In my mother’s house, cornbread was on the side of every dish. It was like the cherry on an ice cream sundae. It was the star. We didn’t need a special holiday for that yummy yellow square to emerge from the oven. In all honesty, I grew up on Jiffy Cornbread Mix and wouldn’t accept anything else as a substitute. One egg and a little milk made magic in a bowl and by the time I was nine, I could bake a square of yummy by myself.
On the other hand, cornbread without milk and eggs is not how I grew up. As a matter of fact, baking never happened without milk and eggs. Yet, I made this vegan cornbread recipe and the result was amazing. How can that be you might be wondering? Thanks to my vegan friends, I discovered that you can bake with non dairy items like coconut oil. It makes sense but I had no idea. I had visions of a dry crumbly experience and it was just the opposite.
The Great Debate
Cornbread is another one of those soul food items that one could stake their reputation on. Like collard greens, if word got out that you could make a banging cornbread, you were a local celebrity. I grew up in the Bronx but I have met people from all over the United States who have such varied opinions about how cornbread should look and taste. There are those who always add sugar. Of course the sugar varies from white, cane, brown to coconut. Let’s not forget those who swear by baking powder. I even read about cornbread with maple syrup and another version with imitation bacon.
Sometimes I use a square pan. On other days I use a round one. It doesn’t matter if we have a square or a triangle. We all love it. My non dairy cornbread calls for a touch of sweetness. It also calls for bits of real corn. I think it’s fun to get a little bit of corn each time you take a bite.
LA Dunn is a plant based advocate who used to eat sunflower seeds by the pound but got in trouble when her 2nd grade teacher found all of the empty shells inside her desk. If you have 20 minutes, listen to an episode of The Black Girls Eat Podcast. Want to go from plant curious to plant focused? Sign up for my 5 Day Intro to Plant Based Mindset Course.
1 1/4 Cup of Flour
1 Cup of Yellow Cornmeal
1 1/4 Cup of Plant Based Milk (Oat, Almond, Soy)
1/2 Cup of Sugar (Your Choice)
1 Tsp Salt
1 tbsp baking powder
2/3 Cup Coconut Oil
1 Cup of Sweet Corn
Spray your pan and coat with flour. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Carefully add your batter to the pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes. You will need to use a knife or toothpick to check the center to see if it is fully cooked. Serve on the side of a great meal or enjoy as a snack.
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