Enjoy this easy vegan cornbread recipe in a cast iron skillet for the holidays
When I was younger, I was never a fan of cornbread. This was because almost all the cornbread that I have tried had been dry. I do not know about you but I do not like dry bread. So I avoided it like the plague. Now, I've always heard of cornbread being judged by just the name of the person who made it just like the "Who made the potato salad?" question. I get it - it's a trust thing. I've come to get on board with cornbread by making many cornbread dishes - in fact, this is actually my second cornbread recipe.
Ingredients & Tools
🌍 The History of Soul Food In America
Cornbread is considered soul food, so it is important to understand the origins of Soul Food. Growing up in New York, soul food was not a common term amongst the community that I grew up in. However, as Thanksgiving rolled around every year, the term would begin to pop up on news segments, and on The Food Network. With Google not being a "thing" back then, my young 7-8-year-old self easily interpreted the term, Soul Food, the binder of history amongst Black families mostly in the South. As I grew older, the term became increasingly common, and by the age of 10, HBO came out with a show called Soul Food. Call it the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.
Though my childhood interpretation did not stray too far from the definition, I missed defining the core reason and origin of soul food. Soul Food has ties to African cooking techniques that have since been adapted to cabin living during the Era of Slavery in America, one of the worst institutions in American history, that is still impacting the lives of Black people in America today.
Soul Food is about adapting and making. The term has over 100 years of history with each family continuously adapting and changing their diets to the resources around them. We see this during the Great Migration, where Black families left the South in droves to cities like Detriot, Chicago, and New York City (Harlem to be exact), to escape the charged climate of the Post Civil War era and the increased attacks of White Supremacy through the Jim Crow laws. Acclimating to their new surroundings, Black families adjusted their meals and recipes to ingredients that were available and to their new schedules as many mothers and fathers took to industrial work.
The Adaptation of Vegan Soul Food
Soul Food is often misconstrued as unhealthy, and heavy. This is untrue and a harmful general statement. Soul Food is more than just food, it is about history and roots. Chef Terry, a renowed Chef, released his fourth book, Afro-Vegan, in 2014. In it, he reminds us of “Afrodiasporic foods” that have become invisible or marginalized in American food culture.
I see the growing number of Blacks converting to a vegan/plant-based diet is an act of reclaiming their foods. As of 2019, Blacks are going vegan at a faster rate than any other demographic.
For this vegan cornbread recipe in a cast iron, I opted for reducing the sugar content to just ¼ cup of brown sugar. I decided to focus more on creating a versatile tasting cornbread that can be buttered for savor or sweetened with jam.
Store in a plastic or glass container, covered. Refrigerate for 7 days.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients separately before combining.
- Preheat your oven before placing bread in the oven.
- Butter your cast iron pot before pouring in your cornbread batter.
- 1 ¼ cups of all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups of yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups of oat milk
- 2 vegan egg replacer
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ¼ cup of melted butter
- Preheat oven to 400°. Coat your cast-iron pan with butter.
- Whisk flour, cornmeal, salt, baking soda and baking powder together.
- In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, vegan eggs, and milk until well blended.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients until you form a smooth batter.
- Add in the melted butter and mix.
- Spread the batter into the cast iron pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.
Serve with butter or jam.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 6.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gSodium: 346.6mgCarbohydrates: 36.9gFiber: 2.1gSugar: 13.1gProtein: 4.2g