Very Creamy Vegan Grits


Happy weekend! After some pretty wild storms for the last 3 days, the sun has finally come out, for which I am very grateful.  It’s been a very busy, but good, month for me, so I have been cooking very simply at home.  For the food lover that I am, simple still has to mean tasty and satisfying, and here’s one recipe which fits the bill.  This is a recipe from February’s Thrive Kitchen class, which was on foods of the African diaspora.  My friend and colleague Dawn, who has been an unwavering source of support and aloha in getting the Thrive Kitchen off the ground, was most excited about this very creamy vegan recipe for grits, so I thought I’d share it with my lovely readers!  They’re grits like the grits you might know, but even better. The grits used here are yellow corn grits, aka polenta, and they are creamy not only from all the stirring I will insist you do, but from the genius vegan addition of cashew cream. Plant-based eaters will be familiar with cashew cream, but for those of you who are not, consider yourselves introduced!  This is nut milk’s creamier cousin and really works well wherever you might use heavy cream.  In class, we topped them with Bryant Terry’s spicy slow-cooked collard greens, but you can enjoy them with any accompaniment.  I made them at home recently and topped them with roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, but now that spring is here, I’m thinking maybe some grilled asparagus and tender peas would be lovely.  This makes a lovely lunch or light dinner, and could definitely find a place at your brunch table tomorrow morning!  Let me know how else you enjoy these. To your health!

Very Creamy Vegan Grits 

Adapted from Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan, Ten Speed Press, 2014

Serves 6 to 8

Creamy Grits with Cashew Cream

4 cups water

1 tsp sea salt

¾ cup yellow corn grits (stone-ground, not instant)

½ cup cashew cream (recipe below)

¼ cup minced Italian parsley

  1. Put 3 cups water and 1 tsp salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Slowly pour in grits, whisking constantly until no lumps remain.
  3. Return to a boil, then turn down heat to low. Simmer uncovered, whisking occasionally to prevent sticking, until grits have absorbed most of the liquid and are beginning to thicken, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add remaining 1 cup water and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until most of liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Stir in the cashew cream, cover, and simmer, whisking frequently, until soft and fluffy, another 15-30 minutes.
  6. Add parsley and whisk to combine.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: Cal 135, Fat 6 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 278 g, Sugar 0

Cashew Cream

This is a vegan substitute for heavy cream.


1 cup raw cashews, soaked in enough water to cover overnight

½ cup water


Blend together in a blender until smooth.

Nutrition Info per 1 Tablespoon: Cal 58, Fat 5 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 1 g, Sugar 0

You’re invited to join my healthy eating community on Facebook,! And if you’d like to cook with me, visit the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Health Education webpage for information about the Thrive Kitchen and to register for a class.  Registration opens exactly one month before each class, so mark your calendars! Cheers!

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