Happy month of giving thanks! It seemed only fitting to start off this month of recipes for the Thanksgiving season with a traditional sight at the table... cornbread! It wasn't until the past couple of years that I started making my own cornbread recipe from scratch. Actually, I didn't do much cooking before my pregnancy, and I always love talking about how eating all homemade, real food has changed my lifestyle, my body, my mind, everything! It's the best feeling in the world knowing exactly what is going into your food and where it came from. Before that, we always made those mixes that came in a box. Oh man, making this delicious quick bread from raw ingredients in your pantry will blow your socks off! I love it. It's extremely fast and easy, just as fast as making it from the box, and way way better for you. Because you get to control what goes in! You can swap out all of these ingredients for plant based ones. The consistency might be different, but I often bake with almond milk and don't see much of a difference anyway.
Where did cornbread come from? I think we all know that the Native Americans used ground cornmeal for thousands of years before any of the European colonists arrived. Though it wasn't until the Europeans arrived that they decided to experiment with bread making with corn instead of the grains that were familiar back home. Cornbread at the time was also called corn pone and was actually a traditional Southern dish. It was a staple dish for populations where wheat flour was expensive and hard to come by. It's easy to make and access. In fact, corn is now used to make just about everything we eat from the grocery store. Now, I could rant about that all I want and how much I dislike the ways we use corn (let's try growing something different, am I right?!) and the amount of Iowa land that is used for solely growing corn or soy beans. I mean, we have the ability to grow so many wonderful things here... but cornbread strikes me as something that is filled with American tradition, something our ancestors shared together in a time that was difficult and terrifying.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted over the stove
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup milk or buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp butter (for the skillet)
- Preheat your oven to 400. In a large cast iron skillet with high sides, place your 3 tablespoons of butter, and set the skillet in the oven while it heats. This will prep the skillet perfectly!
- In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda.
- Slowly begin to incorporate the flour mixture along with the milk or buttermilk. I chose to use milk because I don't often have buttermilk on hand! You'll want to add each by thirds, flour and milk, until you create a nice thick consistency to your batter.
- Once mixed, pull out your heated skillet. The butter should have melted and spread on the bottom of the pan. Take it over the sink and turn it to coat the inner sides as well. Pour your corn bread batter into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Serve warm spread with butter and drizzled with honey!
You can see just how easy this recipe is! I hope it can make its way to your table this Thanksgiving. It's really so easy to throw together last minute before everyone comes to sit down, and you can serve it warm and drizzled with an excessive amount of honey. That's my favorite! This recipe is pleasantly sweet and fluffy. If you want a thicker bread, use a smaller skillet. My large skillet tends to make this bread flatter and sometimes I double the recipe! I serve this alongside my famous plant-based sweet potato chili. I'll be sharing that recipe on Thursday!