Grind your own cornmeal and use it to make a warm, buttery skillet full of Whole Grain Jalapeño Buttermilk Cornbread, perfect for parties.
I don’t know about you, but up until recently, whenever a recipe called for cornmeal I died a little inside.
It usually wasn’t a lot – maybe a few tablespoons or a quarter-cup. I wasn’t making cornbread on the regular. But that meant I had to drag myself to the grocery store and buy a little bag of cornmeal. (Those Bob’s Red Mill ones were the only type I could find.) And it was always some outrageous price like $5-8 for something I’d only use a fraction of and then have to throw out.
Little did I know that something I did buy often, that was incredibly cheap, could do double-duty and provide me with cornmeal in seconds: corn kernels.
If you’re doubting my intelligence for not realizing that cornmeal came from corn kernels, I don’t blame you.
I acquired a free Vitamix blender recently and found that making cornmeal was as easy as pouring in a handful or more of corn kernels, plugging my ears—anyone who has done this will immediately understand—and cranking the machine to turbo mode. A few seconds later, my warm, grainy cornmeal was ready.
And I used my extra $5 to buy chocolate. Because obviously.
Today, I’ll give you a quick overview on how to make your own cornmeal at home in a high-speed blender AND how to use said blender to make Whole Grain Jalapeño Buttermilk Cornbread. This recipe comes from Vitamix’s Simply Blending cookbook, an amazing resource guide for all types of food to make in a blender.
What’s great about this cornbread recipe is that you can use your homemade butter and buttermilk to make it, along with your freshly ground cornmeal. You’ll be feeling like the best homesteader in the world at the end, I promise.
If you already have prepared cornmeal on hand and don’t have a blender to make the cornbread, you can whisk the wet ingredients instead. Make sure your butter is very soft though, and even then, you might be whisking for a while to get that fully incorporated texture.
You can probably use a stand mixer or even an immersion blender (sometimes called stick blender) to blend too, though I haven’t tried these methods.
Get ready for some delicious skillet comfort food!
To make cornmeal, pour 250 grams corn kernels (about 1 and 1/4 cups) into a high speed blender and secure lid tightly. Use ear plugs if possible (trust me!). Start at the lowest speed and slowly work your way up to the highest one, leaving it running at high speed for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Yield: About 1 and 2/3 cups. (You’ll have slightly more cornmeal than the recipe calls for, so keep it in a small container or ziplock bag in the fridge for other recipes, such as for sprinkling baking sheets before putting homemade pizza dough down.)
- 1 and ½ cups (213 grams) cornmeal
- 1 cup (130 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. finely crushed sea salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 and ½ cups buttermilk*
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp. (44 grams) salted butter, softened
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 3 jalapeños, chopped finely (plus more slices to scatter on top if desired)
- Begin by heating up your 10-inch cast iron, oven-safe skillet in the oven by placing it inside and preheating to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda well; set aside.
- In a blender, add buttermilk, oil, eggs, butter and honey and blend on medium power for 15-30 seconds or until fully combined. (Alternately, you can do this step by hand but it might take a while—butter is hard to dissolve by hand in liquid.)
- Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix into just incorporated and no chunks of dry flour or cornmeal remain. Fold in the finely chopped jalapeños.
- By this time, your oven should have preheated. If not, wait for it to fully preheat, then carefully remove the skillet. Quickly pour the batter into the skillet, carefully rolling it slightly to evenly distribute the batter. Scatter a few remaining jalapeño pieces on top, if desired.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are a deep golden and the the centre is firm and not jiggly. Let cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve. Let leftovers come to room temperature, place in a freezer bag with the air sucked out, and freeze for up to a month.
This recipe is very lightly adapted from Vitamix‘s whole grain cornbread recipe in their Simply Blending cookbook.