King Cornbread

Heart Healthy King Cornbread |

Cornbread has indeed saved the world. Seems like a broad statement, so let me explain. Not just a staple of the South where cornbread is religion and the daily bread part of every important occasion, corn and cornbread has sustained folks around the world and was especially significant in the New World where local Native Americans shared their ways with the starving colonists and helped to shape and flavor the regional cornbreads of America: skillet-baked buttermilk Southern cornbread; sweet cake-like Northern cornbread; chile spiced, smoky Southwestern cornbread.

In our house, cornbread is King; growing up in Northwest Arkansas, I brought my religion with me, as many before me have. Cornbread is the first thing College Girl requests when she comes home and it was one of the first foods I absolutely had to find a way to make without baking powder when Don was put on a very restricted sodium diet. Why no baking powder? Surprising to us, and to many who are watching their sodium intake, bread is one of The Salty Six. Not only is most bread highly processed with salt added for flavor and a preservative, but a component of nearly every baked good is baking   baking soda or baking powder – baking soda has an astounding 150 mg. of sodium per 1/8th teaspoon and baking powder  55 mg. per 1/8 teaspoon. The labeling verges on deceptive because when do you use only 1/8 of a teaspoon? When you do the math, that is 1,200 and 440 mg of sodium per teaspoon respectively! Check the label.

Heart Healthy King Cornbread |

But, back to cornbread and its place in food history. You can find cornbread brethren in Mexico as pan de elote, arepas in Columbia and Latin America;  humitas in Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia. New World corn spread to Old World Europe – broa, a yeast risen dense cornbread, served with caldo verde in Portugal, and more of a cornmeal mush in Italy’s polenta in Italy and Romanian mamaliga. The path of corn around the world is as intriguing as tales of spice traders, and no one tells it better than passionate author Crescent Dragonwagon who spent six years following the cornbread trail from the Green Mountains to the Ozarks, to Latin America, Asia, and beyond researching and writing The Cornbread Gospels.

“No other single food has been the subject of more passionate discussion, on and off the record, than cornbread. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain are just a few of those who wrote heatedly about cornbread. No other single food has more purely American historical and cultural connections, from the worship of Mother Corn, the Corn Goddess, by Native Americans, to the survival of the Pilgrims, … to its darker history, that of a staple food to those once enslaved in this country.”

Heart Healthy King Cornbread |

Usually I bake cornbread in my cast iron skillet and it makes a nice homespun presentation but I also like to serve it in my brick red apple casserole dish because I get to eat the little crunchy “stem” piece. College Girl always liked the puffy center pieces, I adore the crunchy edges, and Don is an equal opportunity cornbread eater.

Heart Healthy King Cornbread  |

Cornbread is a given when I cook Southern dishes like beans, my un-fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, pulled pork and, of course, chili and ribs. Over the years I tweaked my cornbread recipe to be a little less caloric by substituting 1% milk for whole milk and sunflower oil for butter or bacon fat. Now, with the help of Hain Featherweight Sodium-Free Baking Powder (yes, there is such a thing – it contains potassium in lieu of sodium) and no added salt, it also has nearly zero sodium (milk has a little). Some people like sweet cornbread – we’re not one of those people – there is only a scant 1/4 cup of sugar for just a touch of sweetness.

Heart Healthy King Cornbread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cornbread is a favorite in our house and, with a low fat, low sodium makeover, it's much healthier. Delicious warm from the oven, toasted with butter or jelly, morning, noon, or night, your family will be clamoring for it, too.
Serves: 10 servings
  • 1 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 c. medium-grind cornmeal
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Hain Featherweight No-Sodium baking powder*
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ¼ c. sunflower or canola oil
  • 1⅓ c. 1% lowfat milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425° degrees F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Blend in the beaten egg, milk and oil.
  4. Pour into a baking dish sprayed lightly with oil. Bake for 20 minutes.
* I buy Hain's Featherweight No-Sodium Baking Powder at Mother's Market, you can buy it at similar natural food stores or online.

Nutritional Analysis: Calories 193 per serving, Fat 7 g, Saturated1 g, Trans 0 g, Carbs 29 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 4 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 23 mg

Enjoy :)

Heart Healthy King Cornbread | =

12 Responses to “King Cornbread”

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 29 at 1:24 pm #

    I love cornbread too. So glad you were able to make a heart healthy variation!

    • Priscilla May 29 at 2:10 pm #

      Thanks, Laura! It took a bit of doing, but definitely worth it :)

  2. shockinglydelicious May 30 at 11:05 am #

    I hadn’t ever thought about the sodium in baking powder and baking soda. Thanks for the education!

  3. reubenanderin November 14 at 2:07 am #

    I just made this cornbread today. It’s super yummy – and fluffy! Perfect amount of sweetness.

    • Priscilla November 14 at 9:04 am #

      I think so too! Thanks for letting me know that the recipe worked for you :)

  4. Julie October 30 at 1:21 pm #

    Now, work on a recipe with no milk. I’m lactose intolerant and I really like cornbread. Could you make it with almond milk and cut down a little on the sugar?

    • Priscilla October 30 at 4:37 pm #

      Hi Julie – My daughter is lactose intolerant and has no issues with this cornbread. But, I’ll give it a shot with almond milk. I don’t use full fat milk, so I think almond milk will work – you should give it a try! Thanks for visiting :-)

    • Nancy W November 15 at 4:33 pm #

      Hi, just made this today using unsweetened coconut milk, and monk sweetner – 2 tablespoon instead of sugar. It was great!

      • Priscilla November 16 at 2:28 pm #

        I’ve never used monk sweetener! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment – I really appreciate hearing from readers who make and enjoy my recipes :))

        • Nancy W November 16 at 4:30 pm #

          Monk sweetner brand is Norbu, I also use Natvia – stevia sweetner.

  5. Samantha Cantrill Whitley May 12 at 10:13 am #

    I came across your recipe looking for low sodium recipes. The sodium you have listed seemed a little high for what’s in it, so I ran it through The only changes I made was using 2%milk instead of 1%. Their calculations came up with 33mg of sodium/serving.

    • Priscilla May 12 at 12:55 pm #

      You are absolutely right! I think the analysis that I use was calculating the Featherweight as regular baking powder, when I took it out the sodium came down to 23 mg. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

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