Grandmother’s Healthified Cornbread


Grandmother’s Healthified Cornbread has a secret ingredient that makes it super moist. The perfect side to a hearty bowl of chili.


I’m suffering from two-day later syndrome today! Last night’s company Christmas party seemed like a late-in-the-week-type activity, which has left me feeling like it’s Friday today…all day.

Thankfully the PTO God’s gave me an early Christmas present this year, to the tune of multi hours I need to use or lose before 2011, so I was able to hop out of work early and snag a primo spot on a treadmill at the gym! Zipped through this 50 Minute, 5 Mile Treadmill Routine:

Time Speed Incline
0-2 4.0 1%
2-5 6.0 1%
5-10 6.5 1%
10-15 7.0 1%
15-20 7.5 1%
20-25 6.5 1%
25-30 7.0 1%
30-35 7.5 1%
35-38 6.0 1%
38-40 4.0 1%
40-50 4.0 4%
Total: 5 miles 1%

Followed up with 10 minutes on the elliptical at level 7. Ten minutes is about all I can do on the elliptical before I lose feeling in my feet. Isn’t that weird?

The whole while I was thinking about what I was going to do about dinner. Not, “Hmmm, what am I going to make tonight?” rather, Is dinner SAFE to eat tonight?!” 


Here’s the sitch… Last night I got home early enough to make tonight’s dinner – a big, bubbling pot of Chicken Chili. I was going to let the pot sit on the stovetop until it was cool enough to put into the fridge, but I forgot about it and went to bed without putting it away! RATS!

This afternoon I asked you on Facebook and Twitter what I should do. Waste a gigantic batch of my favorite sweet & spicy chili that sat out all night? Or, bite the bullet, boil the heck out it to kill any germs, cross our fingers and chow down…

The response was about 50/50, and…we chose the latter. :)

I know!!! I just felt as though this was one of my best batches of chicken chili ever, as I used Homestyle Busch’s Baked Beans (SUPER thick and sweet!) and TONS of chili powder and cayenne pepper. It was off the charts good when I tasted it last night!


I spent a good 15 minutes researching online too, and the majority of the info I found said I was probably fine to eat it. Especially since it’s winter and the house is pretty cool at night. I know, I’m totally justifying…


For a companion, I made something I KNEW would be good – Grandmother’s Cornbread!


Usually I try and make this recipe a little bit healthier by subbing applesauce in for the butter and cutting the sugar in half. Well, I didn’t have any a-sauce on hand tonight, so I subbed in…PUMPKIN!


omg it was AWESOME!


Grandmother’s Healthified Cornbread


Grandmother's Healthified Cornbread is so tender, with a secret ingredient that makes it super moist! It's the perfect side to a hearty bowl of chili!


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (skim or unsweetened almond)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine pumpkin, sugar, eggs and milk in a bowl. Add salt, baking powder and flour. Whisk to combine. Add cornmeal and whisk to combine.
  2. Pour cornbread batter into a greased, 8x8 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Adapted from

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


You can’t really taste the pumpkin (I didn’t even tell Ben it was in there because I know he wouldn’t have eaten it if I did!) and half the pan’s gone if that tells you anything! So moist!


So 1 mug of chili down the hatch and we’re still alive…for now!



Are you squeamish about leaving food out then eating it? What would you have done?

I’ll eat things like pizza that’s been leftover overnight, but really not much else. This was definitely outside my comfort zone!

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  1. erica 12.14.2010

    i’m totally paranoid, with a weak stomach…i throw all questionable stuff away! my bf, however, has an iron clad stomach and will eat things that have been out, things that are 2 weeks expired, things that taste sour (milk, tofu, etc) but no sense waste it. hahaha.

  2. That cornbread looks delish. I am squeamish but it all depends on how bad I want it… haha.

  3. KaraHadley 12.14.2010

    Maybe I’m weird, but I wouldn’t be worried about the chili at all. Growing up, whenever mother made a big pot of something that didn’t fit in the fridge she would either leave it on the stove or just put the pot in the cold oven. We never thought twice about it.

  4. Kelly 12.14.2010

    Drooling over the cornbread….. but more importantly
    My feet totally go numb on the elliptical too!!! what the heck?!

  5. Amanda 12.14.2010

    Hey Kristen!

    I’m a microbiologist, and I can promise you, that was just fine to eat! First of all, since everything was cooked thoroughly in the first place, nothing that would normally have been on the raw materials could have survived the heat of cooking. Second of all, nothing of consequence could have grown in a few hours in a covered pot. We eat some standard bacteria on everything we put in our mouths, no matter how fresh!

    Sorry to the squeamish…but its true!

  6. I honestly don’t think I would ever eat something that has sat overnight. I’ve done the same thing, waiting for something to cool before sticking it in the fridge, only to wake up in the morning to still find it sitting on the stove. Anytime this has happened we’ve thrown it all away.

  7. Liz @ LBBakes 12.14.2010

    I’ve been reading Amanda’s blog for over a year now – she is the best! Click through her recipes… you’ll be drooling in 60 seconds flat.

  8. karen 12.14.2010

    I probably would have pitched it especially since it had chicken in it but it sure looked good.
    My feet go numb on exercise bike. Good to know it isn’t just me.

  9. anna 12.14.2010

    It totally depends what food it is and how hungry/lazy I am! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger ;)

  10. 1. My mother ( a doctor) and I would have definitely eaten the chili too. Those rules are being EXTRA careful and I’m sure one night out won’t hurt anything!

    2. My feet sometimes go numb too, but I realized I was standing funny. i have to make sure to either go flat footed or up on my toes every once in a while.

    3. Those tree pictures are awesome!!

  11. Holy YUM – that dinner looks amazing!
    Unfortunately, I’ve never found yellow cornmeal on my grocery store…
    Can I sub it for something else?
    (I think not… Oh, well :/ )

  12. Kristin from MN 12.14.2010

    To help keep your feet from going numb, change the incline on the elliptical. I have the same problem. Most ellipticals at the gym have adjustable inclines. I set it at “interval” so it changes for me without me having to think about it.

  13. A.J. 12.14.2010

    I am EXTREMELY squeamish about leaving food out overnight. I wouldn’t even eat leftover pizza that had been sitting out overnight. I would have tossed that chili in the trash and enjoyed dinner at a restaurant. I will admit, however, that your chili looks might tasty in the pics!

    • A.J. 12.14.2010

      VERY interesting to read the earlier posts especially from the microbiologist…. Apparently I have no reason to be paranoid about stuff sitting out overnight!! SWEET

  14. Jenn 12.14.2010

    I definitely would have eaten it! I figure half of the places that I dined at in college were more questionable than overnight chili :) And the elliptical thing… I’ve found that it helps to loosen up my shoelaces a little bit and slide my feed more toward the back of the pedals.

  15. julie 12.14.2010

    Kevinandamanda is a great site. She has the most decadent desserts, too!

  16. wow you are brave, i am really squeamish about eating meat that’s sat out anymore than 2 hours since that’s when it gets into its unsafe zone :/ hope it all turns out okay – it did sound delicious!

  17. Brittney 12.14.2010

    In Germany, they did this daily like it was no big deal. I was quite, um– surprised– that my flatmates would leave out a baked pasta dish for a night or two on the counter and keep taking dish-fulls for leftovers. I think we’ve been bred to be hypersensitive to this– clearly it was still delicious!

    • Chris 01.03.2013

      This is EXACTLY how my grandmother makes hers and evreybody loves it as well. I think you should state that you shouldn’t add in too much broth or your dressing will be super wet & soggy instead of moist when it’s done.I just pour in enough until the cornbread is really soggy, but not swimming in broth.I also cook mine for 1 hour.You have some great recipes! Very true to soul food! I’m glad you don’t replace ingredients with fat-free items and substitute ingredients. Not that there is anything wrong with that but it’s just getting so hard to find AUTHENTIC southern soul food recipes these days.Keep up the good work.

  18. dmcgirl 12.14.2010

    I accidently left a whole jar of mayo out just last night and had to chuck it. I was very surprised to see that on the counter this morning! ;-)

  19. I would have eaten the chili; I just hate throwing things out!

    My feet go numb on the elliptical after a while too.

  20. Stephanie 12.15.2010

    I would have eaten it. No worries!

  21. sandra mc combs 12.15.2010

    I hope that you did not save the rest for a meal later. That would be pushing your luck. I worked in foodservice for thirty years. Better to be safe than sorry. Rule is “hot food hot” and “cold food cold” Bacteria grows super fast in food not up to proper temp.

  22. Hope 12.15.2010

    Your dinner looks amazing! I love the cornbread. It looks delicious! I’m not sure what I would have done. I might have boiled it on the stove for a few minutes and then ate it. I probably would throw the leftovers away just to be safe. I am always nervous about those types of things.

  23. oh girl…i took a food sanitation course in college and heard stories about people dying from doing stuff like that. definitely don’t eat the leftovers…

    on a different note, my feet go numb on the elliptical too…you’re not alone!

  24. Sara 12.15.2010

    If it doesn’t have mold on it and it smells fine, I’ll usually eat it, even after learning in my food principles that food poisoning/bacteria most of the time doesn’t develop an odor or look any different. For example, my dad left an entire dish of THANKSGIVING STUFFING in the oven overnight (he stored it there to get it out of the way..the oven was off). The next morning I found it and asked if I should throw it out…he said yes (so sad!), but I ate a piece first. LOL.

    So anyways, kudos to you! Now I feel more human ;-) I definitely want to try that cornbread recipe, but pumpkin is GONE! I was so going to stock up after Thanksgiving, but I can’t find any!!

  25. Tonya 12.15.2010

    Funny, my feet go numb on the elliptical as well.

    Glad to know it’s not just me!

  26. Lexi 12.15.2010

    I would have eaten in without thinking twice about it!

    My feet also go numb on the elliptical. I find that going backwards helps a little bit. I also read once that if you stand up straight, they won’t. I’ve tried standing up straight but only after they’ve fallen asleep and been past the point of no return.

  27. Jean von B 12.15.2010

    I’ve always thrown stuff out that has sat overnight. I’m sure it would be fine, especially in winter, but better safe than sorry.

  28. Laura 12.15.2010

    The same thing happened to me last week…I left a pot of delicious beef stew out overnight. I thought about throwing it out, but decided like you to heat the crap out of it and enjoy it. I was/am just fine. I agree with a previous comment that we may be a little too sensitive when it comes to things like this.

  29. Natalie 12.15.2010

    Wow, the advice from Amanda was definitly good to know! I’m usually the one who always eats left-out foods and my friends mock me for it! At least now I know its not that bad! :)

  30. jen 12.15.2010

    Oh, I’ve done that before! I usually eat it, unless it has milk products. I’m sure you’ll be fine! ;)

  31. Nicki 12.15.2010

    I probably would have boiled the heck out of it and tested a small ammount. If I felt ok afterwards, I would have eaten the rest of it. I also lose feeling in my feet after only a few minutes on the elliptical. I thought it was just me, good to know others have the same problem.

  32. I would have probably still eaten it too (after simmering it just in case). Anyway, when something spoils, it doesn’t taste right anymore. Right??? Right.

  33. Nic 12.15.2010

    Wow thanks for the link love to the KevinandAmanda site. Very cool photos!

    I’m not sure I would have had the guts to eat the chili, but if you’re still feeling good, it sounds like you made the right decision!

  34. I totally would have eaten it, too. I also lose feeling in my feet on the elliptical. Actually, sometimes just the right foot. Weird.

  35. Alison 12.15.2010

    I lose feeling sometimes too on the elliptical and the arc trainer. Glad to know I’m not the only one! I fine standing on my toes on the elliptical helps to not have my foot fall asleep.

  36. Jennifer 12.15.2010

    My feet go numb on the elliptical and stationary bikes. They don’t go numb on the BEAST (Stairmill) or the treadmill though. I’m thinking it’s because I move my feet on the two latter machines, and on the elliptical they are stuck stationary. It bugs me, so I’ve been avoiding the elliptical. Good news is I’ve worked up to an HOUR on the BEAST.

  37. I’m with you, I totally would have eaten it! I’ve left food out over night a time or two and have yet to get sick so until then, why waste? I’ll have to try that corn bread recipe, I didn’t think it was possible to healthify it!!

  38. Jess S 12.15.2010

    I used to be a little on the squeamish side. Then my husband went back to school (to med school), and I started hearing about everything that we ingest on a daily basis anyway (trust me, you don’t really want to know!)… Suffice to say it made me much less squeamish. As long as something has been thoroughly cooked before sitting out, we eat it. Now raw/uncooked stuff – kind of a different story…
    I’m going to make the cornbread tonight – it looks fabulous!

  39. Nicole (the other one) 12.15.2010

    My stomach of steal (and nerves) have me digging into mayo based salads on a hot summer day. Yum! I’m also cheap, and hate wasting food.

  40. Alexis 12.15.2010

    I lived in China for a year (where they don’t refrigerate anything- milk, yogurt, eggs, even raw meat!). While I don’t condone it (just thinking about the raw meat sitting out in the open markets still makes me shudder), the fact that I never really got sick is a testament that the human stomach can handle challenges. On the whole, Americans are very refrigerator-dependent. Throughout all of Asia (and a lot of Europe) you will find eggs stored in room temperature.
    However, I would be cautious of items that are kept warm over time as bacteria loves to grow in warm environments.

  41. Totally LOVING your cornbread recipe!!
    And I would have done the same thing as you…too good to go to waste! :)

  42. […] Comments « I’m Totally Justifying… […]

  43. […] other news, I was this close to making another batch of Pumpkin Cornbread last night, because it is that good, but I held back because I wanted to make Pumpkin Cornbread […]

  44. Amanda 12.18.2010

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Kristin! That cornbread looks wonderful. Must try! :) Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! :)


  45. […] LOVE this chili.  I literally can’t wait for lunch tomorrow.  Last night, I whipped up the pumpkin cornbread I saw on Kirstin’s site last week.  Um, so good!  So moist, it was the perfect combination […]

  46. […] Iowa Girl Eats posted an interesting recipe last week with a hidden ingredient – pumpkin puree! I thought why not embrace that yumminess and make a seasonally spiced (pumpkin, molasses, nutmeg, and cinnamon) cornbread. I also hate, hate dry cornbread. IGE’s recipe called for milk which I never have so I swapped in some greek yogurt and ricotta cheese. Sounds funky but the bread is so moist. Now that’s what I call a secret ingredient! […]

  47. Jamie 12.30.2010

    Made the pumpkin cornbread last night!!! sooo Good!!Loved the texture! and it was super easy to make! yay!! My husband had alot more self control than me.. he had one square I had umm … 5 woops!!! haha

  48. Just saved this recipe!! Looks awesome :)

  49. […] with some healthified pumpkin cornbread, and some Late July Green Mojo chips for scooping, this chili was amazing! I loved its subtle […]

  50. […] whipped up some uber-easy, insanely-dense, crazy-moist Pumpkin Cornbread for a true Southern feast! Have you made this yet?! It bakes up in the same amount of time it takes […]

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