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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grits and Smoothies - Breakfast of Champions!

Well after my liver and tongue posts I thought I had better bring it back to normal a bit. Not too much -as you will see - but some.

When I ate gluten free for several years I often ordered grits at the restaurant when we went out for breakfast in place of toast or oatmeal with my eggs and bacon. It was just OK - I never could figure out the attraction. Until today. When I ate my own homemade grits. Absolutely to.die.for. I wouldn't lie to you my friends. The creamy goodness was out of this world. Maybe it was the cornmeal I used, or the butter, or whole milk or real maple syrup?? I am sure it is a combination of all of them.

It all started out when I made girlichef's  Herbed Cheese Polenta for dinner. The cheesy goodness just spoke to me. My kids kept asking what it was, they couldn't keep the word polenta in their brains but cornmeal mush - that they got.

So today I decided to make grits using the same basic recipe and it is a real winner.

Grits aka Cornmeal Mush
4 1/2 cups of  water
1 Tbs. salt
1 1/4  cups. yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole milk (I used raw) + additional as desired
5 Tbs. butter, cut into pieces + additional as desired (do NOT substitute margarine PLEASE)
Maple syrup

The first thing to do is bring your water to boil then add the salt.
Slowly add your cornmeal a little bit at a time whisking as you go. Once it is all incorporated reduce heat to low and continue stirring often. When the cornmeal thickens it is done. Take the pan off the heat and add milk and butter, stirring until the butter is melted.

Spoon out into individual bowls and top with extra milk and butter - to your liking. Then pour over some real maple syrup. Delicious and oh so healthy!

Kefir Slushy (Smoothy? - really what is the difference?)

That in itself was a winner but I also made a kefir slushy - this is where it gets a little weird again but stick with me please! I don't use a recipe, more of a process and I will walk you through.

Beware that it looks like a lot of stuff but you are just dumping them in the jar. And any and all ingredients are optional except the fruits and kefir or you can even substitute whole milk or yogurt for that.

I drink one of these almost every day. It is a great way to get in a bunch of different super foods that I don't always have time to fix in a real recipe. Alex at A Moderate Life explains in her post about the Power of the Puree how her daughter will eat fruits and vegetables pureed but not whole or even diced in a dish - and I totally get that!

First you will need a quart canning jar and an immersion blender - for ever I made these in my blender but this is much easier on the cleanup but if you don't have an immersion blender than use a regular one.

Into your canning jar put one broken up frozen banana, a cup of other frozen fruit, one cube of frozen orange vegetable, one cube of frozen green*, one cube raw liver if you have it, a teaspoon of expeller pressed coconut oil or coconut butter,  and 1 raw egg from healthy chickens. Top it off with kefir - fill cover. I then let it sit about 15 minutes to let the frozen stuff thaw a bit. Put the immersion blender in and mix up - it is really delicious. If it is too tart add raw honey until you like the taste - I do this when I am sharing with my kids.
Before kefir and without eggs - my chickens aren't laying (they will soon be dinner).

1 banana
1 cup other fruit frozen or raw cut up
1 cube frozen orange veggie - I cook different squashes and pumpkins and then mash and freeze in icecube trays and save in baggies. (opt)
1 cube green veggie - I do the same with spinach and kale (opt)
1 cube raw ground liver (opt)
1 raw egg
1heaping tsp or so of expellor pressed coconut oil or butter(important so you can better absorb the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables)
1-2 cups kefir
TBS of raw honey if you want

Let sit 15 minutes to melt frozen stuff a bit. Mix with immersion blender and drink - delicious!
 So easy a 5 year old can do it! 
Here Sylvia is modeling the delicious and nutritious smoothy.
Showing off the deliciousness of the smoothie

But beware, when you do a photo shoot with a 5 year old and a cold, damp canning jar this is what can happen next!
Sad sad day! It tasted so good too ;o[

* Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist explains in her post about the importance of cooking certain vegetables why we should cook them before eating. So, I always steam my greens before I blend and freeze them. Jenny at Nourished Kitchen also has a great post explaining the whys of eating healthy fats with fruits and vegetables.

Submitted to:
Simple Lives Thursday @ A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa and EKat's Kitchen's Friday Potluck.
Sue at Couscous and Conscousness' Make it With....Mondays. Where there are some great recipes for using cornmeal - yum!!


  1. Christy - the cornmeal mush looks like a winner. I'm a dedicated fan of oatmeal (NOT from a packet with oodles of sugar and preservatives) and corn cakes with maple syrup or honey. These is a combo of two of my Favs.

    Thanks for posting!

  2. Maggie - I like oatmeal but I LOVE these grits! I bet you will too!

  3. The breakfast grits look yummy, but then I am a "corn" girl, grits polenta cornbread it's all good. Sylvia did such a great job, but little hands and a wet jar, darn if that jar won't win each time.

  4. i love polenta so I know your cornmeal grits is so good!

    I had to chuckle over you cow tongue post. I once blogged about tripe (cow stomach) soup and I won't tell you the reserved reaction I got about that! :)

  5. Grits and smoothies are some of my favorite breakfast items. Both are so much better when made at home!

  6. oh cool. I never knew what grits were before.Now I see that it's what we in the Caribbean call cornmeal porridge except that we flavour ours with nutmeg and cinnamon.

  7. Melynda - thanks - I know, I should've been more careful about the jar - we were so sad, we didn't get to have any - out of kefir ;o[

    Pat - tripe? really? I have never even seen a recipe for that - we certainly live in a different time and place!

    Alea - I so agree, I won't be eating either out anymore.

    Wizzy - I think many cultures have some form of cornmeal mush dish - with cinnamon and nutmeg sounds delicious.

  8. Christy, you may have talked me in to trying grits again. My last experience was nothing short of torture, but I doubt they were homemade. And, I love the green/orange veggies in cubes ideas!!! I really need to do that so I can make smoothies easier on the fly. Got the frozen fruit down, just need the veggies.

    Thanks for sharing with Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday!!

    Dr. Laura

  9. Christy, I would definitely be willing to try your grits. They sound so much better than what I've had in restaurants down south (we can't get grits in Toronto). I never saw the attraction for them either but I love the sound of yours with butter and maple syrup.

  10. I love polenta so I'm absolutely sure I would love grits! I'm going to try that maple mix with the polenta!

  11. How fun! Polenta is just the Italian way of saying cornmeal mush, ;) Yum (and thanks for the shout-out)...cornmeal mush, fried, with syrup is one of my favorite breakies! And the kefir smoothie sounds fabulous, too.

  12. I feel the same way about grits. When I order them in restaurants I am always wondering what the big deal is. I have to give this a try now (and I love polenta, so I am sure this will be a hit)! Thanks for posting the recipe! And I always make smoothies for my baby girl. It's the ONLY way I can get veggies into her. Although, I've never added raw eggs and liver, I think I'm too much of a chicken!! hehe

  13. Joanne - you will be a grits lover if you do make them with whole milk butter and maple syrup!!

    Heather - you are welcome! I am so in love with this breakfast now!

    Elsa - you are too funny!! if you have eggs from happy chickens you should try it! (and liver from happy chickens or cows!)

    Brenda - if you are ever in Indiana I will make you some ;o]

  14. looks yummy...oh, your daughter's lovely! happy weekend!

  15. Both of these recipes sound so interesting, Christy! I've never really had grits or cornmeal (that I'm aware of), but I do love polenta, and love the addition of the maple syrup flavor! The smoothie sounds like it's got some great, interesting flavors to try also! Thanks for sharing with Friday Potluck this week!

  16. My grandpa used to make cornmeal mush for breakfast for me but my grandma refused to eat it. She said that was hobo food. Thanks for bringing back that memory and sharing with Simple Lives Thursday!
    so, Sustainble eats

  17. Christy, your grits sound great - even called cornmeal mush they sound great. Funny that in the US it is such popular breakfast fare - I would never think of having polenta for breakfast - I have normal thought of it as a savoury accompaniment to a meal later in the day - obviously I need to try this.

    Thanks so much for sharing with Make it with ... Mondays, challenge cornmeal.

    Sue :-)

  18. Grits and mush are two different things. Polenta and mush are the same thing. They are, however, all made from corn. Grits are ground hominy corn. Hominy is corn processed with lye. Yankees :)

  19. LOL yes I am a Yankee!! well no matter what you call it what I made was delicous!

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