Everybody loves cornbread; and when this mouthwatering treat is loaded with cheese and flavor but is healthy too, everybody wins.
It was a cold evening and I wanted to warm the house by cooking something in the oven so I decided to make a family favorite, cornbread. Now, since September, when our family went organic/non processed, I had not baked anything. In the past I used the Jiffy corn bread mixes ( is HYDROGENATED LARD, really good for you?) and added extra sugar to make them even sweeter, but now I had to come up with a recipe that would not lead me astray.
The decision was made. I would make savory cornbread instead. I quickly located several recipes online, mentally mixed them in my mind (don't try this at home), changed a few ingredients and ended up with a delicious cheesy treat.
I used organic cornmeal that was pretty pale, so it did not turn out as yellow as most cornbread mixes, and I used whole wheat flour. This made it a little drier and a little heartier, but Organic Valley Cultured Pasture Butter made it all better. I used a raw, organic cheddar cheese ( from grass-fed cows) and one jalapeño pepper. I probably should have used two peppers, because when they cook, a lot of the kick disappears. I only show one pepper in the recipe, but feel free to adjust. Diced red or green bell pepper or onions would be great in this recipe too.
Now when I make cornbread, I find the best way to bake them is in a cast iron skillet. Cast iron makes great cookware not only because it is durable, it also adds iron to your diet, and browns meats perfectly. It holds heat very well too. A cast iron skillet your grandmother owned, can be used by your grandchildren if it is well cared for. A cast iron griddle can be laid across two stove burners and makes fantastic pancakes, burgers, grilled cheese and tuna melts.
One of my readers, Lynn, told me she wanted to get a cast iron skillet like mine, but she did not know how to care for it. Here are the basics of seasoning a skillet. You will never use nonstick again.
First of all, never put a hot skillet on cold water, it might crack. Make sure it is dry when you put it away, or it might rust. I like to store mine upside down in the oven. Never let sit on soapy water for long periods of time or place in the dishwasher. To clean you only need a light washing with soapy water. When you cast iron is seasoned correctly, it is almost non stick and will clean very easily.
A well seasoned skillet needs very little oil and is ready when a few drops of water dance in the pan. If the pan is smoking, your fire is too hot. Cast iron needs to be seasoned every now and then depending on how often you use it, I usually season about once or twice per year. Just take a little bit of oil or lard and rub a thin layer all over the pan, inside and out. Place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for about thirty minutes. Cool and repeat. I try to do my skillets, Dutch oven, and griddle all at the same time. If food sticks, to the pan, reseason until it is lustrous.
Here are a few items mentioned in this blog. See recipe below.
Healthy Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread Skillet
1 cup organic cornmeal
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 level teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
1 1/8 cup organic buttermilk or whole milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup
1 egg beaten ( organic)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese ( grass fed organic)
1or 2 jalapeños finely diced , depending on your taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put one teaspoon coconut into 10-inch cast iron skillet and put into oven while it is heating. Mix first four ingredients. Cut in coconut oil until crumbly. Stir in cheese and jalapeño. Beat egg in small bowl, then add milk and honey/maple syrup. Add to dry mixture and mix until wet with big lumps gone. Do not over mix! Let sit for 5 mins. This will let the baking soda start working so it will rise better.
Carefully take skillet out of oven. Be careful not to slash oil, set on a heat proof surface such as your stove top. Pour batter into skillet. Put immediately into oven and bake for 20 mins. Take out, slice, top with Organic Valley Pasture Butter or other pasture butter, Enjoy!
Of course if you don't have organic everything the recipe will still come out fine, it just wont be as healthy!
Dare to go cast iron! Until next time, always make sure the only thing that goes into your mouth is Whole Tasty Food.
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