My senior year in college, my mother sent me three recipes for cornbread. My favorite was my grandmother’s recipe. It’s the one I’ve used the most over the years.

My mother also sent me her own cornbread recipes, one that used buttermilk and one that used sweet milk. I don’t think I’ve ever fixed mom’s buttermilk cornbread recipe. If I was making cornbread with buttermilk, I used my grandmother’s recipe. But if I was out of buttermilk and wanted cornbread, I’d use my mother’s sweet milk cornbread recipe.

While the recipes don’t include wheat flour or sugar, they do include other ingredients that are limited or eliminated on my diet.

But it occurred to me that I might be able to adapt the recipes to work with my anti-inflammatory diet.

I’m allowed whole grains, so I could use a whole grain cornmeal. To make it a better fit, I could use blue cornmeal. Blue and purple foods, like blueberries and purple potatoes, have anti-inflammatory properties. And they’re pretty!

I could replace the bacon fat with avocado oil, and I could replace milk with canned coconut milk.

I made it tonight. I’ll have to admit, I don’t think that blue cornbread is nearly as pretty as purple mashed potatoes. It looks a little odd. It’s more brown than blue or purple. It looks like it might be chocolate. But, of course, there’s no chocolate in it. It tastes just like cornbread.

Which is exactly what I wanted.

Blue Cornbread

Ingredients

1 egg
1 cup canned coconut milk
4 Tbsp. avocado oil (divided)
1 ½ cup blue cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 ¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425.

Add 2 Tbsp. oil to a 10-inch cast iron skillet and heat it over medium heat.

Beat the egg, coconut milk, and 2 Tbsp. oil together in a small bowl.

Whisk the corn meal, salt, and baking powder together in another bowl.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk together until blended.

Pour the batter into the hot skillet, then put immediately into the hot oven.

Bake for 20 minutes.

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Charlotte Riggle, author of Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
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