A Green-Powered Grits Recipe With Added Pesto & Vegetables

If I had to guess, I’d imagine grits aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of R.D.-approved grains, but for mbg’s Director of Scientific Affairs and registered dietitian Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., R.D.N. they’re a perfectly suitable side dish, or the start of a delicious meal.

“Grits are often a forgotten or regionalized grain option,” she says, “which is too bad, since key varieties (stone ground) are in fact, whole grains. I personally think grits deserve the limelight again and see it up there right beside other gluten-free grains like quinoa, oats, brown rice, etc.”

Not actually sure what grits are? At their most simple, they’re a porridge made from ground corn (or corn meal), but when looking for the most nutrient-forward option, it’s all about grabbing the stone ground variety. “It’s the cream of the crop because it’s made from whole kernels of dried corn,” explains Ferira, “In other words, the bran, germ, and endosperm are all intact. Practically, this means there’s more nutrition delivered to your body, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.” Her favorite option is Palmetto Farms’ stone ground grits, which have the added bonus of being made from non-GMO corn.

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