Traditional cornbread gets a total makeover with this recipe, which uses no butter, eggs, cow’s milk, salt, oil, or refined sugar, instead getting its moistness from quinoa and its sweetness from dates.
3 ounces pitted dates (5 to 6 Medjool or 10 to 12 Deglet Noor), chopped
½ cup corn kernels
Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes with the lid still on.
Grind the oats into flour with a blender. Transfer to a medium bowl, and whisk in the cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
Place the nondairy milk and dates into the blender, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften).
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Blend the milk and dates until smooth. Stir this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, along with the cooked quinoa and corn. Stir just until the dry ingredients disappear.
Spread the batter evenly into the pan and bake for 33 to 35 minutes. The cornbread will not rise very much, but when it's done it will have cracks in the top and be lightly browned around the edges. Set aside to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into 9 pieces.