Gluten Free Cornbread
My Gluten Free Cornbread is an all year long, four-season kind of recipe that goes just as well with chili as it is served with fresh Summer fruit. It whips together in minutes and the nuanced flavors of the maple syrup and maple sugar give big flavor with less sugar.
You may have noticed by now how much I LOVE maple sugar. In addition to using it in my Gluten Free Cornbread, I use it in my Peppermint Glazed Dairy-Free Brownies, Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins and more! It is twice as sweet and has about half of the calories of granulated sugar. Maple sugar has about 18 calories per tablespoon 1, and granulated sugar has about 48 calories.2
The glycemic index of maple sugar is also lower than sugar, which means that maple sugar will raise blood sugar slower than granulated sugar. The low glycemic index and natural origins makes it Paleo friendly! Another benefit of maple sugar and syrup over granulated sugar is that it is full of vitamins and minerals.
I use both maple sugar and syrup to maximize maple flavor and get the right amount of sweetness. If I used only maple syrup in my Gluten Free Corn Bread it would be too wet of a batter and would not bake properly.
Maple Sugar vs Maple Syrup
The production of Maple syrup is believed to be one of the oldest natural food products produced in North America, thanks to the Native Americans. The species of tree, Sugar Maple is where our syrup comes from, and they are “tapped” meaning a tap is put into the tree for harvesting the sap.
The Maple sap begins to “flow” in early Spring, when daytime temperatures get above freezing, around mid-to late February here in New York, and the sap will flow for 4 to 6 weeks. Each tree will supply anywhere from a quart to several gallons of sap, but the process does not end here! The sap needs to be boiled down, it takes about 40 gallons of sap to get just one gallon of Maple syrup! 3
To go from Maple syrup to maple sugar, the syrup needs to be cooked down even more. I am amazed by all the DIYers that choose to make their own, you can too with this how-to guide. I prefer to buy it, and it is significantly more expensive than granulated sugar, but I think you’ll agree that it is worth it––keep reading to learn about all the health benefits!
Maple Sugar and Syrup Nutrition
Maple products are mostly sugar, but they also have vitamins and minerals––calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese. It also has at least 24 antioxidants! Antioxidants help protect our bodies from oxidative damage, which is caused by environmental toxins, stress, consuming rancid oils, lack of exercise and more.4
Serve It Your Way!
My Gluten Free Cornbread is delicious by itself, as a snack, breakfast or even a dessert. But it can also turn a savory dish, into a decadent meal. Beyond chili, my cornbread goes great with my Green Spinach Shakshuka and Cold Tomato Soup. I tend to slightly decrease the amount of Maple syrup when eating it with these savory dishes.
Try adding a cup of fresh corn cut off the cob, sliced cherry tomatoes, red onions and basil to turn it into a loaded focaccia-like dish. This makes a great side dish when you are grilling in the Summer! It would also be delicious smothered in fresh pesto, such as my Pistachio Pesto or Pumpkin Seed Pesto.
To make my Gluten Free Cornbread into a dessert, bake it with fresh berries like blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. Or top it with any stone fruit like peaches and nectarines. It’s the perfect way to enjoy all the fresh fruits available in the Summer. Make sure to smother it in something creamy like Greek yogurt, crème fraiche or whipped cream. In the Winter, if fresh fruit is not available, expensive or just does not look that good, add some jam! My favorite is Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves.
Let’s Get Cooking!
My Gluten Free Cornbread whips together in minutes, and takes less than 30 minutes in the oven. It has big Maple flavor thanks to both Maple syrup and Maple Sugar, which are a healthy alternative to granulated sugar. Enjoy!
- Inc ETM. Eat This Much, your personal diet assistant. Eat This Much. Accessed July 1, 2020. https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/nutrition/organic-pure-maple-sugar,470617/
- Calorie Chart, Nutrition Facts, Calories in Food | MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal.com. Accessed July 1, 2020. https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/granulated-sugar-1-level-tbsp-428273555
- Maple Syrup Production for the Beginner. Penn State Extension. Accessed July 2, 2020. https://extension.psu.edu/maple-syrup-production-for-the-beginner
- Maple Syrup: Healthy or Unhealthy? Accessed July 1, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/maple-syrup
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose Gluten Free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/3 cup maple sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch round or square baking pan with an oil spray.
- In a bowl, add cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix together well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, maple sugar, and honey until smooth and thick. Add egg and whisk well. Add buttermilk and whisk well. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and combine, being careful not to overmix the batter.
- Pour batter into the baking pan and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- Cool cornbread 15 minutes before slicing.