Easy {Vegan} Cornbread

easy vegan cornbread

It’s chili time of year, y’all. And you know what that means, dontcha? Cornbread. Sweet, sweet cornbread sitting along side of that piping hot bowl of chili. But none of that silly Jiffy boxed kind of cornbread. No, no no…you know better by now! We’ve got no room for that nonsense in our real food kitchens! When cornbread is this easy to make, you’ve got no excuses.

I love the original recipe’s taste. However, I wanted to cut down the oil a bit and swap out a few ingredients for more real food friendly ones. After a few attempts, a little tweaking here and there, I finally perfected this recipe and got a thumbs up from the fam. It now permanently earns a place in my meal plan rotation.

easy vegan cornbread ingredients

Easy {Vegan} Cornbread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
This easy, real food cornbread is dairy, egg, soy and nut free. Adapted from: Hey Morningstar!
  • 1½ cups corn flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax seeds + 3 T water)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together your flax and water and let sit 10 minutes to gel up.
  3. In large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
  4. In small bowl, mix together the remaining wet ingredients minus the flax egg.
  5. Slowly combine the liquids with the dry ingredients.
  6. Add the flax egg and mix until just combined.
  7. Pour into a parchment lined 8x8 pan.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
I used canola oil in this recipe since it's a neutral flavored oil. However, it is a refined oil. So, if you are looking to make this 100% real food approved, use coconut oil. Please note, that you may have a slightly coco-nutty flavor.

Eat this cornbread along side a hot bowl of chili or with pulled pork and coleslaw.

What’s your favorite cold weather dish?

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life, or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa


I love summer. If for nothing else but for the assortment of fresh produce at my disposal. From strawberries to cherries to tomatoes to herbs to zucchini and peaches. Oh, how I love summer peaches.

The past 3 years we have been taking our kids to the local orchard to pick our own peaches. It’s become something we look forward to this time of year. We come home with a big basket of peaches and lay them all out waiting for them to ripen up over the next few days. And oh do they ever. Biting into a peach and having the juice run down your arm = pure deliciousness.

See the problem becomes, though, once peaches ripen you need to eat them. FAST. Wait too long and they start to go bad. I’ve learned over the years after I’ve made a few peach cobblers or sliced a few up on our granola whatever is left gets peeled, sliced and frozen. There’s nothing like pulling out peaches in the middle of winter.

This year, I got a hankering for a peach salsa. Salsas are so easy to throw together and who doesn’t love a great fresh salsa? Take it to a party, serve it over top of fish or hoard it all for yourself. Either way, I won’t judge.


Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
Summer peaches come together in this quick and easy refreshing salsa. Enjoy with tortilla chips or on top of fish.
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used Roma)
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped (use ½ jalapeno for less heat)
  • 3 peaches, peeled or not, chopped
  • Cilantro to taste, left whole or coarsely chopped. (I love cilantro, so I use ¼ cup or so)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste (approx 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper)
  1. Chop all ingredients and throw them into a medium size bowl.
  2. Add juice of one lime, salt and pepper and cilantro and mix until combined.
  3. For best taste, let the flavors marinate for 1 hour or more before serving.
  4. If you can't wait, eat immediately.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad


Depending on what kind you buy, tuna can be unethical, and dangerous to eat. Like many other fish, tuna contains mercury, which is toxic to humans. The FDA recommends limiting the amount you eat, especially if you’re pregnant. It’s environmental impact can be quite disturbing as well. If fished improperly, large amounts of bycatch result in capturing and discarding a staggering volume of non-targeted marine life.

However, there is always a yummy real food alternative! Chickpea “tuna” salad uses delicious, healthy chickpeas (garbanzo beans) instead of tuna mixed with chopped veggies. The nori sheet introduces a seafood-like flavor reminiscent of true canned tuna and can be found in any well stocked grocery store.

This recipe is based on one that I had during a PAN Vegan Pledge meeting in which I volunteered as a mentor. PAN pairs up pledges with mentors to help them transition to a vegan diet while providing tips, recipes and support during the month long experience. Pledge groups are popping up in several cities if you are interested in checking it out.

Side note: There are still many processed vegan food choices, so always read labels. This is why I predominantly promote a real food, plant-based diet. Now for that recipe…


Chickpea "Tuna" Salad
Recipe type: Lunch
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans-I like Eden Organic brand. No salt, BPA free cans)
  • 1 sheet nori (sushi seaweed sheet)
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • ¼ onion, finely diced
  • ¼-1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Veganaise for a quick alternative-not a perfect choice-but try making your own mayo with this recipe)
  • ½ tsp spicy mustard (or Dijon works fine too)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼-1/2 cup purple cabbage (optional)
  • Handful of parsley, chopped (optional)
  • Red bell pepper, finely diced (optional)
  1. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor. Leave some larger chunks of chickpeas for texture.
  3. Crumble and tear nori sheet into small pieces and add to the beans.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir together.
  5. Serve with whole grain crackers, on a sandwich using Ezekiel bread or inside lettuce cups. Enjoy!
  6. Tip: If you own a Vitamix, wet chop all your veggies and this will come together in a flash.

chickpea-tuna-salad-2If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Mint Chip “Nice” Cream


Mint Chip Nice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for “nice” cream!

Oh how I love ice cream. In all of it’s creamy, cool, melt-y (totally a word) glory. It had me at hello. I don’t make ice cream the way most people think ice cream should be made with dairy, fat, sugar and all the other not-so-good-for-you additions. Nope. I have a secret healthy ingredient I use…frozen bananas.

I know…crazy right? I could hardly believe it myself when I first tried it. But it works like magic. And it’s so gooooood. You know what else? You can make this recipe every. single. day if you wanted, because here’s another secret…it’s full of spinach and zucchini (or avocado) and you won’t even taste them. If this nice cream is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.


Mint Chip "Nice" Cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
  • 3 frozen bananas. Peel and freeze when bananas are starting to brown. Freeze at least 6 hours or keep a ziplock bag in your freezer at all times with frozen bananas.
  • ½ cup frozen zucchini or avocado chunks
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (about a handful)
  • 15-20 mint leaves or ⅛ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 pitted date (optional, but I like the extra sweetness it adds)
  • Dark chocolate chips
  1. Take your bananas out of the freezer and let them sit for about 10-15 minutes to thaw slightly. Cut into chunks and add bananas to a high powered blender such as a Vitamix.
  2. Add the avocado, spinach, mint leaves and a date (if using).
  3. Blend on HIGH for about one minute until creamy using the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades.
  4. Scoop out into bowls using an ice cream scoop and fold in chocolate chips. Serve immediately. You can freeze the leftovers, but is best eaten right away.
  5. *Note* This can be made in a Cuisinart food processor or regular blender, but you will need to stop and scrape down the sides frequently. Keep running until you get a consistency of soft serve ice cream. It takes a bit longer, but should work - although I can't attest to how well the spinach and mint leaves will be broken down. Let me know if you have tried it.
  6. This serves about 2-3 people depending on how big their appetite is. If you make it when everyone is at school and/or work then it may only serve one. It will be our little secret. K?



Tell me, what’s your most favorite dessert?

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through our link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so we may continue to spread the news about real food.

Applesauce Granola


Applesauce Granola

We need to have a little chat, friends, about granola. What’s up with the price of granola? Have you read the ingredient labels on those expensive little bags? Can somebody tell me what “polyglycerol esters of fatty acids” are anyway and what are they doing in your granola? Anyone? Anyone? It’s shameful, really, on so many levels.

Granola is the perfect grab and go snack. It’s also great for mornings with a little plant-based milk and some fresh berries thrown on top. Sprinkle it on your chia seed yogurt (recipe coming soon!) or, better yet, use this as a base for homemade granola bars. Mmmm.

For the past few years I have been making my own granola. It really is quite simple and turns out super duper yummy. Many recipes call for oil, which I am not a huge fan of, so I started making my own with applesauce. Do you see all the crunchiness of the oats and plump little raisins hiding in there? And let’s talk about the smell of this granola in all of it’s cinnamony (totally a word) glory. What are you still doing here…go and make some now!

Applesauce Granola 2

Real Food Recipe: Applesauce Granola
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 cups
  • ½ cup applesauce (please find one with one ingredient in it like, I don't know, APPLES!)
  • ¼ c coconut sugar
  • 2 T raw honey or 100% maple syrup for a vegan option
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Heat the applesauce, coconut sugar, honey/maple syrup and salt in a saucepan over low heat until a little runny.
  2. Pour oats into a large bowl and add cinnamon.
  3. Pour heated applesauce mixture over the oats and stir until combined.
  4. Bake in a 275 degree oven for 50 minutes turning every 10 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container in your pantry.
  5. Note: I add raisins to mine right before I eat it. That way the raisins don’t dry out and get hard.
Optional ideas
Because granola is so versatile, you really can throw just about anything in there and it will taste great. I don’t measure, so these measurements are approximates. Feel free to use more or less as desired.
1/4 raw sunflower seeds
1/4 slivered almonds
Shredded coconut
1 T flax seed meal
Chia seeds
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped

And there you have it. Now you can ditch the chemical laden, expensive store bought granola that likely has more refined sugar than your average candy bar. Dive into a bowl of your own delicious blend made with REAL ingredients that you can find in most kitchens. Not to mention, you’ll spend about half the price of what you’d pay in the store. Enjoy!

Applesauce Granola 3If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Our recommendations:

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through that link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products that we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so that we may continue to spread the news about real food.