The 2 Ingredient Swaps You Need For Vegan Cornbread

Eaten with a helping of black-eyed peas or in a decadent cheese and corn casserole, many know cornbread as a Southern food staple. But few realize it's also a symbol of luck. According to Thrillist, thanks to its signature golden crust, this humble southern delight is thought to bring good fortune (and good money) to those who eat it on New Year's Day. And we're happy to report cornbread doesn't just spread luck to those who eat animal products. That's right, cornbread can also be a vegan-friendly meal.

Generally speaking, an average cornbread recipe features cornmeal, all-purpose flour, buttermilk, and butter. That means all you have to do to make this old-fashioned side dish vegan is remove the dairy and eggs from its ingredient list. However, you may think that's easier said than done. After all, while you may have no trouble getting your cornbread-craving hands-on vegan butter, you may find yourself stumped on how to find vegan substitutes for buttermilk and eggs. But MasterClass reports that you only need to swap out eggs and buttermilk for these two ingredients to bake a batch of tasty, decadent, and vegan cornbread.

Trade out eggs for flax eggs

Baking How explains that eggs bind your cornbread's batter together, help the bread rise, and contribute to the southern classic's texture. And both Baking How and MasterClass state that throwing flax eggs into your cornbread mixture has almost the same effect as a regular egg.

MasterClass adds that flax eggs function similarly to actual eggs because they are made by combining dehydrated flaxseeds with water. According to the outlet, once they come in contact with something wet, the once dehydrated flax seeds get the "gelatinous" and "gluey" texture of actual eggs. Not to mention, these seeds will pack your cornbread with fiber, Omega-3, and protein.

To make a flax egg, you will need to mix one tablespoon of flaxseed meal (although Baking How notes grounded flax seeds and even chia seeds can work) with three tablespoons of water. According to Baking How, after beating the mixture together, you need to allow the flax egg to settle for at least three minutes. Then you can place it in your cornmeal batter. As the outlet emphasizes, this flaxseed meal and water combo substitute one egg per serving. So keep in mind that if you require more than one egg, you'll have to double up the flaxseed egg recipe's ingredients.

The clever workaround for vegan buttermilk

MasterClass notes that buttermilk plays a big role in cornbread's texture. Per Food Network, because buttermilk is fermented, it's filled with acids that not only give it a distinctive flavor but help activate the baking soda and baking powder. In other words, this ingredient makes cornbread rise. Luckily, MasterClass reports that you can transform any vegan milk into vegan buttermilk by combining it with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

According to the same outlet, this will give your milk the acidity it needs to get your baking soda or baking powder rolling. In fact, Food Network also notes that these combinations will actually cause your vegan milk to curd just like dairy buttermilk. However, while MasterClass states any vegan milk will work for this buttermilk hack, Food Network does recommend using almond milk. As the outlet notes, this particular type of milk offers a "nutty flavor" that compliments the cornbread.