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Cornbread: The Nutritional Benefits and Recipes 

Consuming indigenous food free of preservatives and synthetic substances is healthy. It precisely characterises the famous cornbread. You can make it from ground corn kernels pounded into a sandy-textured powder. It is a quick bread made with cornmeal and maise (corn). You can make it into various kinds, including muffins, pancakes, casseroles, and more. Also, it remains a flexible and delightful cuisine.

The vegetable origins of cornbread improve the dish. Cornmeal, the ground corn that forms the base of cornbread, is a whole grain. Furthermore, cornmeal is often gluten-free. If you’re preparing cornbread from a mix, ensure you don’t add any additional flours, particularly if you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant.

While many people are acquainted with cornbread, others may ask what it is composed of and if you can include it in a healthy diet. This article looks at how cornbread gets created, what nutrients it contains, and how it affects your health.

The HealthifyMe Note

Cornbread began with early North American immigrants as an easy-to-cook and easy-to-carry meal. However, you can trace cornbread’s origins to Indigenous American nations like the Iroquois, who blended cornmeal and water to make one of the first iterations of this traditional bread. 

Nutritional Value of Cornbread

As per USDA, 100g of cornbread made with low fat (2%) milk has the following nutrients:

Energy: 266 kcalProtein: 6.7 gFat: 7.1 gCarbohydrate: 43.5 gCalcium: 249 mgIron: 2.5 mgMagnesium: 25 mgSodium: 658 mgSelenium: 10.1 µgPotassium: 147 mg

Health Benefits of Cornbread

Contains Amino Acid

There are 20 amino acids, nine or ten of which are essential. Among them are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Unfortunately, research says, because the human body cannot synthesise amino acids, you must obtain them from diet or supplements. 

Proteins consist of amino acids, which are the fundamental building components. They also act as nitrogenous backbones for some cells, such as neurotransmitters and hormones. Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish are the most prevalent sources of amino acids. Many bread types do not contain all of them, but cornbread does, as proven by studies. 

Helps Regulate Digestion

Fibre also aids in regulating bowel motions and the efficiency of the digestive system. For instance, cornbread has insoluble fibre that is not digested or absorbed by the body. While it may appear counterintuitive to some that something you cannot digest can be crucial to digestive health. Fibre promotes gut health by lowering the incidence of haemorrhoids and may even lessen the risk of colorectal cancer. It also controls bowel motions by softening the stool and increasing the weight and size of the stool, all of which make it easier to pass the stool and minimise the risk of constipation.

Possible Side Effects of Consuming Cornbread

Excess Carbohydrate

When preparing cornbread from a commercial mix with refined grains, it contains a lot of carbohydrates, around 33 grams per slice with just 2 grams of fibre. Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for the body. However, people with diabetes or following a low-carb diet may have to monitor their consumption.

Risk of Inflammation

People mostly make cornbread with refined flour. The flour used does not contain all three parts of the wheat kernel. Not only are refined grains lower in fibre than whole grains. They also lead to greater levels of inflammation and blood sugar.

Allergies

Corn allergies are uncommon, but they do exist. Avoid consuming cornbread if you are allergic to corn. To determine the components, people allergic to milk or eggs should examine the label of any cornbread mix they use. The batter will require milk, eggs, and butter if the blend does not contain milk or eggs. To prepare homemade cornbread, you can use dairy-free milk, plant-based margarine, and an egg replacement. Likewise, if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, read the label of any mix you buy. Although cornbread is gluten-free in its purest form, specific blends have other flours with gluten.

High Sodium

Some cornbread, particularly those processed or purchased at a store, may be high in salt. Therefore, it is essential to read the nutritional labelling before purchasing cornbread mix from the store. According to studies, high sodium consumption can cause blood pressure to rise. Therefore, patients suffering from hypertension must limit their consumption. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Fibre is crucial in your diet and might help you lose weight. Fibre is present in both whole grains and vegetables. For instance, each serving of 60g of cornbread has 1.38 grams of fibre. Cornbread with no added refined flour and sugars may be a healthy option that keeps you satiated longer than a standard dinner bun. However, cornbread has a moderate glycemic index. Therefore, people with diabetes should limit their consumption.

Recipes for Homemade Cornbreads

Southern Cornbread

It is the basic cornbread. However, northern cornbread and Southern cornbread have subtle differences. For example, you can make the southern one with white or yellow cornmeal, which has a buttery touch and uses more eggs, resulting in a cakelike texture. Whilst the Northern one uses fewer eggs, resulting in a crumblier texture.

Serving: 2-4 persons

Baking Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients 

White or Yellow Cornmeal: 1 ½ cupsAll-purpose flour: 2 cupsEggs: 4Sugar: 1½ cups (optional)Baking Soda: 1½ tbspVegetable Oil: 1 cupSalt: 1½ tspBaking Powder: ¾ tspMelted butter: as required

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.In a bowl, mix flour with cornmeal and keep it aside.In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Pour batter into the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until a toothpick can be inserted and removed without any residue. It should take about 30 to 40 minutes.Remove cornbread from the oven and brush with melted butter while still warm. Then, it is ready to serve.

Traditional Real Cornbread

Serving: 3-4 persons

Baking Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

Yellow Cornmeal: 2 cupsEggs: 1Baking Soda: ½ tspVegetable Oil: 3 tbspSalt: 1 tspBaking Powder: 1 tspNon-fat milk/buttermilk/yoghurt: 1-1½ cup as required 

Method

Preheat the oven to 450°F.Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.In a bowl, combine eggs, milk/buttermilk/yoghurt, vegetable oil, baking soda, salt and baking powder.Pour batter into cornmeal and whisk until combined.Pour batter into the prepared pan and transfer to the oven.Bake until a toothpick can be inserted and removed without any residue. It should take about 30 to 40 minutes.Remove cornbread from the oven, and it is ready to serve.

It is a healthier version of cornbread that excludes sugar and all-purpose flour. However, it tastes just like traditional cornbread. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight package. 

Serving: 16 pieces

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Ground cornmeal: 1 ¼ cupWhole wheat flour: ½ cup (you can use a mix of millet flours to make it gluten-free)Baking powder: 1 ½ tspBaking soda: ½ tspSalt: ¼ tspUnsalted butter or coconut oil (slightly melted): 1 tbspEgg: 1 largeVanilla extract: 1 tspNon-fat Greek yoghurt: ½ cupHoney: 2 tbspNon-fat milk: ¼ cup

Tip: To make it more interesting, add diced veggies or chicken/ mixed sprouts, different herbs and spices of your choice into the batter.

Method 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a nonstick cooking pan with cooking spray.Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, mix butter, egg and vanilla. Stir in the greek yoghurt, and mix until no lumps are left. Also, stir in the honey.Alternate between adding the cornmeal mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the cornmeal mixture, and stirring until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges turn golden brown. Cool it till it is room temperature, and then slice and serve. 

Cornbread is a crowd-pleaser for kids. They prefer cornbread over plain bread any day. A great way to incorporate cornbread into their diet is by making a cornbread pizza base at home and topping it with some pizza sauce and cheese. Also, top it with a few of their favourite veggies, and you have a healthy meal ready. This dish covers all the essential elements for a balanced meal, so you don’t need to worry about feeding your kids something unhealthy. This dish is a win-win for all, as your kids will get to enjoy pizza, and you, too, can rest assured you provided them with something healthy.

The HealthifyMe Note

Cornbread requires only a few ingredients and is simple to make, regardless of your cooking experience. Since it uses baking powder instead of yeast, it rises swiftly. As a result, it can be made considerably faster than other classic types of bread. Several variations of cornbread are available so that you can customise this dish to your preferences. Those with a sweet tooth, for example, can flavour it with fresh fruits or soaked dry fruits puree or drizzle it with pure honey or homemade jam. 

Storage

Wrap the cornbread in aluminium foil or keep it in a sealed container to preserve its fluffiness and moistness. You may keep it on the shelf for up to 2 days if it doesn’t include any extra cheese or meat toppings. Furthermore, you should keep it in the refrigerator if it does have additional toppings. You should also keep the cornbread away from direct sunlight and heat. You should discard it if it begins to mould or emits a foul odour.

Conclusion

You can include several varieties of cornbread in your everyday meals. Cornbread has similar nutritional value and benefits as cornmeal. Thus, you can include cornbread in your daily diet. However, it can cause allergy-related sickness or high blood pressure if your digestive system does not allow consuming cornbread.

You can also pair it with tangy or spicy dishes like baked beans, black-eyed peas, sauteed veggies, barbequed meat, rice, soups, and stews. You can pair cornbread with almost everything and have a lovely brunch or dinner with your guest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What are the benefits of eating cornbread?

A. The benefits of cornbread include supporting digestion. In addition, it contains amino acids, which assist in providing the body with energy, helping in wound repair, building muscle, boosting the immune system and many more. Moreover, cornbread made with whole wheat instead of refined flour, excluding sugar, becomes much healthier than other bread. 

A. White bread is rich in calories, whereas cornbread is 60% lower in calories — white bread has 238 calories per 100 grams, while cornbread has 96 calories. Therefore, cornbread has more nutrients than white bread. Consequently, you can consider it to be healthier. 

A. Cornbreads, in general, are not unhealthy. It includes numerous vital nutrients, despite its relatively high carbohydrate and salt content. Moreover, it is customisable and simple to prepare. Hence, you can consume it in moderation as part of a balanced diet for a healthy individual. 

A. Cornbread contains fibre, which is not easily digested or absorbed by the body and passes through the digestive system relatively intact. Fibre also controls bowel motions by softening and increasing the weight and size of the stool, all of which make it easier to pass stool. Thus, it helps with your digestive functions.

A. Most cornbread recipes incorporate sugar (on average, 2/3 cup), elevating the glycemic index significantly. Furthermore, cornbread contains sugar, which raises blood sugar levels. However, consumed in moderation, it should not cause any health hazards. 

A. Cornmeal, the primary component of cornbread, is a whole grain. Whole-grain meals supply essential fibre to the diet. Even though cornbread has a good amount of fibre, it is still not recommended for weight loss due to its high carbohydrate content. However, it will not raise your weight if consumed in moderation.

Q. Is cornbread good for bodybuilding?

A. Cornbread is full of healthy nutrients of whole-grain except that it has sugar and sodium. The answer lies in how you make your cornbread. Your ingredients should be healthy enough not to make you gain weight. Also, try to eat cornbread post-workout for bodybuilding. 

A. Yes, cornbread made from a commercial blend of refined grains has a high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for the body, but individuals with diabetes may need to limit their intake.

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