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Low Carb Cornbread (with actual cornmeal!) 🌽

With that incomparable cornmeal taste, this low carb cornbread is an actual dream. Think unbelievably tender results… at just 6g net carbs!

Freshly baked low carb cornbread with cornmeal and a pat of butter melting through

Low Carb Cornbread 🌽

You know, with actual cornmeal!

Last weekend, as I was answering your early Thanksgiving baking queries, Lindsay posed an interesting question, “Paola, what would happen if I sub for some actual cornmeal in your (1g net carb!) keto cornbread muffins?”.

So dear Lindsay, I hope this post more than answers your question! As these, my friends, are pure heaven. So (so!) tender, yet surprisingly sturdy (ahem, cornbread stuffing!), these cornbread muffins with cornmeal are simply just *chef’s kiss*.

My top tip: consuming some carbs (such as this low carb cornbread) should have very little impact on your GI if consumed the right way: eat your greens first (I do a small fatty salad with evoo and acv), and be sure to pair it with a fatty main course (i.e. the chili!).
 
Many of you have reported back over the past week that consuming moderate carbs this way barely impacts your glucose levels (needless to say, we’re all different so it’s important that you test what works for you!).

But (but!), is cornmeal keto?

Cornmeal isn’t generally considered keto due to its higher carb count and the fact that it’s a grain. For reference, 1/4 cup cornmeal has 26g net carbs vs the 2g net in almond flour (!!).

Still! And this is a VIP still. As I think you’ll find that when used in small amounts (say like pumpkin… or even berries!) you’ll surely be able to fit it into your low carb diet.

For instance, these low carb cornbread come to a net carb count of just 6g. And I want to encourage a ‘keto diet’ that is less about counting carbs and more about making smart food choices to use ketosis (you know, the metabolic state) to actually improve long term health… all while removing some big ‘psychological barriers’ around feeling limited with ingredients and choices.

Because remember, it’s the GI spike (and ultra refined ingredients!) that are the actual enemy.

And, as I’ve personally found over the past two years, I think it’s important that each of us tests out what ingredients work for us… you know, rather than following a list of foods off an influencer on the internet (lol, i know!).

The Flours

OK onto the baking and first things first: make sure you use a medium grind cornmeal (I like this one!).

Otherwise these guys use a mix of a staple keto pantry ingredients: super fine almond flourgolden flaxseed mealwhey protein isolate, and a touch of xanthan gum.

Just keep in mind that for best texture and rise, you’ll always want to regrind your golden flaxseed meal in a dry blender or bullet. Oh, and golden flaxseed isn’t the same as normal flaxseed (which results in gummy and dense baked goods).

Whey protein isolate. This one is pretty much a must if you’re baking the bread in a pan (say as opposed to muffins), as it will ensure your bread doesn’t collapse post-bake. Having said that, you can sub it with more almond flour and bake it in a muffin pan (smaller baked goods have don’t require as much structure). Not exactly the same, but works well.

Keep in mind that this ingredient varies tremendously from brand to brand, and nowadays I like to use this grass-fed one (its a tad bit pricier, but undoubtedly higher quality!).

Low carb cornbread batter made with actual cornmeal in a bowl Unbaked low carb cornbread in a muffin tin Overhead shot of low carb cornbread just baked in a muffin tin

The Sweetener

You’ve got quite a few good options here! Allulose is my favorite for best texture and no aftertaste now, Lakanto Golden (baked goods with erythritol can have a slight hard texture, still not big deal here though you can just blast them in the microwave for a few seconds before serving), xylitol (use non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!).

Pyure (an erythritol and stevia blend) is also a good one for muffins and quick breads, particularly if you’re trying to limit your sugar alcohol consumption (it’s added stevia makes it twice as sweet as sugar… i.e. you add half!).

Oh, and if not restricted by sugars, simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys!

One Last Thing

Seriously, don’t forget to whip up a batch of my heartwarming keto chili!  #soulmates

Freshly baked low carb cornbread in a muffin tin with butter Low carb cornbread muffins with a bowl of Keto chili

Looking for more keto cornbread recipes?! Check out my (1g net carb!) cornbread muffins or whip up a batch of my (highly rated!) ultimate cornbread.

And… The Video Story!

Freshly baked low carb cornbread with cornmeal and a pat of butter melting through

Low Carb Cornbread (with actual cornmeal!)

With that incomparable cornmeal taste, this low carb cornbread is an actual dream. Think unbelievably tender results... at just 6g net carbs!
4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Low Carb
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 209 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the low carb cornbread

Serving suggestions

Instructions
 

  • See recipe video for guidance (pretty please!). This is truly an easy, no-fuss cornbread recipe, with staple low carb pantry ingredients.
  • Add cornmeal, heavy whipping cream and apple cider vinegar (or buttermilk!) to a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside to rest for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a a muffin tray with paper liners (or butter generously!). And yes, this recipe can also be baked in the traditional way- i.e. heat up a cast iron pan in the oven with butter (15 minutes will do), add the cornbread batter and pop back in the oven *right away!*. This will create a delicious crisp, golden crust ;).
  • Add almond flour, flaxseed meal, whey protein, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined, set aside.
  • Add eggs and sweetener to a large bowl and whisk (energetically!) for a couple minutes until airy and lighter in color. Whisk in the butter.
  • Whisk in the dry flour mixture in two parts, and whisk in the cornmeal 'buttermilk' mix.
  • Divide the batter into the muffin pan (using an ice cream scooper is ace here!). Smooth out the top with a wet spatula (or your fingertips), if need be.
  • Bake for 24-27 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean (I do 25 minutes). Watch out after minute 15, and tent with aluminum foil if they begin to brown too quickly (you know, an unfortunate tendency of allulose). I also found that these guys barely collapsed at all while cooling- hurray!
  • Remove from the pan after 10 minutes and allow to cool completely before digging in for best texture. And if you can't hold your horses (i.e. you've got a big bowl of chili awaiting), at least give them 20 minutes to chill out.
  • Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for a couple months. Serve warm with a big pat of salted butter (non negotiable in my book!). 
  • My top tip: consuming some carbs (such as this low carb cornbread) should have very little impact on your GI if consumed the right way: eat your greens first (I do a small fatty salad with evoo and acv), and be sure to pair it with a fatty main course (i.e. the chili!). Many of you have reported back over the past week that consuming moderate carbs this way barely impacts your glucose levels (needless to say, we're all different so it's important that you test what works for you!).

Video

Notes

*How sweet? I like mine very lightly sweetened, so 1/4 cup does it for me (even if using allulose, which is 30% less sweet). But if you like yours on the sweeter side, even 1/2 cup will work (and the muffins will even have a tad bit more structure). 
Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per cornbread muffin, for a net carb count of 6g. 
Still, I want to encourage a 'keto diet' that is less about counting carbs and more about making smart food choices to use ketosis (you know, the metabolic state) to actually improve long term health... all while removing some big 'psychological barriers' around feeling limited with ingredients and choices.
Because remember, it's the GI spike (and ultra refined ingredients!) that are the actual enemy. And, as we are learning, you can even benefit from consuming 'the right carbs'.   

Nutrition

Serving: 1cornbread muffin | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword low carb cornbread, low carb cornbread with cornmeal
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!

46 comments

  1. Jheanell says:

    Just made these for your cornbread stuffing I’m making tomorrow (Thanksgiving🦃). Just wanted to say they’re sooo good and also say thank you. I’ve been experimenting with different keto recipes, and have been disappointed so many times. I’m thankful for a win. 😉

  2. Dale Olstinske says:

    My grocery store doesn’t have any corm meal labeled med grind, I assume I could put in food processor to make finer?

  3. Susan K Guinn says:

    Can you use monk-fruit sweetener instead. Many of the natural sugars cause serious tummy troubles. I can tolerate monk fruit.

    • Stella says:

      Thank you for reading the room, recipes like these are what we need. I do keto for general well being, but have struggled during the pandemic feeling restricted. And then I end up eating high carbs and don’t feel well.

      More normal low carb recipes like these please, can’t wait to make.

      • Matt & Matt says:

        Reading the room was a good way to put it.
        I’ve never in my life left a comment on a blog before, but these were delicious and I share the feeling. If you can give us low carb/keto recipes that are healthier than the original, but aren’t so restrictive it would be amazing.

  4. Irma J says:

    I make cornbread regularly for the fam bam in the fall and made this one on a whim after your email… AND WOW!!! Giiiiiiiirl?! How do you come up with these recipes?!

    I do like my cornbread less sweet even salty as I’m from the South, even less sweet than you, so I’ll be doing just 1-2 tablespoon next time and upping the seasoning by using salted butter- a trick I learnt from your cookie recipes 🙂

    Thank you it’ll become a staple, and my family loved it! It’s hard to explain their faces when I said it had mommy’s yucky almond flour and flaxseed in it. With recipes like this I will surely convince them to eat healthier

    Bless you truly 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Holly says:

    “As I think it’s important that each of us tests out what ingredients work for us… you know, rather than following a list of foods off an influencer on the internet (lol, i know!).
    xo! Paola”
    🤣 You crack me up Paola! Internet Influencer (eye roll). We’re all thinking it!

    Even though I can’t do a lot of your recipes because of dairy I always love seeing you in my inbox. I love your posts and recipes are pure genius.

  6. Chris says:

    These look WONDERFUL! Do you think they will freeze and defrost successfully? I’m trying to do most of my holiday cooking early…😁

  7. Dale Olstinske says:

    Looks great, I will be making this. True southern cornbread has no sugar, is the sweetener needed for any reason, other than taste?

    • I had a feeling this comment was coming lol (thank you Dale for keeping it OG!).

      You know, I find that I prefer the texture and taste when *very* lightly sweetened… but to answer your question yes, you can get away with no sweetener (just make sure to give your eggs an extra whisk so that they really are pale and fluffy!).

    • Please do in fact, it’s delicious! I’m testing out a few recipes for you, but thus far giving it a toast until crisp seems to result in the best texture. I’ll post a recipe on Sunday if all goes to plan. Xo!

      • Adelina says:

        Cornbread is my favorite thing during the holidays and I’m very excited to try these. Also, as a type 1 diabetic who follows a low carb/keto diet, as it helps me better manage my condition, I’m so excited that you will be tracking your BGs too. There is a huge difference in how certain carbs affect my sugars and that impacts what I eat, obviously. Can’t wait to give these a go for Thanksgiving!

  8. Sarah says:

    I tried this with the whey protein and found it was enough to cause my daughter stomach problems due to dairy. Any opinions on using plain egg white powder as a diary replacement. Thanks so much.

      • Sarah says:

        Oh thank you. I am still a little chicken to experiment too much. No one want to see their little girl in hospital due to GI problems.You have been my go to for recipes for a few years now.

  9. Dana says:

    Thank you Paola, I was wondering the same thing will make this weekend! I’m here for your new recipes, there really isn’t much like this on the internet.

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