This creamy dairy-free Breakfast Polenta is a tasty alternative to oatmeal to start the day. Topped with berries and cashew cream, it's an easy to make, gluten-free, and delicious breakfast!
Do you ever get in a breakfast rut? Make the same thing every day? I get into doing the same thing as well.
Most of the time I'm running out the door with a smoothie or a jar of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats during the week and having a Simple Tofu Scramble or Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal on the weekend.
While all of these are amazingly delicious (definitely check them out), I am always on the hunt for new healthy breakfast options. That's why I'm so glad I was asked to review the book Vegan Yack Attack on the Go!
Vegans on the Go
You probably know Jackie Sobon from her site Vegan Yak Attack, have seen her beautiful photography in other vegan cookbooks, or have checked our her sweet treats in her VegNews magazine column.
In her new book, Vegan Yack Attack on the Go, Jackie want to help those vegans who are always on the go and want to eat a healthy plant-based diet. She understands the need for options that can be made in advance, taken to go, or prepared quickly and easily once you get home.
I feel like Jackie's book is talking right to me! I always feel like I am running out the door, to a meeting, or jumping on a client call. With so many make ahead meals, Jackie makes healthy eating easy.
The book is loaded with beautiful colorful photos for each recipe (I love that). Each chapter focuses on different ways meals can be that can be made easily, in advance, or taken with you:
- Vegan Eating Made Easy
- Quick Breakfasts, Snacks, and Treats
- Prep-Ahead Recipes
- Lunch Box Stuffers
- Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
- Bulk Cooking
- Food on the Move
- Make Your Own Staples
Besides the Breakfast Polenta I'm sharing today, I also have my eye on a few other recipes like Cauliflower Curry Grill Packets, Baked Lentil Balls, Summer Stew, and Easy Vanilla Chip Buckwheat Bars to name only a few!
What is polenta?
Polenta sometimes gets confused with the words cornmeal or grits. Cornmeal (which I use in my Poporn Tofu - try it, you'll love it) is made by grinding dried corn kernels.
Polenta is an Italian type of porridge made from coarsely ground yellow cornmeal. Grits are a Southern US Staple made from white cornmeal (also called hominy). Since they are both made from dried corn, they usually can be swapped out for one another if needed.
Since corn is one of highest GMO products in the US, I always opt for the organic kind like the Bob's Red Mill brand.
Easy Breakfast Polenta
When looking at Jackie's photos, I would not have thought this Breakfast Polenta would be so easy to make. It probably took me about 15 minutes total from start to finish.
I started the polenta and berries at the same time on the stove, stirring both constantly. When they were done I threw in the cashew cream ingredients to a blender, zipped those up and added it all into a bowl - easy peasy!
Note: Jackie's directions call for the polenta to be cooked for 18-20 minutes but mine were done in like 5-8 mins. It could be that Jackie used real Italian polenta and I used the Bob's Red Mill kind so be sure to check the ingredients on the package to be sure you know how long to cook them for.
I had leftovers so I was able to enjoy these the next day as well. I stored the polenta, berries, and cashew cream separately. To reheat, I added the polenta to a pot with a little extra water then topped with reheated berries and the cashew cream.
I hope you love this Berry Breakfast Polenta recipe as much as I do. If you make this recipe, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below.
Breakfast Polenta with Berry Compote
Posted with permission from Jackie Sobon's Vegan Yack Attack On The Go! © 2018 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup polenta/grits
- .25 cup maple syrup
- pinch salt
For the Toppings
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 TB water
- .25 cup cashew cream (see instructions below)
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the nondairy milk and water to a boil.
- Stir in the polenta grits, and adjust the heat to medium-low. Cook—covered but vented, stirring occasionally—for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the polenta is creamy.*
- Stir in the maple syrup, and add salt to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- While the polenta is cooking, warm the blueberries, blackberries, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.* Bring to a simmer, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook until the berries start to break down, about 10 minutes. Lightly mash the berries if they are not breaking apart.
- To make the cashew cream add ½ cup of raw cashews with ¼ cup of water (you may need more) to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.*
- Divide the creamy polenta between 4 bowls, and top each with some berry mixture.
- Dollop 1 tablespoon of Simple Cashew Cream on top of each bowl (if using), and serve warm.
PLEASE NOTE: Nutritional information data is computer generated and only an estimate so it should be used only as a guide.
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Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel clear and confident about what is uniquely nourishing to them. Mary Ellen's recipes and nutrition information have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more.
I’ve been living a WFPB lifestyle for only about a month and I tried this recipe this morning. Having never made polenta or cashew cream before, I found it really pretty easy and the finished dish was divine! I used a fresh peach instead of the berries and only made half the recipe. I put the other half of the polenta and the leftover cashew cream in the fridge and will use it to whip up another batch tomorrow morning...maybe I will try strawberries tomorrow! Thank you for this wonderful vegan, oil-free and sugar-free breakfast option!!!
Mary Ellen says
Hi Carolyn! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It's so great you're staring your WFPB lifestyle. Let me know if you ever have any questions!:)
I'm recently obsessed with polenta, but I hadn't made a sweet or breakfast option yet! I tried it this week and loved it. I doubled everything and stored it in the fridge to eat for the week. So easy!! Love it!!
Mary Ellen says
Hi Chrissy! I'm so happy you enjoyed the polenta! Yes, this was my foray into sweet with polenta too!
This was so good! I needed to add an additional 1/4 cup of water while cooking. I eliminated the maple syrup, topped with low-fat yogurt sweetened *just a little* with cane sugar and vanilla, piled diced fresh berries on top. Excellent breakfast, thanks for the recipe!
Mary Ellen says
I'm so glad you enjoyed, Victoria! Yes, every once in a while I need a little more liquid for the cooking. I'll maybe add that as a note. Thanks! 🙂
This looks great! I usually always eat avocado toast, but my absolute favorite weekend breakfast is the chilaquiles from one of the thug kitchen cookbooks. If we’re really doing it up, it’s served with hash browns, fresh refried beans and a warm flour tortilla with plenty of hot sauce. Yummy!!
A simple fruit salad!
I usually opt for a piece or two of vegan toast with almond butter and either sliced banana or a scattering of fresh blueberries on top. Quick and easy for me since i am not a morning person!
This looks so delicious. I've only ever used Polenta for savory dishes, I"m going to have to try this. Can I sub frozen blueberries for the fresh?
Mary Ellen says
Hi Samantha, yes I've used both fresh and frozen. The frozen might take a few more minutes to cook down but it tastes just as good. 🙂
What a great prize! I most often enjoy nutrient packet smoothie for breakfast. Looks like this has lots of inspiring recipes 🙂
Heidi C. says
Perfect timing! I'm totally in a breakfast rut of eating oatmeal every morning. Trying something new has been a challenge for me, so this recipe sounds like a perfect way to mix things up a bit! The book also sounds like a wonderful cookbook. 🙂
Mary Ellen says
It's a great book! Great recipes and wonderful pictures!