There is real beauty in simple food. Don't get me wrong; I love big bold flavors. Heat, spice, tart. But I also love mellow flavors. Fresh unsweetened mint ice tea, tomatoes right off the vine, beans and brown rice with just a little salt and pepper, and basic cornbread muffins.
I was craving my black bean soup (click here for that recipe) this weekend and decided a really simple cornbread muffin would go perfectly with it. And it did. If you've never made my black bean soup, I would highly recommend it. So would a lot of other people. It happens to be my most popular and my most re-pinned recipe on Pinterest (click here to view my Pinterest page and follow me). It is cheap, easy, and a extremely flavorful.
These cornbread muffins are too. They will take you maybe 10 minutes to make the batter and 20 minutes to bake. The only odd ingredient is the xanthan gum powder. If you are gluten-free, most likely you already have this odd ingredient in your pantry. If you are not-gluten free, leave it out and also replace the gluten-free flour blend with your regular all purpose flour. Xanthan gum is a thickener that is used in some gluten-free baking that helps to bind. You can find xanthum gum using the link below.
To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get your 12 cup muffin tin out. Line them with cupcake liners or lightly grease with melted coconut oil.
In a large bowl, combine all your dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Then add your wet ingredients. Stir until a thick, sticky consistency forms. Make sure to get all the lumps out. You might be stirring for 30-45 seconds to achieve this, so no need to over-stir this.
Now, get your handy medium levered ice cream scooper out. I keep telling you to buy one of these; it will be life changing for you in the kitchen. Start by putting one scoop in each tin. Then add another slightly less full scoop as your second round in each tin. It should come out perfectly for 12 muffins. Below is a link to my scooper.
Using clean wet fingers, lightly press down on each muffin dough mound to flatten and fill the cup.
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Don't over bake these! Pull out and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve warm as is or with a smattering of Earth Balance vegan butter.
The other beauty of basic cornbread muffins is what you can do with them. Spread some blackberry jam on your muffins for breakfast. Eat alongside a bowl of chili or my black bean soup for lunch or dinner. For dessert, make some coconut milk whipped cream and heat some fresh strawberries with coconut sugar, and build yourself a cornbread strawberry shortcake. That's the beauty of a basic recipe.
You can absolutely add a small can of drained diced green chilies in the batter to spice things up. Add a teaspoon of cumin or ancho chili powder. Or maybe try a quarter of a cup of chopped sundried tomatoes (not the packed in oil kind), a teaspoon of dried basil and 1/2 a teaspoon of course black pepper in the batter. You can also simply enjoy them as they are.
The possibilities are endless. Make the recipe your own. Enjoy!
Time: 45 minutes
1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. all purpose gluten-free flour blend
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum powder (unless your gf flour blend already contains)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like almond milk)
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a 12 muffin tin pan, either grease each tin lightly with coconut oil or use paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and combine. Then add wet ingredients and stir until a thick consistency forms, making sure all lumps are broken up.
Using your medium size levered ice cream scooper, scoop one level scoop per muffin tin. Then add the second scoop to each muffin. Using wet fingers, gently flatten each muffin.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Do not over bake.
Makes 12 muffins.