So I find it a bit annoying to have to scroll through a backstory of the recipe I am looking for before reaching the recipe so let us put that after the actual recipe. Sound good?
Vegan, Gluten-free Cornbread
1 and 1/3 cups Cornmeal
1 cup Buckwheat flour (if gluten is no problem, Whole Wheat or Spelt also worked well for us)
1 Tbsp Oil (grapeseed)
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp Flax Meal
½ cup plant-based milk
1 cup water (used as needed)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a muffin tin with either cooking spray or give it a light oiling. If using oil it will probably take about one additional tablespoon to get all 12 cups covered properly.
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk and about half of the water. The mix should be thick and scoopable but not quite pourable. I’ve experienced life with 6 different ovens and I have come to learn that cooking times and the water/liquid of most recipes requires some adjustments so I suspect this is a universal problem. Just add water until the consistency matches the description and be confident that cornbread is pretty forgiving.
Bake for 25 minutes. As with most baked muffins and breads, you should be able to poke it with a toothpick and it come out clean. The muffins should be quite firm but not hard.
If you have much experience with cornbread it might be noted that this recipe doesn’t produce the bright light yellow color that was typical of my MeeMaw’s recipe. The whole grain flours seem to bring it to a light tan to even medium brown, especially when using buckwheat flour. Don’t fret, their taste is quite authentic.
Now… Story time!
The Plant Powered Gamers have had mostly smooth sailing on our Whole-Foods Plant-Based journey as resources and recipes are quite abundant when one begins to do a little searching. I was taken aback a year or so ago when Grant requested I make cornbread. Now cornbread is a staple from my childhood, as my grandma (MeeMaw, specifically) regularly prepared this delicious baked delight and I had made it traditional style with buttermilk years earlier. As I scoured the internet for a plant-based recipe I was shocked at how much “sweet stuff” and sugar was being put into the cornbread recipes. What was this abomination that others were referring to as cornbread? It looked more like a recipe for cornmeal cake.. why not add frosting? Cornbread in my little corner of the world is always prepared as a savory bread with only enough sugar added to balance flavor and bake properly. Grant and I have since been experimenting with this recipe in order to rectify the sad lack that must sit firmly in the lives of others, having been misinformed that cornbread was a sweet bread, and introduce them all to the wonders of our Southeastern style savory cornbread. If you have tried sweet cornbread and decided it wasn’t for you, I don’t blame you. It tastes rather “wrong” to me too. Give it one more try with this recipe and don’t forget to enjoy your muffin with a glass of plant-based milk or you may not get the full experience.
One note, if you prefer the traditional bright yellow cornbread you may have to resort to replacing the wheat/spelt/buckwheat flour with white flour. That is not a compromise I would take on a daily use recipe but for a special occasion I might consider as the bread made with the whole grain flours does as previously mentioned come out a bit more brown and has the appearance of basic whole grain muffins (ranging from light to medium brown).
Second note, for an interesting twist, replace the cup of water with vegetable broth to deepen the savory flavor.