I hope you love coconut as I will be adding it to a lot of my upcoming recipes. I have started using it every which way. I like my coconut flaked, I like the milk, the extract and the oil. It’s all good. Last year I had a caramel obsession. That was quite a bit more caloric and limiting. I can add coconut to both sweet and savory dishes.
Coconut curry, yum. Coconut muffins and cakes, sinful! Caramelizing, great cooking technique. Caramel sauce in my savories, uh no. Wearing caramel on my hips…….BIG NO!! Good thing coconut has taken over my caramel addiction.
I promised the kids this past weekend that we would do some baking. While they were busy running around the house being playful and territorial, I invented this recipe for Coconut Cornbread Muffins with Candied Ginger. I keep a few cans of light coconut milk on hand these days, I am grabbing about one can per week for my recipes.
The nice thing about coconut, a little goes a long way as far as flavor and texture go. When I use flaked coconut, I choose the unsweetened variety. For coconut milk, I opt for the reduced fat. I try to keep things as clean, light and healthy as I can. Coconut adds such a great dimension to a huge gamut of recipes. The small amount of fat found in the low fat coconut milk makes things creamy and satisfying.
How did baking with a 2 and 6 year old go? Not bad. I did the mise en place (all the measurements.) I had the 6 year old on wet ingredients and the 2 year old on dry. I combined the wet and the dry together, the kids each took turns stirring and then they each put some batter in the muffin tins.
The best part by far….eating the muffins!
Coconut and your Health
In the past coconut oil was not so well received. The bad stuff (not what we are using here) was the overly processed hydrogenated coconut oils that were used in cheap foods like movie theater popcorn. As we know, we need to steer clear of any oil that has been hydrogenated because they are artery cloggers. Our bodies just can’t properly process that junk.
Non hydrogenated Coconut Oil on the other hand has been getting loads of interesting, provocative press. Sources say that the oil might have some really good health benefits.
Some benefits include: It might help the body absorb essential minerals and it might play a role in obstructing cell growth in certain cancers. No, I am not telling you to go down loads of Coconut Cake! Eating non hydrogenated coconut in moderation, without added sugars can be a nice addition to a well rounded, balanced, foodie diet.
A few more neat benefits: Coconut oil has lauric acid, which is known for being anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibacterial.
Click the following links to learn more about coconut.
- 1 Cup Cornmeal
- 1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (you could also use equal quantities Unbleached All Purpose Flour or regular Whole Wheat Flour)
- 1 Tbs. Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Cup Diced Candied Ginger, plus extra for topping
- 1 1/2 Cups light unsweetened Coconut Milk
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Honey (I used Raw Honey, you can also use equal quantities of Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar or Brown Sugar)
- 1 Egg
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare muffin cups with liners or butter/spray and flour pans. In a medium bowl stir together the dry ingredients: cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger and candied ginger. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients: coconut milk, vanilla, honey and egg. Combine all ingredients together. Stir until just mixed. Add batter to muffin tins, leave a small amount of room on top for expansion. Gently press additional candied ginger onto the tops of muffin batter. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool muffins on rack. Press in some candied ginger for topping.
- Add a handful of chopped dried fruit: Cranberries, Apricots, Cherries, Blueberries
- Add a handful of chopped roasted nuts: Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds
Cornbread Recipe Links