Grits is a word that most people associate with a creamy dish topped with butter and cheese, served with ham or sausage. Does that mean Grits cannot be eaten on a plant-based diet?
So, are Grits plant based? Yes, the most basic form of Grits is plant based because it is simply boiled corn. It does not include any animal products and involves only boiling of the cereal. The most traditional version of grits involves boiling corn until it gets soft and gelatinized to give the unique texture it is famous for.
Though grits can be made with other cereals and contain more ingredients to make it creamy, the main ingredient being plant-based, it is certainly suitable for those who follow a plant-based diet. As long as you don’t add any animal fat or dairy to enhance its flavor, it remains a plant-based food.
In this article, we learn more about plant-based grits, their ingredients and other details to understand how you can add them to your plant-based diet.
Why Are Grits Plant Based?
Grits get their special texture without having to use any animal products. The most traditional version of grits involves boiling corn until it gets soft and gelatinized to give the unique texture it is famous for. Even when other cereal grains are used to make grits, they are still plant-based.
However, it is important to note the application of grits and their suitability for plant based diet followers. Grits are mostly served with savory dishes that contain flavorings and animal-based ingredients. The product remains plant-based as long as it is served with plant-based ingredients.
What Are The Main Ingredients In Grits?
Grits can be found in different varieties though the basic ingredient remains the same – whole dried corn kernels from a variety of corn with higher starch content. They are often processed differently to give varying textures and flavors. Traditional stone-ground grits are minimally processed and have a more creamy texture.
A basic plain grits from any reputed brand is a suitable option for plant-based diet. They generally contain processed white corn kernels, salt, B vitamins, minerals, folic acid and citric acid. Flavored grits varieties containing butter, cheese and other ingredients are not suitable for plant-based dieters.
Grits are available in several varieties including instant, hominy, stone-ground and quick. Regardless of the type of grits you use, they contain whole grains that are high in nutritional value.
The traditional stone-ground variety is the most nutrient-rich and high in fiber content. Quick and instant grits are processed to remove some components of the corn and hence get deprived of nutrients. This is why they are often fortified with minerals and vitamins.
Grits contain several useful vitamins and minerals and are rich in antioxidants. Here is the nutritional content of one cup serving of regular, cooked grits.
The vitamins and minerals listed above are measured as percentage values of the reference daily intake. The most impressive thing is their high iron content and B vitamins along with trace minerals.
So, grits are a great food for those who follow a plant-based diet. They are naturally gluten-free, pack antioxidants and provide daily intake of protein, fiber and carbohydrates. When served with healthy, vegetarian ingredients, they certainly make amazing plant-based recipes.