Monday, January 6, 2014

Gluten Free Almond Flour Cornbread

I decided to go gluten free early last spring for a number of reasons but I face the struggle of being married to someone who is reluctant to give up the gluten. Initially there was kicking and screaming but as his waistline has begun to shrink he is coming around. Most things that are made to be gluten free in my opinion are horrible. Horrible taste, horrible texture, and a horrible list of chemical ingredients. Trying to bake gluten free at home doesn't make it any better. First you typically have to invest in 3 different densities of gluten free flours and then add xanthan gum to try and take the place of gluten. I've tried the pre-made gluten free flours and even a few recipes for creating your own blend and this foodie has not been impressed.

Then I discovered paleo baking and I haven't looked back. The ingredients are simple they don't make me worry about my health in the long run. I can't say the same for xanthan gum. However, if you know anything about The Paleo Diet you know that they do not eat corn, hence why I didn't name this Paleo Cornbread. I created this recipe to make cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving and while I tend to lean a little bit paleo I also believe we should enjoy our food and be able to die with a smile. My husband grew up on southern cuisine so if I'm going to make something to take the place of cornbread it had better taste like the cornbread he grew up on. After the first few bites my husband, the most challenging gluten free food critic, admitted that he would have no idea that it wasn't traditional cornbread. I'm calling it a success.

I'm not a huge fan of overly sweet foods but I thought this was a great balance. It was sweet but not too sweet, either way, feel free to reduce or omit the sugar if you feel that you need to. Also, if you're using one of the alternative milks check to see if it is sweetened before you decide on the sugar amount.

Gluten Free Almond Flour Cornbread
Preheat the oven to 375 F

4 eggs
1 1/2 C of almond flour
2 C of finely ground, organic, non-gmo, cornmeal
2T of coconut flour
1t salt
1 1/2 t non-gmo baking soda
splash of lemon juice*
3/4 C of cane sugar
1 C organic milk
2T oil (Preferably something that is not gmo. Soy, corn, and canola are the most genetically modified crops in the country.)

*The lemon juice was added to create some of the tang that you would typically get from buttermilk. It also reacts with the baking soda to create a better rise in your baked goods.

Combine the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients, and pour into a greased 13x9 pan. (I used organic butter to grease the pan because I have found that it works better than coconut oil. The aerosol stuff in the can? I never buy it because I've heard that it leaves a residue on your cookware and I also don't need to eat propellants. If you have one of those special bottles where you can turn your own cooking oil into a spray by pumping the bottle, that is perfectly fine.)

Bake for about 30 minutes and enjoy

If you are going to use this recipe to make stuffing:

When the cornbread is cool cut it into 1" cubes and spread it on a cookie sheet. (Don't clean the 13x9 just yet because you can bake the stuffing in the same pan.) Bake the cubes at 250 F for an hour to dry them out and then use them in your favorite stuffing recipe.

The next time I make stuffing I'll have to measure what I put in so that I can share it with you.