Category Archives: Breads

Cornbread…yum!!!

It may be hard to believe considering my track record of posting many, many sweet recipes, but I actually prefer savoury foods over sweet.  One of those savoury foods which has always intrigued me is cornbread.  For some reason I have been on a mission to try to find a great cornbread recipe (during which time I have found many terrible ones)…and I think I finally have found it 🙂

Cornbread is very common in American cuisine, more specifically south or southwestern cuisine where it is often served with barbecued meats or chilli con carne.   Cornbread can be baked, steamed or fried.  These different cooking techniques will dramatically change both the taste and texture of the finished product.  Sometimes it can be so sloppy it is eaten with a spoon!  However I prefer the baked style which is also known as a quick bread = a bread which is quickly made since it doesn’t contain yeast. 

Some cornbread recipes I have tried in the past have been quite dry as the cornmeal or polenta used in it has a dry and gritty texture, but this also helps to provide cornbread with the lovely crunch.  With this recipe I added zucchini and used buttermilk (1/2 yoghurt, 1/2 milk)  to provide a little extra moisture.  I also added some fresh red capsicum as I think it teams really well with corn.  Roasted capsicum could be used instead.  Other ideas for more flavours to add are cold roasted pumpkin, crumbled fetta and/or fresh basil.  I think I will try all of those next time and make them into individual sized muffins.  They would be a great picnic food.

This recipe made 1 x 8 inch (20cm) square tin.  It is very easy to slice so can be slice quite thinly (or thickly of course).  It lends itself to spreading butter on it, but try to resist the urge as it is not necessary and will only add many extra unnecessary calories and saturated fat.  It is lovely warm straight out of the oven on its own, and I can imagine serving it with some delicious homemade tomato & basil or pumpkin soup….mmm. Enjoy 🙂

Cornbread with zucchini and capsicum

  • ½ cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • ½ cup white self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 Tablespoons castor sugar
  • 1 medium zucchini (150g) grated
  • ½ cup diced red capsicum
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used half yoghurt, half milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg

 Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.  Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Into a large bowl, sift flours and baking powder, add salt, polenta, sugar, zucchini and capsicum.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk and olive oil, pour into dry ingredients and stir through until well mixed. 

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 30 mins approximately, until firm to touch on top. 

Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then place on rack to cool.

Would easily slice into 24 pieces with each piece having:

312kJ = 74 calories

2g protein, 10g carbohydrate, 2.5g fat with only 0.5g saturated fat and 0.7g fibre

Oops, I forgot to add that it is a little odd putting sugar in a savoury bread, however I have tried it with and without and it definitely has a better texture WITH the sugar.  The end result is in no way sweet.

I also do not usually add salt when cooking but this is another time when it makes such a difference in bringing out all the lovely flavours of the bread.  It is only a small amount after all and would be a lot less than what is in regular bread 🙂

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Banana Bread (or it is really cake?)

When was it that banana cake suddenly became known as banana bread?  And is there really any difference?

My understanding is that banana bread is really a low fat banana cake cooked in a loaf tin, rather than a round cake pan.  However I don’t think there is any clear definition of that, especially after I checked on calorie king and found that a serve of banana bread at McDonalds has a whopping 581 calories!  That is more calories than a Big Mac (493 calories) or a standard dinner of meat and vegetables (around 450-500 calories), yikes!  Muffin Break isn’t much better with a 107g serve having 346 calories. Mind you, 107g slice is a rather large serve.  Still again that is more calories than most sandwiches!

My banana ‘bread’ recipe is a combination of a few different recipes that I have played around with, including the one on the institute of sport website and it is really a lower fat banana cake.

I cook the cake in a large square tin rather than a loaf tin to reduce the cooking time as overcooking low fat cakes can make them tough.  It is also easier to slice into smaller slices this way.

I have to admit that I prefer to use butter as I find that using butter in low fat cakes improves the texture and flavour.  If you are watching your saturated fat intake, substitute it with margarine or oil. It will still be yummy!

Banana Bread (low fat banana cake)

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (approx 50 g) butter, melted
  • ½ cup low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed banana (made from 2 large or 3 medium-sized, very ripe bananas)

Grease and line a 9-inch (23 cm) square cake tin.

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarb soda and cinnamon. Mix in the sugar.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg and egg white.  Continue whisking while you add in the yoghurt, vanilla and banana puree.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until just combined; don’t over mix as this works the gluten and can make the ‘bread’ tough.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until the centre feels lightly-springy and just done.

Cool on a baking rack.

Easily cuts into 16 slices at 120 calories per 50g serve

This recipe can also be used to make individual muffins if preferred

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