Trying an elimination diet can be a very tricky and scary endeavor. You miss the foods you’re used to, and even worse, sometimes you don’t know how to make substitutes that don’t include your X food.
When we went grain-free, then gluten-free, a year and a half ago for the first time, I couldn’t stomach buying the fancy flours often called for in gluten-free recipes. We started by basically just making meals that didn’t include grains, or just cutting them from meals, like stir fry without the rice and chicken noodle soup without the noodles.
$9 for a bag of xanthan gum? Needing two, three, or even four different gluten-free flours to blend together to make one recipe, no guarantees that you’ll even like it? No, thanks. I’ll stick with my coconut flour muffins (from Healthy Snacks to Go) and these pumpkin Paleo pancakes.
The two flours often used in grain-free baking are coconut flour and almond flour, and I quickly learned that coconut flour is used in such small amounts that it stretches a long way. As I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, I think coconut flour is the one new thing you should buy if you want to go grain-free OR gluten free.
After a while, though, I started wanting more variety to go with soup and salad (other than just soup and salad). I found a marvelous grain-free cheesy biscuit recipe in Well Fed Homestead’s A Whole Food Holiday, but I really wanted a gluten-free cornbread recipe to go with chili (Recipe available in The Everything Beans Book) last fall. There’s actually a gluten-free cornbread in Is Your Flour Wet?, the free downloadable soaked grains ebook, but it called for that pesky xanthan gum plus FOUR flours I didn’t have.
Twitter to the rescue!
I tried two different recipes, pegged the definite favorite, and then tweaked it a little more to make it both easier to make and a bit more sturdy.
It’s simple and doesn’t use any weird ingredients. If you’re just starting a gluten-free journey or trying to bring a gift of meal to someone who can’t have gluten, this cornbread will make chili possible!
Recipe: Gluten-Free Cornbread
- 1¼ c. milk
- 2 eggs
- ¼ c. refined or unrefined coconut oil or butter, melted
- 2 c. yellow cornmeal
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Grease an 8 or 9 inch square cake pan. (Bet this would go wonderfully in a cast iron pan, too, I just haven't tried it yet!)
- Using a whisk, beaters, or stand mixer, mix the egg, milk and coconut oil – be sure to mix immediately after adding the melted coconut oil because it will solidify quickly once it hits the cold milk.
- Put the cornmeal on top, then sprinkle the other dry ingredients over. Mix everything together well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bread pulls away from the edges of the pan.
Got a Nutrimill? You can mill whole popcorn, which I think is fabulous for this cornbread. About ⅔ c. popcorn makes one cup of cornmeal. (I hear other grain mills can't handle popcorn, so be sure to know your machine.)
Tip for melting coconut oil: put the measured amount into the glass baking dish you're going to use for the recipe and place in the oven while it preheats. Ta da! Melted oil and a greased pan.
If the coconut oil does solidify into chunks, just do your best to incorporate them. The final product doesn't seem to be compromised if the batter is full of coconut oil chunks. It seems to happen to me every time.
If you're looking for a sweeter version of cornbread, add a Tbsp. or two of honey or maple syrup to the batter. This recipe is definitely for savory meals (or to be served with maple syrup or honey on top! At least, that's what I thought before I tried sorghum, my new utter favorite cornbread topping).
The recipe doubles well and freezes excellently.
No lying here, this cornbread is rather thin and not nearly as tasty as my old cornbread recipe, which I miss, but it’s good. It fills the gap when you’re gluten-free.
Got any other tips to make gluten-free or grain-free baking simple?
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Disclosure: I am an affiliate and earn commission from well fed homestead and Honeyville Grain, and Tropical Traditions also gives coupons to me if new buyers get tempted by the link to coconut flour. But that’s where I get mine, anyway! See my full disclosure statement here.