This whole grain jalapeno cheddar cornbread recipe is a healthier version for you to enjoy! Each bite is packed with corn, cheese, and minced jalapeno.
Hola Jalapeno! It’s hard to resist a thick and warm piece of sunshine gold-colored cornbread, don’t you agree? What’s even better is that each bite contains spicy green jalapeno pepper, melty cheese, and sweet corn kernels. There’s no wrong time to enjoy a slice of this cornbread.
It’s practically a savory piece of cake, so you get dessert built right into dinner. To lighten the guilt level, I’ve added whole grain flour into the batter. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how moist and tender the cornbread tastes. You probably won’t even notice it’s a healthier version.
If I could, I would do a happy, blissful, smiley dance on top of this gorgeous cornbread. The little nooks and crannies on the surface are just waiting to be dipped in a flavorful pork chili, soup or just lightly drizzled with cloverleaf honey.
Cornmeal adds a little bit of gritty chewiness that makes this classic recipe different. I used white whole wheat flour to add whole grains. Since the cornmeal is particulate, you really can’t notice a difference in texture that you might find in other whole wheat baked goods.
I removed the butter typically found in recipes and added a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Instead of sugar, I drizzled in honey, which has more flavor and is naturally sweeter. Tender, crumbly and bursting with fresh savory ingredients, we nailed it!
Those corn kernels and pieces of minced pepper add a nice change in texture. To my surprise, the jalapenos don’t add too much heat. It gives a nice warm spice, but no lingering burn. The secret little kick comes from the ground cayenne pepper. Feel free to add more ground pepper if you enjoy a little perspiration.
Nine gigantic slices is a little too much for Jason I to eat by ourselves, so I froze the leftovers in a resealable bag. You can reheat them in the microwave, then toast or broil them for a few seconds if you want to revitalize that crunchy top.
What makes HOT peppers spicy?
Beautiful green jalapeno’s, ghost chili’s, to habanero peppers, they all have one common secret weapon. The kung fu kick to your taste buds is a compound called capsaicin. The heat level is measured in Scoville Units. For this recipe, I use fresh jalapenos which are about 2,500 to 8,000 Scovilles and red cayenne chili pepper approximately 30,000 to 50,000 Scovilles. So a little bit of cayenne pepper packs the heat compared to the jalapeno. Capsaicin is tasteless and odorless, with a concentrated amount found at the top portion of the pepper below the stem. You can remove the inner membranes and seeds to reduce the heat, or keep them for more burn!
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Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal, ground
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
- ¼ cup jalapeño peppers, plus 1 tablespoon, seeded, finely chopped
- ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ¾ cup corn kernels, fresh or canned
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, ¼ cup jalapeños, cheese, and corn.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, olive oil, and honey. Pour the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold gently until the batter is combined and no lumps remain.
- Transfer batter into the prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the chopped jalapeños on the top of the batter.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 9 large or 16 small pieces. Serve warm.
- White whole wheat flour can be substituted with whole wheat pastry, whole wheat, all-purpose or gluten-free flour. Make sure to check the doneness of the cornbread a few minutes early as cooking required times may differ.
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