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Mama's Cornbread Made Healthy

Updated on March 13, 2015

It's a Bread---and So Much More

Growing up in the deep south, cornbread was a staple food. It accompanied almost every meal we had except for breakfast. In the South, cornbread is truly versatile because it's used in so many different ways. My mother always used cornbread to make the stuffing for holiday meals. Always! Stuffing made with breadcrumbs was considered practically sacrilegious. Beef stew wouldn't be compete without cornbread crumbled into it (much like others crumble crackers into their chile). My grandfather used to eat cornbread crumbled into a cup with buttermilk poured over it. Don't laugh! I tasted it once and it wasn't half-bad.... My daddy always ate his cornbread crumbled on his plate topped with the juice of cooked turnip greens (which we southerners call "pot liquor") or purple hull peas. My personal favorite is eating a piping hot wedge of cornbread smothered in butter. Real butter, not margarine. Heavenly...

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Mama's Cornbread Made Healthy

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 8 wedges
  • 1 cup yellow or white corn meal, (make sure you get the SELF RISING kind)
  • 1 medium or large egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk, (I use low-fat and can't tell the difference)

The Process

  1. The first rule for making cornbread is you MUST cook it in an iron skillet. The skillet should be well seasoned and they are easy and fairly cheap to purchase online. (Make sure you get the "seasoned" kind, otherwise everything you cook in it will stick and make a big mess.)
  2. Preheat your oven to 425. Next, add the canola oil to your iron skillet and heat gently on top of the stove. Meanwhile, mix your other ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup of cornmeal, 1 egg, and 1 3/4 cup of buttermilk until well combined.
  4. When the oil has a mild sputter, grip the handle of the skillet with a potholder (unless you want burned fingers) and pour into your mixure of cornmeal. It will sizzle when you pour it in. This is normal. Stir to competely incorporate oil into your mixture.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dry cornmeal (not the mixture you just made----the dry out of the sack) into the skillet. This is very similar to dusting flour into a cake pan. The purpose is to prevent the cornbread from sticking even a little bit.
  6. Add the cornmeal mixture into the skillet and place on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until it's nicely brown on top.
  7. Remove skillet from the oven and invert onto a dinner plate. If it gives you trouble popping out of the skillet like its supposed to, take a spatula and gently go underneath the cornbread to loosen it.
  8. Many southern women don't ever wash their cornbread skillet. They use it exclusively for making cornbread only because the more you use it, the less the cornbread sticks.
  9. Enjoy!
This is how much cornmeal to sprinkle in the skillet before adding batter.
This is how much cornmeal to sprinkle in the skillet before adding batter.
This is how brown your cornbread should be.
This is how brown your cornbread should be.
If your cornbread sticks, loosen edges with a small spatula.
If your cornbread sticks, loosen edges with a small spatula.

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