Cauliflower Grits

There's something so satisfying about a bowl of creamy, cheesy, rich, and buttery grits. But alas, whipping up a delicious serving for lunch on the regular might not feel like the most health-friendly option. Get excited, because recipe developer and wellness coach Miriam Hahn of YouCare-SelfCare came up with a scrumptious, plant-based alternative: cauliflower grits. "It has much more texture than typical grits, but keeps the same flavor profile," she says.

Not only do you get to enjoy the flavor of grits, but cauliflower grits pack some health benefits as well. Hahn notes that cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower "fight disease and improve gut health." She also adds, "That was why I created the cauliflower grits recipe — because cauliflower is a powerful cruciferous vegetable!"

Meanwhile, you can cook up these grits with just a few ingredients, and, as Hahn notes, "This dish works great as a side for just about anything."

Gather your ingredients for the cauliflower grits

To get your cauliflower grits from concept to plate, simply shop for — or gather from your cupboards and fridge — a head of cauliflower, unsweetened almond milk — Hahn notes you can use the unsweetened milk of your choice — as well as butter, Himalayan pink salt, pepper, a head of garlic, and Parmesan cheese, as well as flat leaf parsley for garnish.

As far as Hahn's choice of salt, it's all about the health factor in this recipe. "I use Himalayan pink salt, because it is loaded with minerals that are beneficial to the body," she says. As a matter of fact, Himalayan pink salt has higher trace mineral content, and is slightly lower in sodium. Plus, it's so much prettier! Hahn does note that you can use regular salt if you don't have Himalayan pink salt on hand, though.

Roast your garlic for the cauliflower grits

The first step to creating tasty cauliflower grits is to roast your garlic. Why not just use regular, old garlic, might you ask? As Hahn explains, "When you roast garlic, it carmelizes, and the flavor is milder, slightly sweet, and more savory." For this dish, "It adds a delicious flavor." Hahn says she actually uses roasted garlic in a bunch of her recipes.

To prep your garlic for roasting, you will cut about ¼ inch off the head of the garlic. Brush the flat edge with your favorite oil, then place it on a baking sheet in an oven that's set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the garlic to roast for about 20 to 30 minutes. It's best to allow the garlic to cool for a hot minute before you squeeze it out from its skin — this should happen pretty easily — and finally, dice up the garlic. You can then set it aside while you prep your cauliflower.

Prep your cauliflower for the cauliflower grits

We all know cutting up cauliflower can be massively messy. Fear not, because celebrity chef Ina Garten has a trick for slicing up this veggie — head down — which may mean less cauliflower pieces flying around your kitchen. (Phew!) Hahn also shares her tip for prepping this high-maintenance food. "I usually just cut [the cauliflower] in half, [then] make triangle slits in each half to cut out the core." She also adds, "I work near the sink for sure!"

In this case, you will cut your cauliflower into small florets. Then, you are going to rice the florets. Hand grating is one method, or you can buy the cauliflower pre-riced to save time. Hahn uses the grating blade of a large food processor, and pushes the florets though the processor to create her cauliflower rice. Any method is fine — you'll end up with the same result. And next, you are ready to combine the rest of your ingredients to create the grits you have been craving since you first saw the name of this recipe!

Cook your cauliflower grits

At this stage, add the cauliflower rice, butter, garlic, almond milk, salt, and pepper to a large pot. You will warm the ingredients over medium-to-high heat, cooking the cauliflower for just a few moments before lowering the heat to a simmer for ten minutes. Hahn advises stirring the mixture frequently.

You will remove the grits from the heat at this point, with Hahn noting, "If you cook this dish longer, the grits will get creamier, so you don't need to worry about overcooking [them]. It is good if you cook this longer!"

Once you remove your dish from the heat, you will add the Parmesan cheese, stirring the grits to distribute the cheese evenly. Then, transfer your ooey, gooey, delicious, plant-based Southern delight to a serving dish, and garnish the top with the parsley to impress your guests — and yourself! Hahn says, "This dish keeps well for five days in the fridge and can easily be warmed up for leftovers."

Cauliflower Grits
4.9 from 16 ratings
You can cook up cauliflower grits with just a few ingredients, and this dish works well as a side for just about anything.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
6
servings
cauliflower grits served
Ready in 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
  • flat leaf parsley, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut about ¼ inch off the garlic head. Brush with oil and place on a baking sheet in the oven that's set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then, remove and let cool.
  3. Once cool, squeeze out the garlic insides from the skin. Dice them and set aside.
  4. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Using the grating blade of a large food processor, push the florets though the processor opening to create cauliflower rice.
  5. Add the cauliflower rice, 2 tablespoons of butter, garlic, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper to a pot. Warm to medium-high and cook for a few minutes. Then, lower to a simmer for about ten minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from heat and add in ⅓ cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir to distribute.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and top with fresh parsley.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 108
Total Fat 6.7 g
Saturated Fat 4.1 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 15.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 1.9 g
Sodium 354.9 mg
Protein 5.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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