If you're from the South and are trying to eat healthy, it's sometimes like being between a rock and hard place. My version of eating healthy includes good fats and lots of it! What it doesn't include too often is canola oil, wheat and corn. (Sidenote: Now that I'm diligently working at healing my gut, I CAN eat wheat and corn on occasion and not get all crazy mixed up gut but it's really not something I cook at home.) Well, did I mention I'm from east Texas and don't want to give up my collards and cornbread or beans and cornbread? I mean we love beans and cornbread so much in our house that we sing a song when it's on the menu! It truly is a happy food for us. So on that note, I was practically forced to figure something out so my digestive system would be as happy as my heart.
I'd like to thank my wonderfully loving husband for dealing with all the failures and being my cheerleader! I think he was secretly hoping I'd give up and go back to ole trusty, crusty corn but noooo, I persevered and pulled through. I don't know how the idea came to me but I was sitting one day, just thinking about how I was going to do this. I had already subbed the almond flour out for wheat in my recipe with no problems from the peeps, but corn. Corn is in it's own magical category! And then someone spilled the quinoa in our bulk food section and as I was picking it up, twalaah, the light bulb went off! I'll grind this stuff up and see what happens!
The key is to ensure your quinoa is ground well. When there's whole grains in the mix, the bread is more crumbly. I've started soaking my grains as well. Why you may ask? Soaking grains is a form of culturing and cultured foods are more digestible. Grains have an acid coating around them and soaking removes this, making all the goodness in the grain more accessible for our digestive system to do it's magic. Kelly Smith of The Nourishing Home does a grand job at explaining it in full.
I don't make grains to often at home, but when I do, they're soaked. You can use just about any buttermilk cornbread recipe and sub the ground quinoa for corn and almond flour for wheat flour. I’ve worked really hard to figure out a grain-free version but they just don’t taste anything like cornbread and that's the flavor I'm really after. Using quinoa though, you can hardly tell the difference!
1.5 cups of ground quinoa (I grind my own in the nut & seed grinder bc the store bought ground is a ripoff, even at wholesale pricing.)
0.5 cups of almond flour
2-3 teaspoons local honey (or a little drizzle)
4 teaspoons aluminum free baking soda
½ teaspoon high quality, unrefined salt
1 cup raw buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar)
2 sticks of butter, 1 melted
2 farm fresh eggs
Early that morning or night before, soak ground quinoa and salt in buttermilk. I let it sit out if its raw milk. If not, put in fridge. When you’re ready to cook it, add the rest of the ingredients except the stick of firm butter. You may need to add a bit more milk, sometimes a tablespoon or two to get it cake batter like consistency. Place the remaining stick of butter in a cast iron skillet, put in 400 degree oven. When the oven is ready, pour batter in the skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Another way to do this is use bacon drippings in the skillet and butter in the batter. Then you have two fats instead of just one! Also, don’t omit the honey, it really makes the quinoa sweeter like corn.