Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Low Carb Grits

Yes.  That's what I said.  Low Carb Grits.

Today we've got quite a March blizzard going on.  I worked from home because I didn't want to drive home through 9-20" of snow.  Our house is 200 years old, and despite all the draft blocking we attempt, it's still rather chilly in spots when the wind blows, so I began to crave a big bowl of something warm, mushy, and cheesy.

Grits are on my short list of consumable grains.  Corn is gluten free for starters ("corn gluten" is a misnomer, only similar to wheat gluten in that it is a protein in a grain.)  Corn proteins are still potentially problematic, but then we bring in the process of nixtamalization.  Nixtamalization combines grain and an alkali solution to change the nature of the proteins.  The process reduces the toxins produced by mold in the grain, and increases the bioavailable niacin.  All cultures that rely on corn as a staple use this process.  You can find nixtamalizatized corn in your grocery store as grits, hominy, or tortilla mix.

Ok, that explains why I have some grain left in my cupboard, but how can it be low carb?

The thing about grits is not the grits themselves, but how they are prepared.  From wikipedia: "Grits are most typically served seasoned with generous amounts of butter. On occasion they are served with grated cheese, butter, sausage, bacon, or red-eye gravy; it is significant that corn products are typically not served sweet." What do you note about all those things grits are served with?  They are all very high in fat, balancing out the carbohydrate content of the grits themselves.  I already knew this, and began to have hope I wouldn't have to cheat on my diet when I saw that a serving of grits was only 140 calories.  Surely in a bowl full of 140 calories I can get in enough fat to make a low-carb meal?

Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup grits
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 ounces colby jack cheese
  • salt, paprika, and garlic flakes to taste
The numbers:

ProductServingsFat grams per servingProtein grams per servingCarb grams per servingFiber grams per serving
Grits1.004321
Milk1.07.937.6911.710
Cheese2.09610
Butter2.011000

Total Calories705
% fat Calories61%
Ketogenic ratio85%

So not ketogenic, but it hits my personal diet target of 60% of calories from fat.

Enjoy your grits guilt free low carb dieters!  You're welcome.