Vegan cornbread is a version of cornbread made according to the conventions of vegan cooking, specifically without dairy, eggs, or any other kinds of animal products. The vegan lifestyle typically involves ingredient substitutions for recipes such as vegan cornbread, and many of these ingredients are soy-based. Soy is one of the main sources of protein in vegan diets, and many vegan cooks have their own preferences for soy milk flavors in this recipe. Other ingredients include some flavor sources such as spices or even vegetables that can often differ from some non-vegan baking recipes.
Eggs are usually one of the wet ingredients used in baking to hold the dry ingredients together and create the right consistency. Vegan cornbread recipes frequently substitute canola oil in order to achieve the same effect. One favorite feature of vegan cornbread is that it can be sweet or savory, depending on individual flavor ingredient preferences. Some cooks like to mix in maple syrup for some added sweetness and for a thick cornbread texture. Others prefer to add apple cider vinegar instead of maple syrup for a more savory version of vegan cornbread.
Various vegan cornbread recipes call for all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour mixed with cornmeal, baking powder, and a measured amount of salt. Some of these basic recipes are not as sweet as some non-vegan versions of cornbread, and this type of cornbread can be a favorite side with salads or vegetable soups. Vegan cooks often have their own unique flavor ingredients such as ground flax seeds for a nutty-tasting cornbread. Many vegans recommend the use of flax seed in a variety of dishes due to its high amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Some also mix chopped scallions, bell peppers, and even jalapeno peppers in with the cornbread batter for some additional crunch and spiciness.
Cooks who are new to the vegan lifestyle may wonder if non-dairy soy milk will create the appropriate textures for baked goods. When high quality soy milk is correctly measured and thoroughly blended with the rest of the ingredients, experienced vegan bakers report good results with their cornbread recipes. Soy milk can often have some slight differences in fat content, so richer breads can usually be achieved with higher-fat soy milk. Another advantage is that a good portion of the fat in soy milk tends to be of the healthier non-saturated variety.