Avocado Cornbread

I was quite surprised to see cornbread served with steamed lobster during a trip to Boston and Maine. I didn’t know this was a thing. My previous connection with cornbread was always with a large steaming bowl of chili…and I really enjoyed the combination. But the lobster connection was completely new to me.

I didn’t actually taste the cornbread-lobster combination, but I was intrigued…and I knew I would be making cornbread my way very soon.

I decided to experiment a bit and try to create a version of cornbread which would have a very moist consistency and rich corn flavor. I replaced the milk with rice milk, which worked very well and basically identical to normal milk versions. I used my standard conversion of 75% olive oil to butter in the recipe, which again worked perfectly. Substituting the eggs were a bit more challenging. I have used a smashed banana in combination with ground flax seeds successfully in the past, but I didn’t want any strange banana flavors in my cornbread. The idea of using a smashed avocado just came to me one morning and it seemed like a good replacement to the banana.

The outcome was very good, if not a bit different. A friend of mine commented and told me it was quite ‘Californian’ of me. Not a terrible thing really!

Yield:  makes about 12-16 squares

  • 175 grams (1 1/2-cups) coarse cornmeal
  • 175 grams (1 1/2-cups) all-purpose flour
  • 60 (1/2-cup) grams masa harina
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 80 grams (1/3-cup) aquafaba
  • 2 teaspoons egg replacer
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 75 grams (1/3-cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 350 ml. 1 3/4-cup) rice milk
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C before you start gathering the ingredients.
  • Generously coat your baking pan with oil – I use a 20-cm X 30-cm stainless steel pan.
  • Using a large bowl, sift together the coarse polenta, flour, masa harina, baking powder and salt.
  • Mash the avocado in a separate bowl and reserve.
  • In another bowl (I know this is a lot of bowls, but it’s necessary), whip the aquafaba until very frothy – about 4 minutes. Add the egg replacer and vinegar and whip about 2 minutes longer. Add the olive oil and mix another minute. Add the mashed avocado to the aquafaba mixture and fold everything together. Combine the rice milk and maple syrup together and add this to your avocado mixture.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed together.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean – this will be about 35-40 minutes.
  • Cool slightly, then slice into squares. I like storing any leftover cornbread on a plate with a paper towel draped over them. Storing them in an airtight container makes them go mushy.
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