One of my favorite meals growing up was chili and corn bread. This was a meal often prepared by my father. My mom did most of the cooking, so I think his foray into the kitchen made it extra special. To make a perfect cornbread my Dad always used the recipe on the side of the Quaker Yellow Cornmeal can. The bread always turned out golden, a little bit chewy and slightly moist.
Despite the fact that my mom is the expert chef in my parents household, the only food that she did not make better than my dad was corn bread. My moms corn bread just never tasted as good. In high school I discovered that the secret was sugar. My dad put in 1/4 cup (according to the recipe on the can). My mom omits the sugar in the name of good health (and because she doesnt think that cornbread needs to be sweet).
In principle I agree with my mom, but in actuality I agree with my dad. I prefer my cornbread lightly sweet. And now, I have a healthy solution! This morning I put a pot of chili on the stove to cook, while also cooking down some old apples into apple sauce. While trying to decide what to do with my apple sauce I decided to make cornbread, at which time I realized that we are again short on eggs. Id just got back from an errand run and had already been to the store. Bummer? Not exactly!
I decided to try a vegan cornbread and the results are just about perfect. My only complaint is that the bread is light brown rather than a golden yellow, but when it comes to taste it is just right! Since I didn’t have a can of Dads corn meal on hand, I consulted the Joy of Cooking for my recipe guidelines. And, thanks to JOC I learned that my Dad makes Northern cornbread, which calls for 1 to 4 tablespoons of sugar, while my mom makes Southern Corn Bread, which says 1 tablespoon sugar (optional).
I like to be in the middle, so I still used 1 tablespoon of sugar, but most of the sweetness and moisture in my bread likely comes from the cornbread!
Preheat oven to 400F & grease a round (or square) 9 inch pan.
Sift together the dry Ingredients:
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup finely ground flax seed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
Mix in a separate bowl:
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup canola oil
Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir well, but not too much. Poor thick batter into pan even out the batter and bake for about 25 minutes. If you wish to try this recipe you could use a milk substitute instead of water, but do not eliminate the flax meal as that is what holds it all together and takes the place of the eggs!
Now I am off to enjoy a warm piece of cornbread with some Earth Balance Spread and a little Colorado Honey. Yum Yum!