Being from the South, I have always loved grits for breakfast. I used to eat a very unhealthy version by slathering them with butter. But, I have found a much heart-healthier way to enjoy them these days, since changing over to a whole food plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. These are ideas and instructions for cooking healthy grits for breakfast.
We love our grits because they’re…
- Simple to make
- A part of our Southern roots
Grits are one of the best easy vegan breakfast recipes. Sometimes I make them on the stovetop, but most of the time I just pop them in the microwave. Cooking instructions for both ways can be found below.
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Nowadays, I like to add nutritional yeast, sea salt, and dry ground steak seasoning to flavor my grits. The nutritional yeast gives them a hint of cheesy flavor.
These are not instant grits but are rather old fashioned grits. They still only take about 3 minutes on high power in the microwave to fully cook. Of course, they can also be made on the stovetop.
Grits & Beans
Sometime back, I heard a person say they like to add beans in their grits. At first, I thought that sounded so strange. But, then I gave it a try, and it’s amazing!
The beans do have to be already cooked before adding them. Most days, I always have leftover beans in the refrigerator, so it’s always easy just to add them when cooking grits.
Grits are so easy to make because all ingredients–spices, water, beans–can be added at the same time while cooking.
I personally use many different types of beans in my grits. As you can see from this picture, there are black-eyed peas in this bowl, but I also regularly add pintos, kidney beans, Northern white beans, as well as others.
RECIPE CARD BELOW
Flavorings I like to add to my grits
- Sea salt
- Ground steak seasoning (it’s just a variety of peppers)
- Nutritional yeast
- My Cheese Sauce (recipe link below)
Are grits healthy?
They certainly can be if you keep a few things in mind. One is to be careful about which ones you buy. And, second is, keep the seasonings healthy too.
We buy only the old fashioned grits instead of the instant ones. A comparison of the labels shows that instant grits have 300 mg of sodium per serving, whereas old fashioned grits have 0 mg sodium.
Grits are made of dried kernels of corn, treated with an alkali to remove the hull and germ, and then ground like regular cornmeal.
In addition to 4 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat per serving, grits also contain iron and other phytonutrients.
Corn has long been a staple in the American diet. In fact, Purdue University reports that it was cultivated more than 5,000 years ago.
Corn grits, made by grinding whole-grain corn or hulled corn grains into a coarse powder, help to boost your grain intake, and each half-cup serving contributes 1 ounce of grains toward your daily recommended intake of 6 ounces for women and 7 for men, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Cooked grits offer health benefits because they provide essential vitamins and minerals, and pairing them with healthy toppings makes for a nutrient-packed meal.
Each half-cup serving of corn grits cooked in water contains 156 calories and provides 8 percent of the calories you need daily, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Most of its calories — 83 percent — come from its carbohydrate content. Most of the carbs in grits provide energy, including fuel for your brain, while the 1.7 grams of dietary fiber it offers helps to lower your cholesterol and protect you from cardiovascular disease.
Corn grits provide a small amount of protein, at 3 grams per serving, and contain less than a gram of fat.––LiveStrong
Sometimes we even add my Creamy Vegan Cheese’ Sauce to our grits, because it happens to be my husband’s favorite way to eat them.
You might consider adding a little Smoked Tempeh Bacon for an even heartier meal to start the day!
When our daughter makes it home for a visit, we busy ourselves in the kitchen making all of her favorite vegan meals, and tempeh bacon are always on the list for breakfast.
Other great breakfast recipes
- 1/2 cup old fashioned grits, (not quick cooking)
- 2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, (for a cheesy flavor)
- 1/2 tsp dry steak seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt, (or to your taste)
- 1/2 cup cooked beans if desired
- STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS: Slowly add grits and seasonings to briskly boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat when they reach desired thickness.
- MICROWAVE INSTRUCTIONS: Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. The instructions on the box say to microwave on 50% heat for 7-10 minutes. However, I always cook on high because it only takes 3 minutes. I like to set time for 1-1/2 minutes. When it stops, stir the grits and add another 1-1/2 minutes of cook time.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150 Total Fat: .5g Fiber: 1g Protein: 4g
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