By Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
Whole food plant based, oil free, sugar free, soy free
This healthy whole wheat cornbread is tender, soft, and sweet and pairs perfectly with your favorite chili or stew. Totally plant based and free of oil and sugar, it’s completely healthy, yet tastes as good as the original.
We Love To Bake!
I love baking and so do my kids, but luckily my baking habit actually is good for our health! We make delicious baked goods that are packed with protein and whole grains and use only healthy fats and no added sugars. Corn bread is one of our favorites, especially since it goes so well with chili, stew, and soup. It’s also one of our favorite breakfast dishes. Years ago, I started making our cornbread with whole wheat pastry flour since I knew it was much more healthful. Then, as I began eating plant based, I swapped out the eggs for ground flaxseed and the milk for plant based milk. Those swaps were easy and left mw with cornbread that tasted as good as the original. Getting rid of the oil proved much harder. At first I tried simply leaving it out or replacing it with apple sauce, but unfortunately, the results were not good. I ended up with very chewy bread that was short on flavor. Luckily, I had the idea to try using nut butter in place of the oil. To be honest, I was not at all confident that the results would be good. But they were! In fact, even my supertaster kids could not detect a difference.
This weekend we are celebrating the beginning of (the parents’) summer break with a quick beach getaway. (The kids have another month of school). We are renting a house near the beach and, even though it will be pretty cool (think leggings and sweaters rather than swim suits), we can’t wait! I definitely plan to bring along a batch of this cornbread to eat for breakfast at our VRBO.
Cornmeal: I like to use a finer grain cornmeal for this recipe, as I find the larger grinds to give a grainy texture to the final bread.
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: I love to use whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe, but white whole wheat flour will work as well. Regular whole wheat flour will not give you very tasty results, so if that’s all you can find, I would use equal parts whole wheat and oat flour. (You can just put some oats in the food processor to make your own.)
Ground Flaxseeds: Ground flaxseeds stand in for eggs in this recipe, so don’t skip them. I prefer to buy them pre ground. Make sure to store them in the refrigerator as they can spoil quickly.
Plant Milk: I like to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but oat or soy milk would work well too.
Lemon Juice: The lemon juice added to the plant milk gives you a plant based “buttermilk,” so don’t skip this. If necessary, you can substitute vinegar, however.
Almond Butter: The almond butter gives this recipe the tender, melt in your mouth texture, so don’t skip it. You could definitely use peanut butter instead, but that will give you a peanut flavor in the finished product. If you are nut free, you could likely substitute sunflower seed butter. If you try that, let me know how it goes!
Liquid Stevia: To make this truly free of sugar, I use liquid stevia. Maple syrup works great too, but it will add calories and sugar to the recipe.
How To Make This Healthy Whole Wheat Corn Bread
To make this plant based corn bread, you will start by mixing together the dry ingredients. Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven too! Next, mix your ground flax seed with the water and set aside. This will gel into a sort of “egg” that will help bind the corn bread together. You will also create a vegan “buttermilk” by mixing the plant milk with the lemon juice and setting aside for a few minutes.
The next step is to gently heat the nut butter, especially if it has been stored in the refrigerator. It’s very hard to mix in the nut butter if it is too solid, so I simply microwave or heat on the stove until it is a more pourable consistancy.
Now you are ready to combine your dry ingredients, your flax egg, your “buttermilk,” and your nut butter. Stir and mix in the liquid stevia or maple syrup. Finally, prepare a loaf pan or an 8×8 inch square pan or 9 inch round pan by spraying with a few sprays of nonstick spray. You could also line with parchment paper if you prefer. This will work well as a muffin recipe as well. Just reduce the baking time to about 12 minutes. Pour the healthy whole wheat cornbread mixture into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. And…voila! Vegan cornbread. This vegan corn bread pairs perfectly with my Whole Food Plant Based Chili. It tastes great with some homemade fruit spread on top. My kids love eating plant based cornbread with maple syrup too. This will keep, covered, on the counter for a few days. It also freezes beautifully. In fact, my chili and cornbread makes a great cook ahead and freeze meal to give to a new mom or someone recovering from surgery or just to eat at a later date.
Healthy Whole Wheat Corn Bread
- 8 inch pan
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 1/3 cups plant milk
- a splash lemon juice
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia or 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl or cup, mix the ground flax seed and water and set aside. In another small bowl, mix the plant milk and the splash of lemon juice and let sit for a few minutes.
- In a sauce pan or a bowl in the microwave, heat the almond butter until it is thin and pourable.
- Add the almond butter, ground flax seed mixture, plant milk mixture, and liquid stevia or maple syrup to the large bowl and mix until combined.
- Pour into a greased or nonstick 8×8 square pan or 8 inch cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
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