Thursday, March 28, 2013


I love cornbread. How in the world did a northern boy come to love cornbread so much? Simple; I spent 1.5 years in Missouri while in first grade. We had it everyday at school lunch and I have loved it ever since. At least that's what my parents tell me : ) My dad was working on his doctorate, and we lived outside Columbia, Missouri while he did his classroom work. The school was rural and I don't remember much about the school lunches except the cornbread.

When we went whole-foods, plant-based, I went looking for a decent recipe that didn't use oil, eggs, and milk. I found one that was tolerable (see here), but not one that I liked enough to make real often. Then, about a month ago, it stopped turning out. Not sure why, but it might be because I changed from honey to unrefined sugar in the recipe. But, when I went back to honey, it still didn't turn out. So, I went looking again...

Not much out, I thought about how in the 1800s, the pioneers would have done it. They usually didn't have eggs or milk, and—at least according to the Little House books—sugar wasn't exactly a common item. They must have done something.

I was mulling it over in my mind and asked the Lord for a bit of insight. I believe it was an answer to prayer, because what I did tastes even better than the original eggs, milk, and oil recipe. Here's what I did:

1 cup whole wheat flour (freshly ground, of course!)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup water
1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened and home canned from Jonathan apples—an oil replacement)
3/4 Tablespoon baking powder
1.5 Tablespoons unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon flax meal (freshly ground)
1 Tablespoon water

The flax meal and tablespoon of water are used as an egg replacer. Put them both in a small custard cup and microwave on high for 10-15 seconds, or until it boils. Our microwave takes 12 seconds, but yours might be different (this works well as an egg replacer for other recipes as well)

Turn the oven on to 350°F. Mix the remaining dry ingredients together. Once the oven is preheated, add the applesauce, cup of water, and the flax meal mixture. Mix everything together well, but not too much (you don't want to develop the gluten too much). Pour the batter into a 9x9 glass pan and bake 30 minutes (if you are using metal, increase the temperature to 375°).

For a variation, I sometimes add a small can of chili peppers. You should see the baking powder go nuts when I do that!

Serve warm or cool. We often make a tomato sauce to put over it—1 pint stewed tomatoes, half a small can of tomato paste. Then I take some dried green peppers, dried onions, dried garlic, oregano, basil, grind them all up in a coffee grinder and add it. Add enough water to make it the consistency you like. I add habanero sauce to mine...delicious!

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