There’s something about cooking with and eating seasonal foods that is nourishing to body, mind, and soul. Use of seasonal foods is also cost-effective and beneficial to the environment. Pairing pumpkin and cornbread is one way to fully reap the warm and fuzzy benefits of eating seasonally.
When made from a box, cornbread is more like a sweet and starchy treat (with a lot of unwanted preservatives) rather than a nutritional powerhouse. When homemade, though, there is no reason that it shouldn’t be fully satisfying, nutritionally sound, and totally delicious. This recipe is wheat-free and can be made gluten-free with the use of gluten-free oat flour. Using pumpkin imparts a mild flavor but makes for a great texture.
This pumpkin cornbread is the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of black bean chili or vegetable stew. It can also be enjoyed as part of a nourishing breakfast. To fully experience the warm and fuzzy feeling, bake the cornbread in a cast iron skillet.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cook time
Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe
Ingredients: 1 cup cornmeal (use organic if available) 1 cup oat flour 2 T baking powder 1 t salt 1 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 cup milk (use organic if available) 2 eggs 2 T honey 1/4 cup virgin or extra virgin coconut oil, melted
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a 9-in. cast iron skillet or an 8x8-in. baking pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
Mix cornmeal, oat flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, honey, and melted coconut oil.
Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
Add batter to greased pan and spread to edges.
Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean and top is slightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve warm.
Notes: Oat flour can be purchased, or you can make it in your kitchen. If going the homemade route, add 1 ¼ cups old fashioned oats to a blender or food processor and pulse until finely ground. This will yield 1 cup oat flour.
Pumpkin puree can come from a can, or you can cook a pumpkin and make a puree. If using canned, try to purchase one that has a BPA-free liner; the brand Farmer’s Market has a BPA-free canned pumpkin. If making your own puree, place cooked pumpkin flesh in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. The yield will be about 1 cup puree per 1 lb. pumpkin.
Any type of milk (dairy or non-dairy) can be used. If using non-dairy milk, make sure it is unflavored and unsweetened.
Variations: If not sensitive to gluten or wheat, whole wheat flour can be used instead of oat flour. If using whole wheat flour, cut the baking powder down to 1 tablespoon.
If desired, this cornbread can take on a pumpkin spice flavor with the addition of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (added to flour mixture). A tablespoon of molasses can be added to the pumpkin mixture for an even richer flavor.
Benefits: This savory treat has so many benefits! The fiber content and profile that stem from the corn, oats, and pumpkin are most notable and help to make you feel full, and vitamins and minerals are abundant, too. Corn is a great source of B vitamins and magnesium, and pumpkin is especially high in vitamin A. The coconut oil contains phenolic compounds, the plant nutrients touted for their antioxidant properties.
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