Sunday, February 28, 2010


A cooking experiment the other night was based around fat. I'm eliminating dairy products right now, which means no butter. There are many different types of margarines, but most seem to have a degree of processing and ingredients I'd rather not consume. After cooking with it before to make delicious cupcakes, I thought about giving coconut oil a try.

Vegan Cornbread
1 C cornmeal (medium grind/stone ground)
1 C whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour or other flour)
1/2 t salt
4 t baking powder
1 T agave nectar (optional)
1 egg's worth of egg replacer
1 C soy, almond, or rice milk
1/4 C coconut oil (or margarine)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Sift together dry ingredients into a bowl. Add egg, milk, and fat. Beat until smooth, about one minute. Do not overbeat. Bake in a greased 8-inch square pan for 20-25 minutes, or in greased muffin cups for 18-20 minutes. Serves nine.

There is a hint of coconut flavor to this recipe, but it's in no way overpowering. The cornbread was very tasty (just ask my roommate--she had one piece one day, and two more the next), went well with my vegan chili, and kept in a closed plastic container for 4 days. Next time I want to add in about 1/2 cup of corn kernels. Other variations could include 2 T of diced green chiles, or 2 T of flaked coconut, to enhance the coconut experience.

Coconut oil is very distinctive in the realm of edible oils because it's a solid at room temperature. This is due to its very high content of saturated fats. However, what's interesting about coconut oil is that its saturated fats are very different from those found in other oils, animal or vegetable. The fatty acid chains are of medium length, instead of long length. You can look up the biochemical details if you choose, but studies indicate that medium length fatty acids tend to have a more positive effect on the body, despite the sweeping statement that all saturated fats are bad for you. In many Pacific countries, coconut oil has been the vegetable oil of choice for hundreds of years. From a common sense perspective, though, I'm using a small amount in a baked good of which I'm eating a small amount each day. Our bodies need fats, and I definitely want to consume the best quality ones I can find.

1 comment:

  1. Stunningly wonderful cornbread, and I'm glad the recipe is here now... I'm going to be making this one in the future! Awesome!