A single-serving cornbread baked oatmeal that’s healthy, easily vegan, gluten-free, and includes pumpkin.
How did this recipe come about? Simple: I wanted a personal cornbread.
Sometimes all you want is one piece of cornbread. Just enough to satisfy a craving, but not so much that you’ll be eating cornbread for a week. Or, if you’re like me, will end up snacking on it 24/7 and then wonder why it disappeared so quickly…
The solution to my cornbread dilemma was – as is often the case – baked oatmeal. Even though it seems a little inaccurate to call this breakfast ‘baked oatmeal’. To me, it’s more like a single-serving cornbread made largely with oats. Does that make any sense or am I just rambling? Just rambling? Okay, let’s move on.
As well as rolled oats, this cornbread ‘baked oatmeal’ is made with polenta (yellow cornmeal) which is soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften it. This makes sure the cornbread doesn’t have a gritty texture. As you’d expect, there’s also salt (I like to add a good pinch), a tiny bit of nutmeg for flavor (feel free to leave it out if you’re not a nutmeg fan) and some corn kernels.
Then there’s one of my favorite additions to cornbread: pumpkin! I add pumpkin puree to virtually all my cornbread-y things – including these pancakes and this batch of muffins – because it’s a healthy way to add moisture and gives the cornbread a rich, slightly sweet flavor.
For some extra sweetness, add a little honey or maple syrup. I usually leave out the sweetener, but then top the cornbread with lots of honey. And walnuts, for some reason.
You may wish to increase the honey or maple syrup in the cornbread if you’re using canned pumpkin puree. I find that canned pumpkin has a ‘tinny’ taste, but this (mostly) disappears once you add some sweetener.
Notwithstanding, if you can use fresh pumpkin puree, please do. Fresh puree from a roasted pumpkin has a million times more flavor than the canned stuff. Really, just trust me on this one.
Last of all, it’s very easy to make this breakfast vegan: simply opt for maple syrup rather than honey. And if you need this breakfast to be gluten-free, just make sure you use certified GF oats. Easy!
Fun Fact: Apparently corn is a vegetable, a grain and a fruit. What is this sorcery!?
- 2 tablespoons polenta (cornmeal)
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- ½ - 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons fresh or frozen corn kernels
- Extra honey or maple syrup, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 1-cup capacity ramekin.
- Combine the polenta and boiling water in a bowl. Stir well, then let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the polenta should have softened and the mixture will have the consistency of batter.
- Mix in the pumpkin puree, followed by the rolled oats, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and honey (or maple syrup), if using. Stir in the corn kernels.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared ramekin. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the top is dry and a little firm. Serve with honey or maple syrup.
Salt: I like to add a generous pinch of salt
Nutmeg: Feel free to omit the nutmeg, or replace it with your spice of choice.
Gluten-Free and Vegan
Gluten-Free: To make this breakfast gluten-free, make sure you use certified GF oats.
Vegan: To make this breakfast vegan, use maple syrup instead of honey.
Fresh pumpkin puree is definitely preferable. If using canned puree, you may wish to add more maple syrup or honey to counteract the 'tin' taste.