This cornbread has been totally made over. It uses no butter, eggs, cow’s milk, salt, oil, or refined sugar, instead getting its sweetness and texture from quinoa, dates, and a little banana.
1 cup nondairy milk
2½ ounces dates (about 4 Medjool or 8 Deglet Noor), pitted and quartered
½ ripe banana, sliced
1 cup water
½ cup dry/uncooked quinoa
1½ cups cornmeal (use fine, not medium or coarse grind)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Place the nondairy milk, dates, and banana into a blender, and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or use a silicone baking pan.
2. Place 1 cup water and ½ cup dry quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes with the cover still on. After 10 minutes, remove the cover.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the cornmeal and baking powder with a fork.
4. Blend the nondairy milk, dates, and banana until smooth.
5. Pour the date-banana mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix with a wooden spoon; add in the cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly. Spread the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cornbread will not rise very much, and will have cracks in the top when done. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into 9 pieces.
Preparation: about 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes (stove top), 35 minutes (oven)
Serves: 4 (makes 9 pieces)
• For added flavor (and color), add ½ cup corn kernels or blueberries along with the cooked quinoa in step 5 (be careful if using blueberries, to mix them in gently so you don’t end up with purple cornbread).
• For an even heartier cornbread, add 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed in step 3.
• To avoid excess sodium, use sodium-free baking powder.
• Look for dates in your grocery store’s bulk food section, or packaged near the raisins (even if you buy “pitted,” chop them anyway to be sure).
• If you are using commercial nondairy milk, look for brands with the fewest ingredients, as well as no added oil, salt, or sugar.