Let me tell you about a new ingredient that I am going to add my pantry staples list…Chia Seeds. Now, no I have not lost my mind and gone on some Hippie bender. Chia seeds are an old, ancient, ingredient that has seen a revival in culinary use in the last few years. I will admit right here that I did not buy the bag that I have in my house. One of my Hubs’ friends gave him a bag and the Hubs has been using it in his smoothies. But the bag kept calling to me. 😉 Finally I succumbed to the Chia’s siren song and I used it in a bowl of oatmeal…and it was good! It added a bit of nutty flavor and just a hint of crunch. My experiment got me thinking what other uses I could come up with for the tiny miracle seeds. Miracle seeds? Yes! They aren’t really on the miracle scale of the Parting of the Red Sea or say Water into Wine…but they are a nutritional powerhouse of Omega-3 fatty acids (more than flax), calcium and numerous other minerals, protein, and one serving has nearly half the fiber a person needs for one day. Ok but why add them to cornbread? When Chia seeds are added to liquid a gelatinous coating develops around each seed. This not only adds size and loft to the seeds but it makes seeds a great way to add more moisture to the overall recipe. The seeds are even the base of a drink south of the border called Chia Fresca which is considered an energy drink. As any Southern cook can attest, only so much moisture can be added to cornbread before the cohesion of the cooked product is destroyed. The addition of the chia seeds to the milk a few minutes before mixing adds moisture and the chia gel binds with the cornmeal. This small addition of chia gives you what I will be calling: Double Moist Cornbread.
Double Moist Cornbread—Lisa M. Collins
Ingredients: 3 tbsp. oil 2 cups Aunt Jemima Self-Rising White Cornmeal Mix ¼- ½ cup of chia seeds (less if you are new to using them) 1-1/2 cups milk 2 eggs Directions: Preheat your oven to 425. In a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet add 2 tbsp. of oil and heat in the oven for 5 mins. In a large bowl add cornmeal mix, chia seeds, 1 tbsp. oil, milk, and eggs. Beat until just incorporated. Pull the hot skillet out of the oven CAREFULLY. Slowly pour the batter into the hot oil, then place back in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins or until as golden as you like. *recipe is copyright Lisa M. Collins