Whole Grain Skillet Cornbread is made from real whole food ingredients and is free from refined oil and sugar. The center is crumbly and moist while the edges are crispy! A bit of coconut sugar and honey give it the perfect balance between sweet and savory.
It’s surprising to some people that up until my kids were born, I didn’t cook. At all. Through my college years I subsisted on chicken and vegetables. Not the kind you cook, really. Groceries for the week included a family pack of chicken breasts (to be sprinkled with lemon pepper and cooked on the George Foreman grill), a box of protein bars, a 5 lb. bag of frozen “California blend” veggies, and
a pack 2 packs of Diet Coke. Groceries for the week.. $30. Cook time… 5 minutes max. I have never minded eating the same things repeatedly and since I was the only person I had to take care of.. it worked.
When Joe and I got married I wanted to become domesticated. I pictured myself in an apron preparing elaborate dinners… but… I was a full time teacher who attended grad school classes at night, in addition to being the head coach of a high-school cheerleading squad. I was hardly ever home, and ate out (when there was time) frequently. I honestly have NO idea what Joe ate. On the rare night that we were both home, in an effort to “make dinner” I would often pick up a rotisserie chicken and steam a bag of broccoli… If I was feeling fancy I tossed a few Sister Schubert rolls into the microwave. Just call me Martha Stewart.
Eventually, life changed. Graduate school ended, I was no longer coaching, and 2 years ago-with the news of our second child, Joe and I made the decision that I would stay home. I went from never being home, to ALWAYS BEING HOME, and it was an adjustment. Not good, not bad, just different. With some time on my hands, I began to make dinner, amongst other things. Shockingly… I found it enjoyable. There was definitely a learning curve. We had small grease fires (the result of an unfortunate incident with a beef stew recipe), blackened parmesan chicken that I am still unsure how Joe choked down, and chronic problems with lack of flavor.
All this to say… cooking Thanksgiving food is new for me. It’s a meal that is prepared 1x per year. I’ve been cooking for 2, and last year I was assigned to green beans… which my family likes from the can. This year we will be attending 3 different Thanksgiving meals (over a 3 week period) and I purposely signed up to bring a different dish to each with the goal being to perfect a Thanksgiving staple using only whole-food ingredients. I figure that in 2-3 years I will be ready to host my first feast! First up, Friendsgiving and Cornbread stuffing (recipe coming soon). Which brings us to… this whole grain skillet cornbread! A very necessary first step to creating cornbread stuffing since the “whole-food” clause means that the Jiffy box is out. It came out incredibly?… after 4 attempts?!
I adapted this recipe from Ree Drummond’s recipe for skillet cornbread, because you can’t go wrong with the Pioneer Woman. .. LOVE HER! Her version contained white flour and shortening which I swapped for whole wheat flour and butter. Additionally, while it was delicious, I prefer a little sweetness to my cornbread so I added a bit of coconut sugar and honey. I also lowered the baking temperature (since honey burns easily) and made a few other tweaks.
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Make Ahead: This whole-grain skillet cornbread can definitely be made ahead of time! In fact if you are using it for stuffing, you must make it at least 24 hours ahead so that it has time to dry out. If you are serving it as a side for chili, soup, etc. I have to admit… warm from the oven is the way to go.
Freezer: To freezer, cut the cornbread into individual portions, wrap in cellophane, and place in an airtight ziplock bag. Corn bread for days!
- 1 cup of yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 TBS. coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 TBS Baking Powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ cup butter + 2 TBS
- 1 TBS Honey
- Place an iron skillet in the oven. Preheat to 425.
- In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, wheat flour, coconut sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir.
- In a measuring cup (that holds at least 2 cups), combine buttermilk, milk, and egg. Stir. Add baking soda. Stire.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir.
- In a small pot, over low heat, combine ¼ cup butter and honey until butter is completely
- melted. Stir continuously so that it doesn’t burn. Slowly add hot liquid to the batter. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Remove hot skillet from oven. Coat with remaining 2 TBS of butter. Pour cornbread mixture into the hot skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then bake for 20-25 mintues or until cornbread is golden brown.
- When you are coating the hot iron skillet in butter… remember it’s hot! Do not grab the handle. I did. It hurts!
- If you don’t want to buy buttermilk you can make you own. Add 1 TBS of white vinegar to a measuring cup, pour milk into measuring cup until the liquid reaches the 1 cup line. Stir. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- I used King Arthur brand organic whole wheat flour.
- Honey should be raw, and purchased locally when possible.
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