I was reaching for my recipe binder to make my new, favorite cornbread recipe and realized, I hadn’t printed it off from my drive yet. I proceeded to my blog on my phone thinking I had posted it there and could reference it quickly but, nope. It was not there either. Several days later, I am happy to announce now that I’ve printed it off of my drive for my personal binder of recipes, it’s time it makes an appearance on here because bread = love and I love sharing good things. I’ve been a bit introspective these past few weeks because we are in the middle of handing over the keys to our current homestead to it’s next stewards, building our new place completely from scratch, and renting a small place somewhere in between. There’s been a lot on my mind and a lot of irons in the fire, so to say.
As my friends on Instagram know, I typically share what is on my mind and heart right then and there. I’m big on sharing more than one aspect of my life in this way because life and health are holistic. You cannot do one without the other. All aspects of life affect all aspects of life. Seen or unseen. Without fail, God has taken care of the details and has made this transition much easier to navigate as He has graciously provided and given CLEAR direction for me and my husband. God hears your prayers. He may not give you an answer or make things come about in the time and space you have allotted, but He hears you and knows the additional steps you need to go through in order to appreciate or learn at the end of the waiting.
While we enter a season of waiting, I know the importance of sharing real life, behind the scenes to encourage anyone to just keep going – no matter where they are on the map of their journey of living holistically. Yet, I’ve been ruminating longer and digesting the “how” to navigate sharing and documenting this journey in a helpful way with you all. This part has been more difficult for me to openly share about as I have hesitations, reservations and honestly, I’m just tired. Blogging and social media have evolved into a temperamental storm that strikes without notice. Instead of enjoying bite-sized bits of inspiration, joy, or food for thought – it’s become a force-feeding of opinions, division, and plain garbage. Even with the careful curation of my “feed”, making sure I’m bringing in “healthful” and “wholesome” content for myself to enjoy as well as share with others, there’s always terrible “fast food” that is invading my space and unconsciously manipulating how I should serve up and dish out with others who come and sit at my virtual table.
I don’t like being told I have to “try” and “like it” or even share what I find it tastes like. I want to look at the texture, study the way its cooked and presented. I want to sit and ponder, and chew on my own time. Chewing is so important for digestion. The simple action of viewing food and taking in the aroma, and feeling the texture on your pallete helps your body begin secreting important factors into your saliva to begin to break down your food as soon as it hits your lips. Chewing is important, otherwise you will choke. So is “chewing” on a “wholesome diet”. (you see what I did there?) Friends, our society is not chewing. It’s not even taking time to read the ingredients list. Anyway, I’m still digesting, and ruminating how to share our next phase. I want to fully digest and develop a recipe for wholesome content that is encouraging, digestible, and pleasant to the palate. I hope you will be patient with me as it simmers on the back burner.
I could draw out this metaphor, or should I say, simmer it a bit more – but, I’ll jump to punch line.
Supporting your digestion is one of the single most important things you can do for your over all health. Without finding a place to enjoy your food, a place to relax and be calm and ponder it’s flavor, it’s origins and ingredients – you are depriving your body of the rest it needs in order to absorb and utilize the nutrients it needs in order to be alert and make decisions rationally. (for more musings on STRESS and how it affects digestion, check out my STRESSED highlight on instagram).
One way you can do that is by eating foods that have been pre-digested or prepared in a traditional way that supports digestion (check out my other post on beans and canning HERE). No, not mother and baby bird status, I’m talking Nixtamalization. Nixtamalization is a process for the preparation of maize (corn), or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater, washed, and then hulled. The term can also refer to the removal via an alkali process of the pericarp from other grains such as sorghum. (Wikipedia). This fascinating process removes difficult to digest elements of maize and was a common practice in Mesoamerica as early as 1200 b.c. This process interestingly enough free Niacin (b3) which is bound to cell walls of corn and breaks down pectin and other nutrients. This process makes it’s protein matrix unravel so that humans can absorb it’s nutrients better. This process makes corn, bioavailable which simply means that the nutrients are already presented to the body in a way that it can uptake it simply and USE it’s nutrients without needing additional “tools” or resources to break it down further.
Enter in, Masa Harina. Masa Harina is corn flour made from Hominy (limed corn) thus, making it easier to digest. Masa is a dough used in Latin communities (shout out) for many meal preparations from tortillas, tamales and more. It’s available in the international food section in most grocery stores, and can be ordered online. Bob’s Red Mill has a 4 pack (linked here), but I love Azure standards just the same when it’s in stock, and it’s in bigger bags. (Join Azure for Free) – They ship or drop all over the US. If you are in Canada, maybe OM foods has an option?
Masa Harina is a sweeter flavor without tasting like Carolina Cornbread (which tends to have sugar in it, which is not my favorite). The texture of Masa Harina is a bit more like a fluffy sponge cake in contrast to the deep southern American cornbread I am accustomed to making that sits in buttermilk to help soften the corn meal.
Without further a-due, here is my favorite Masa Harina Cornbread recipe. With stress, I tend to enjoy a bit more carbs for fuel during these times and this bread is a nutritive support. It can be converted to be Gluten Free by utilizing Cassava flour, or using your favorite Gluten free alternative.
Masa Harina Cornbread
- 6 tbsp butter add to skillet or pan in oven
- 1.5 cups Masa Harina
- .5 cup All purpose flour (Kamut or Cassava or your fav)
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 (1/3) cups Milk, buttermilk, coconut milk or cream
- 1/4 cup Maple syrup
- 2 Large eggs
- 2 tbsp Baking powder yes, Tablespoons
- mix together all dry ingredients and preheat oven to 425 F with dish that you choose to use for cornbread – make sure the butter is in there too.
- mix all wet ingredients together – including the eggs
- combine wet and dry ingredients – once well incorporated, add the pan in the oven (I do this even if it's still preheating – if the butter is fully melted and coating the bottom of the pan and beginning to steam – dump in the mixture) dumping in the mixture just as the butter is hot like grease, makes the edges less crispy which I prefer than adding it to a hot, ready to go oven.
- bake well until the center no longer jiggles when moved about, or for good measure, jab the center with a butter knife – if it comes out clean, it's ready to be taken out
- dump cornbread on a cooling rack and serve warm with lots of butter
Whatever your thoughts are on eating may be, be mindful of what you consume and also what you “consume”. Give yourself time to let it ruminate, digest, and take it slow. Don’t forget to take in the good stuff and have on hand what you need to nourish deeply.
James 1:19 – My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
Amos 8:11-12 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“when – I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
ybut they shall not find it.