The Ingredient That Will Change Your Creamy Grits Forever

As the seasons begin to change, there's a crispness to the air that conjures up cravings for comfort food. Fall fans are ready to don their sweaters and tuck into a bowl of anything warm and satisfying. A humble bowl of grits is sure to hit the spot, and adding a surprise ingredient will take your dish to the next level.

According to NPR, there is evidence of corn being milled, combined with water, and cooked in Central America dating as far back as 8700 B.C. The simple food has a rich history and may have been given to British colonists by Indigenous people as they arrived in Virginia and dubbed the bowl of ground corn porridge "grist," which evolved into "grits" over time. Deep South Magazine traces grits back to the Native American Muscogee tribe that used ground Indian corn to prepare a similar dish and notes that there are writings that later connect the cooked corn to the Gullah Geechee slaves living along the coast of the United States.

Grits have come to be a staple of most breakfast plates, beloved for their affordability, creamy texture, and ability to satisfy an appetite, and a number of recipe twists have come about, including one from Miriam Hahn that promises an even creamier outcome.

How to make extra creamy grits with cream cheese

The power of grits lies within its mild simplicity. You can add any ingredient your palate desires and turn what was once a simple breakfast side into a vehicle for complex flavors. If you're a purist, you can also enjoy the mellow flavor of the cooked ground corn as is. Either way, there's nothing wrong with adding a little cream cheese to increase the velvety texture and rich flavor of your grits.

Miriam Hahn loves her recipe for Classic Creamy Grits because of its versatility. She says that aside from being chock full of iron and fiber, grits taste great with a savory flare or a touch of sweetness and make a great base for any protein. And, she explains, adding cream cheese to this classic dish intensifies the grits' creamy texture without making them taste heavy.

Although grits are known to be a simple dish, they are also notorious for being tricky when attempting to achieve a lump-free meal and Bon App├ętit suggests cooking them slowly over low heat to achieve the perfect texture. For cooks who enjoy visual aids, this Tasting Table YouTube video provides a step-by-step guide to achieving smooth and creamy grits made richer with cream cheese.