Friday, September 30, 2016

A"maize"ing Sweet and Spicy Corn Bread

It's no secret that we love cornbread around here. Granted, given that we are Canadian and all that, we adore the sweeter, "breakfast" or "snack" style cornbread baked in square pans more so than the "real" cast-iron concoctions from the south. Regardless of the style, the first biting days of fall brought not only the first round of seasonal colds and flus through the neighbourhood, but that never-ending "chill" that requires true comfort food to chase away. With chili and stew on the stove, there's nothing better than a sweet and savoury side dish like a hearty cornbread, and this one wound up covering all the bases while staying 100% vegan and low-fat to boot.

A"maize"ing Sweet and Spicy Corn Bread

Making cornbread is not only a chance to savour a great comfort food, but for us is one of those "transition" recipes we make as summer trudges into fall, mixing the summery flavours of the corn with the more practical, "pantry" formats they can be found in - namely dried (as in cornmeal) and canned. Over the summer, we indulge in fresh, local corn full-force, often picking up extra ears when the farmstands are selling them for 10 cents apiece, shucking and freezing the kernels for the winter's soups and casseroles. I've tried to make "cream style corn" myself, but it never turns out right, and picking up a can is a fast, cheap and easy way to bring a ton of corny flavour and moisture to what is stereotypically a dry quickbread. The other secret to creating a melt-in-your-mouth, moist and tender cornbread is in the yogurt. The acidity tenderizes the whole grains gently without creating a soggy middle, and lends a great flavour on its own. While regular, low-fat (not fat free) Greek-style yogurt will certainly do, I decided to play up the "summer" theme and use a vegan, blueberry flavoured coconut yogurt - not only did the fruitiness taste awesome with the hot pepper jelly that also snuck into the batch, but it lent a great colour along with the blue cornmeal I had on hand.

The pan smelled like Heaven as it baked, and the only thing that stopped me from digging in right away was the fact that a single, piping hot corn kernel meeting my tongue was a feeling I did not quite want to go for. Once room temperature, though, the batch began disappearing mysteriously quickly!

A"maize"ing Sweet and Spicy Corn Bread

A"maize"ing Sweet and Spicy Corn Bread
Serves 9
1 cup cornmeal (I used blue to go with the blueberries)
1 cup spelt flour
2 tbsp ground chia seed
½ tbsp Homemade Egg Replacer or Ener-G egg replacer
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
15 oz. canned creamed corn
1/3 cup blueberry yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut Blueberry "Yogurt" Alternative)
2 tbsp Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly, melted  (you can use another hot pepper jelly)
  1. Heat oven to 425 F and grease an 8" square pan. Place in the oven while it’s heating.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, spelt flour, chia seed, egg replacer, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  3. Add the corn, milk and jelly, stirring to combine well.
  4. Pour into the hot pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool in the pan before turning out.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 142.0
Total Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 136.1 mg
Total Carbs: 29.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.1 g
Protein: 4.0 g