This twist on traditional cornbread is perfect for the holiday table, and a healthy departure from nutrient-poor, white-flour breads and rolls. Lightly sweetened with dates, this bread is a delicious complement to soups, stews, potato dishes and salads.
- 1 cup water
- 3 ounces pitted dates (5 to 6 Medjool or 10 to 12 Deglet Noor), cut in half
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1½ cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15-ounce can, see Notes)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Place the water and dates into a small bowl, 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.
- Using a blender, grind the oats into flour. Transfer to a medium bowl, and add the cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Set aside.
- Pour the water and dates into the blender, and blend until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, and blend until incorporated. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients, and stir until the dry ingredients disappear. Stir in the walnuts.
- Spread the batter evenly into the pan and bake for 38 to 40 minutes. When the cornbread is done, it will have cracks in the top and be lightly browned around the edges. Set aside to cool. Serve warm or cold. Cut into 9 pieces.
Cornmeal: Cornmeal comes in various "grinds" or textures. For this recipe use regular cornmeal. If you only have "medium" or "polenta" grind, add it in with the oats when processing it into flour; otherwise, your cornbread may be too gritty.
Baking pan: I like to use my metal 8x8 baking pan with a recipe like this, as the metal conducts heat better than ceramic or glass (which is better for casseroles and other dishes where you want to maintain moisture).
Leavening: For this recipe, I used Hain sodium-free baking powder, and regular baking soda (you can also use Ener-G baking soda replacement, which is sodium-free).
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