALL of those things.
What really makes it, is the fact that I used polenta (sorry, I just like polenta over plain cornmeal any day) AND toasting + soaking the polenta in coconut buttermilk (which is dairy-free!) for a few hours (a strategy I snagged from Felicity Cloake’s blog in The Guardian called ‘How to Cook the Perfect Cornbread’) before baking. It’s not too dense, but not light either. Just right (if you ask me, that is) 🙂
In the name of keeping you well
While it may seem like a lot of “holiday-parameters” are stacked-up against you (your health, your well being and your waiste-line), I give you MY favorite cornbread recipe filled with health promoting fats and non-gmo, organic corn (which is many shades better than the franken-corn that comes in those boxed mixes).
Unlike my corny jokes, this is actually rad! ;P Enjoy!
- 1 3/4 C polenta (I use this one and also like this one)
- 1 1/2 C full fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 C Ghee (or raw, grass-fed butter or coconut oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 can whole kernel organic sweet corn*
- 1/2 - 1 1/2 C Birch xylitol (or other alternative sweetener like coconut palm sugar)*, Coconut Palm Sugar or Honey (or a mix of the ones you have)
- * = optional...add enough to sweeten the cornbread to your liking...it may be sweet enough with out it
- First, make your coconut buttermilk by mixing coconut milk and vinegar together. Let it sit for five minutes.
- Next, toast up the polenta in a large skillet and toast it in the ungreased pan for 5 minutes. It doesn't need to be "golden brown" but it should smell intensely and distinctly corny, like my jokes 😛
- Take 1/2 of the toasted corn and soak it in the coconut buttermilk overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours. This helps balance out the natural cornbread density with some easy-to-sink-your-teeth-into moistness.
- When the polenta has soaked for the designated amount of time, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large iron skillet over the stove on low and toss in the ghee as well.
- While the oven's heating the ghee's melting, mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt together and remaining toasted polenta together. Sift it as you add it the soaked polenta + coconut buttermilk mixture. Stir. I like to use an electric mixer.
- Now, beat the eggs and add those into the cornbread batter. Stir.
- Once the ghee is melted, add the warm ghee into the mixture and continue to stir.
- Strain the sweet corn and add that into the mixture. Stir.
- Finally, add in the xylitol and honey so that the mixture is just a tad sweet. The measured amounts are what I like, but you may want to add in a bit more or less depending on your personal preference.
- Make sure that the iron skillet is well greased from the ghee that was melted in it earlier (add more if you need to) and then pour the batter in. Stick it in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center firm.
- If you prefer without kernels, don't sweat it...you don't have to add it in
- If you like it more savory, don't add in the sweetener at the end and if you like it completely savory, skip the kernels
- To make a vegan version use this in place of eggs and coconut oil in place of ghee