by Alex London-Gross, MPH, CHES
Cornbread is one of the traditional American foods that I start to crave in the fall. There is something wonderful about a warm piece of cornbread with honey butter. But, it can be more exciting than just a side to chili or for your Thanksgiving meal and also relatively nutritious.
Cornmeal is a great source a fiber, which will help keep your digestive tract healthy (especially with lots of hearty winter meals). Yellow corn meal is also a great source of potassium and iron, so it’s a great option for vegetarians.
Ingredients (for the base):
- 1 cup flour (I typically use half white and half whole wheat flour)
- 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk*
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
*A note about milk: Any type of milk can be used to make cornbread. If you typically use non-dairy, I prefer to use an unsweetened variety of soy or almond milk. This will ensure that the bread isn’t too sweet and cuts back on the added sugar. You can also try making your own non-dairy buttermilk by combining 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into the cup of milk. This will make the cornbread a little bit puffier.
My favorite part of making cornbread is adding in fun flavors. This mix will allow you to make three different types of cornbread mini-muffins and yields about a dozen of each.
- 1 tbsp finely chopped jalapenos
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Caramelized Onion and Bacon
- 2 tablespoons caramelized onion
- 1 1/2 strips cooked bacon, broken into small pieces
- 2 tbsp finely chopped apple pieces
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a mini-muffin tin or coat with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Combine milk, egg, and oil. Stir the liquid mixture into flour mixture until combined. Divide batter into 3 batches (1 cup each), and stir a flavor combination into each.
Fill the muffins about three-quarters full with 1 batch of batter. Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin, using a knife around the edges if any feel stuck. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
I love to serve the jalapeno-cheddar with a warm bowl of chili, the bacon and caramelized onion make a fun bun for hamburger sliders, and the apple cinnamon muffins are great for brunch. These bite-sized muffins are also a great way to monitor your potion control. One or two muffins is usually enough to keep me satisfied without over doing it. Hope you enjoy!
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