Vegan Cornmeal Blackberry Loaf


Cornmeal Blackberry loaf and coffee

"Normal" baking is daunting enough: precise measurements are indispensable for things to turn out well. Vegan (and gluten free) baking? Eek. When I adapted an already healthy-vegan-good-for-you recipe from Minimalist Baker's into an even healthier loaf, I thought it would be disastrous. Turns out it wasn't. The ultimate validation came from my carnivore friend, who quite liked it and said it was one of the better vegan treats he had tried.

This is perfect for any time of the day: breakfast, dessert, a snack, as a side to savory dishes like soups or curry veggies. Keep a close eye on it as it bakes, as your oven may cook this quicker than the time alloted below.

Ingredients

2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed meal + 5 tbsp water)

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey (if not vegan)

1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup coconut + 1/4 cup brown sugar)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup almond meal

1 cup fine cornmeal

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour*

1/2 cup whole grain flour* (see notes for gluten free)

1 cup (144 g) blackberries, roughly chopped and tossed in flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan with oil and lightly coat wtih flour, shaking out excess. I used a silicone loaf pan for ease of removal.

Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes. Measure out almond milk, add apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Whisk to combine and set aside.

To the bowl with the flax egg, add honey (or sweetner of choice), sugar, olive oil, and whisk vigorously for 1 minute to dissolve sugar. Add almond milk mixture and whisk again to combine.

Add almond meal, cornmeal and flour to the bowl and whisk until just combined and no large lumps remain. The batter should be quite thick and scoopable. Add blackberries dusted with flour and gently fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake on a center-positioned rack for ~35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan so it continues to bake and firm, then loosen with a butter knife and gently lift out. Let cool completely on a plate or cooling rack. Loaf will keep covered at room temperature for several days. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Notes: if gluten free, sub the flour for 1/4 cup more almond meal, and 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend. It will change the texture somewhat

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