Growing up, I never had grits for breakfast. Being a west coast girl, grits weren’t part of my repertoire. Oatmeal was our warm breakfast of choice. Then, I married an east coast boy. He’s not from the south where grits are a regular breakfast staple but he spent plenty of time there.
When we had kids, of course they had to eat grits. We even brought a box of grits back from a trip we took to the Bahamas. If you’ve never tried grits – you must. You’ll love them! They’re warm and hearty for breakfast – much more satisfying than oatmeal.
Oatmeal in the morning is fine but to make it taste good, it always ends up too sweet. After eating oatmeal for breakfast, my kids were ready to eat again in an hour. I was, too!
Why are grits so good? Well, they’re filling, spicy, cheesy, and my secret addition – packed with spinach. It’s how I sneak vegetables into breakfast. (More breakfast ideas for sneaking vegetables into the first meal of the day.) They’re also gluten free so if that’s a concern, grits are an alternative wheat-free breakfast.
Want to really dial up the meal? Add an egg on top – from backyard chickens, of course! That’s what got served at our house this morning. Between a busy day at school and sports after, the kids have ordered up grits and greens – with an egg on top. Oh, to have their metabolism!
- 3 cups water or broth (make your own broth - it's easy!)
- 1 cup grits
- 3 or 4 cups or handfuls of fresh spinach
- ½ shredded cheese
- optional: red pepper flakes and Tabasco
- Place 3 cups water or broth in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Add 1 cup grits and stir.
- Cook grits for 5 minutes with lid on, stirring occasionally.
- Once grits are cooked, remove from heat.
- Toss in fresh spinach and stir.
- Add shredded cheese and stir again.
- Optional: Add red pepper flakes and Tabasco.
If you're using milk as the liquid, don't bring the milk to a boil. It only needs to be steamy but not boiling before you add the grits.
Vegan? Skip the milk and use water or vegetable broth for the liquid. Swap out the shredded cheese for 1 cup of mashed white beans.
This makes the best "breakfast for dinner" meal around. Mushrooms sauteed in olive oil piled on top are the perfect accompaniment to this.
Notes to this recipe:
- If you’re using milk as the liquid, don’t bring the milk to a boil. It only needs to be steamy but not boiling before you add the grits.
- Vegan? Skip the milk and use water or vegetable broth for the liquid. Swap out the shredded cheese for 1 cup of mashed white beans.
- This makes the best “breakfast for dinner” meal around. Mushrooms sauteed in olive oil piled on top are the perfect accompaniment to this.
- If using regular leaf spinach, chop the pieces up nice and small. When I don’t have spinach from the garden, I use the baby spinach from Earthbound Farm (and I don’t wash the spinach first – they’ve already triple-washed it!) because it’s organic. Chop the bigger pieces before adding them in. Spinach tends to get stringy if it’s too long and nobody wants stingy spinach.
- The grits are from Bob’s Red Mill. I like to get a big bag, keep it in a glass container in the pantry, and store the rest in the freezer. (Read all about how our freezer gets used.) All of Bob’s Red Mill products are from farmers and sources who care about the environment. Their corn – whether it’s organic or not – is always non-gmo.
Grits on their own are good, too, and some people even have them sweet but not at our house. They are always served savory, cheesy, and spicy. We like to spice it up – even in the morning!
Are you a savory in the morning or sweet in the morning type person? Do you like grits?
Go Gingham related links:
Breakfast smoothies – easy and ready to go in the morning with a little prep!
Egg, ham and cheese sandwiches – skip the fast food spot and make these
Tasty egg-in-the-basket breakfast – and egg tradition from my husband
Make ahead breakfast strata – the best dish for a brunch