It was Thanksgiving last week and all the dinner pictures on social media had me craving cornbread. I like to serve it for lunch as it’s such a great way to make leftovers more exciting and can turn a portion of leftover stew or chili into a hearty lunch for four.
It wasn’t just Thanksgiving dinner pictures I was seeing on social media though, there were countless stories of women, particularly breastfeeding mothers, whose families aren’t supportive of their dairy free diets. Whether this is because they don’t understand the extent of the babies’ allergies, aren’t supportive of breastfeeding in the first place, are worried about their children limiting their diets or just didn’t want to change their traditional recipes, it resulted in so many people being left out of what should be a celebration of family.
The posts (and there were many of them) written by mothers crying in bathrooms when they’d discovered that everything had been basted in butter broke my heart. The usual response seemed to be along the lines of “oh, surely a little won’t hurt - and you don’t want to ruin the meal for the rest of us”.
This is in such stark contrast to my experience of holidays with my family.
We recently went on holiday with my parents and my youngest brother. My mother cooked multiple meals a day for the better part of a month - not once did Little Goat have a reaction from any of her cooking.
She read labels before she bought any ingredients and again before she cooked with them - all the more impressive because we were in France and none of us speak French, so we had a translated list of all of Little Goat’s allergies that we had to cross-check (which took up the better part of an A4 piece of paper).
She kept separate chopping boards and knives for any dairy products, double wrapped any dairy ingredients in plastic before putting them in their own shelf on the fridge, ensured all dishes that came into contact with dairy were washed immediately and thoroughly and always made sure the cheeses were out of Little Goat’s reach.
She also made some of the most incredible meals - my parents eat a fair amount of dairy at home, but she didn’t see it as limiting, rather as a challenge to make other ingredients work harder.
So this Thanksgiving, and every other day of the year, I am thankful for my incredible mother. She is unbelievably supportive of whatever I do and backs me 100% - all of the time and always has.
For those who aren’t as lucky to have a mother as wonderful as mine, I hope that at least you will become that mother to your children - as it’s the mother every child deserves.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 cup fine cornmeal
1 cup plain flour (you can use ½ cup plain and ½ cup light brown flour to up the fibre content)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup apple puree (or unsweetened apple sauce)
¾ cup oat milk (or your milk of choice)
Pinch of salt to taste (it does need the salt, but you can still add so much less than you’d find in store-bought bread)
(If you like your cornbread sweeter you can add ¼ cup honey or maple syrup too)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (375 F)
Beat the eggs
Mix together the cornmeal, flour and baking powder
Add the eggs, apple puree and dairy free milk (and honey or maple syrup if using)
Pour into a lined baking tin (a brownie pan works well) and bake for ~20 minutes - a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean
Serve warm with dairy free spread and your leftovers of choice (or just use it instead of regular bread!)
You can make your own apple puree or you can just use any leftover baby puree pouches!
You can make this egg free too by substituting the eggs for another ¼ cup apple puree