Let me start off by saying I love creamed corn. No, I LOVE creamed corn. I remember when I was younger, I would eat creamed corn straight out of the can- yikes, I know it’s completely cringeworthy now, but I did and I loved it. Fast forward to when I transitioned and changed my entire life around with living whole and the whole foods lifestyle, I missed creamed corn and wanted to share my classic recipe for a healthier alternative to all my fellow creamed corn lovers out there. Behold, Vegan Creamed Corn with Fried Sage, a delicious dairy free creamed corn made with silky coconut milk, sweet corn, and flax. Topped with fried sage leaf.
Living in Nashville, creamed corn is a Southern classic. The only downside of ordering creamed corn or most vegetable dishes out at restaurant here in the south, is they contain heavy cream and butter- both of which I personally don’t love. Still to this day, I could easily enjoy creamed corn anytime of day, but I naturally crave it more during the fall and winter months. I associate it, as most of you might as well, with the holidays. A bowl of creamed corn is like a hug for your stomach- it’s warm, comforting, and slightly sweet, the combination of the sweet creamed corn with the fried sage leaf on top makes takes this to an entirely new level.
Even for the die-hard southern style cream corn addicts out there, you’re going to love this one and won’t miss the heavy cream or butter at all. I use creamy and slightly sweet coconut milk for an alternative to replace both the heavy cream and butter- I also add in a secret ingredient, ground flax seed, to bind it all together nicely. Corn is naturally sweet, so there’s no need to go overboard with adding in loads of refined sugar, which traditional recipes call for. I use maple syrup, which can and should be adjusted depending on the sweetness of the corn you’re using- a hint, always start out with less maple syrup and then build on.
To fry or not to fry. If I fry anything in life, you know it’s going to be a green. Fried sage leaves with a sprinkle of sea salt are an incredibly fun and unique way to use fresh herbs. Now mind you, I’m not a fan of frying for obvious reasons, but when it’s such a small amount (1-2 sage leaves per serving) it’s just fine! You’re using high quality olive oil, a dusting of sea salt, and a sage leaf- simple as that. I’ll give you another option for those who still don’t believe me that enjoying 1-2 fried sage leaves is “healthy” or “okay” to do- you can simply use fresh sage leaf- but pretty please try this out! The textures are unbelievable when combined.
- 1 1/2 pounds organic sweet corn, frozen
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, adjust to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste
- FRIED SAGE
- 10-12 sage leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Sprinkled coarse sea salt
- CREAMED CORN: In a medium hot skillet, saute sweet onion and garlic in coconut oil until translucent. Add sweet corn and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the corn starts to caramelize with the onions and garlic- add coconut milk here. Add remaining seasonings and adjust to taste. Transfer 1/2 of the corn into a food processor and puree. Pour this pureed mixture into the leftover whole corn kernels. Set aside.
- SAGE: Add sage leaves (from stem) In a small skillet over medium-high heat olive oil until hot, add sage leaves (removed from stem) and fry 5-6 at a time until crisp (about 4 seconds). Place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat.
- SERVE: Serve the creamed corn as a side dish and top with the fried sage leaf to garnish. Enjoy immediately, if you have leftovers store in a container.
What’s your favorite side dish that you used to eat as a kid and still can’t get enough of? Have you ever tried making your own homemade creamed corn? I’d love to hear your variations! Be sure to check out my Thanksgiving Menu for more healthy ideas to make this holiday.