Now cornbread might not be on everyone’s top ten items of must-have foods, but I’m a Southern gal and I have to have my cornbread. The problem is, I’m used to making cornbread with eggs and milk and a ton of vegetable shortening. And adopting a low-fat Vegan diet has put an end to that.
So, this might not matter much to you and you might say, “Just go to the internet and get a recipe for vegan cornbread. There are tons of them out there.” Ha! Easy for you to say! And, well, yes. I could do that. But, for years I have made cornbread with this:
And when you have fifty-seven 2-lb bags of the stuff in your freezer, you want to use it. At least I want to use it. Thus, the great vegan cornbread adventure. And, in case you are wondering, I was just kidding about having fifty-seven of them. I actually have closer to a dozen. Oh, all right! I’ll go count them! Nine! I have Nine – plus the one that is already open. Happy now? But however many I have, you just can’t beat Martha White and I’m not even going to try.
Also, all the recipes on the internet have tons of sugar in the list of ingredients. SUGAR! No Southerner worth her salt is going to put sugar in cornbread. Not even with a gun held to her head. No way. Not happening. Not now. Not ever.
No problem deciding which milk substitute to use. I’ve tasted soy milk and ... Yuk Patooie! That stuff does not taste good. I’ve also tasted Blue Diamond Almond Breeze – and that one tastes pretty good. However, no milk substitute I’ve ever tasted is as good as the favorite in this house: Vance’s DariFree
This “potato based milk” tastes even better than the regular cow’s milk we’ve always been used to. It tastes so good, in fact, that AngelSpouse switched to this product approximately thirty years ago! He uses it in his cereal in the mornings.
Back to the experiments. Knowing what milk substitute I would be using, what I needed next was a substitute for the egg. I had a couple of choices in mind.
First, I baked up a skillet of cornbread using a medium-soft tofu in place of the egg. I really should have used a very soft silken tofu but I didn’t have any. However, the medium-soft worked pretty well after I smashed it really good and gooped it up with some of the milk before adding it to the cornmeal.
Here is the finished product using tofu in place of egg:
It didn’t rise like my usual non-vegan cornbread and it took a little longer to bake. The length of the bake time, however, could be the fault of my oven, which is not altogether truthful with respect to temperature declarations.
This cornbread was also a bit “heavy”. But I have to tell you – it didn’t taste bad at all. In fact, we nearly finished it off about 30 minutes after it came out of the oven. (Do keep in mind that my cornbread skillet is pretty small – about 6” diameter – just so you don’t think we are total gluttons here.)
That was yesterday.
Today, I made cornbread again. This time using a commercial egg replacer in place of the egg:
And, of course, I used the DariFree milk substitute as before.
Here is the cornbread made with egg replacer:
This skillet of cornbread had a higher “rise” than the tofu cornbread. It was fluffier but also a little more crumbly. I think the tofu kept the first skillet of cornbread from being crumbly, but, as I said, it was a bit heavy.
Disclosure 1: To the cornbread made with the egg replacer I also added 1 tablespoon of instant mashed potato flakes. I figured the milk substitute is made from potatoes and I use instant mashed potato flakes in my home-baked bread so why not give it a try? Anyway, I doubt it did much to the taste but it could have added just a smidge to the lightness of the cornbread (as opposed to the heaviness of the tofu cornbread).
Disclosure 2: To the cast iron skillet, I have always added a BIG old glop of Crisco vegetable shortening, placed it over high heat until it melted and the pan was very hot, then poured the hot, liquid shortening into the cornmeal mix, stirred it all up, and finally returned everything to the skillet and popped it into a 450 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. For these low-fat versions of cornbread I used maybe 1 teaspoon of the shortening – just enough to coat the skillet with a tiny bit left over to add to the mix. Ergo, little bit crumbly because not so much fat to hold it all together anymore.
Moment of truth: This cornbread made with the egg replacer tastes GREAT! I can’t wait till lunch in a few minutes because I’m going to scarf that thing down.
Southern Gal gets her cornbread after all! Low Fat! Dairy Free! And tastes great!
Happy dancing around the oven! And it looks just like….wait for it….CORNBREAD!
~ AngelMay ~