Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
Kickstarting your day with a healthy, slow-releasing bowl of carbohydrates is a great way to boost your energy not only in the morning, but to keep it slowly burning throughout the day. To many, a big bowl of porridge is the perfect answer to this. Whilst many make porridge from oats – known as oatmeal, two of the most popular forms of porridge are grits and cream of wheat. Today I am going to find out if there is a difference between grits and cream of wheat, and which one would win the battle of cream of wheat vs grits!
Table of Contents
What is cream of wheat?
Cream of corn is a form of breakfast cereal made from wheat semolina – finely ground wheat kernels. The wheat kernel, also known as the wheat berry, is the seed from which the wheat plant grows and is also removed during the milling process and used for flour. Cream of Wheat may also have oats ground into it as well, making it a similar alternative to oatmeal porridge.
How do you make cream of wheat?
It is really easy to prepare as it most commonly comes as a dry mix in a box and you simply add hot or boiling water and stir. The mixture comes out with quite a creamy and smooth texture and flavour, but if you aren’t as bothered about reserving calories then it is definitely recommended to make your cream of wheat with hot milk instead of water, as this bring out an even creamier texture and flavour. This can be done by simply heating the cereal and milk in a microwave or a pan, making it a super quick and simple breakfast. If done in a pan, the mix will usually thicken and be ready within 10-15 minutes.
How do you serve cream of wheat?
Further to this, the flavour is still quite plain and versatile, so you can sweeten it up with some sugar, or similarly to oatmeal, you can top it with maple syrup or fruits or nuts. Alternatively, people often taken a savoury route and top their cream of wheat with salt, cheese, or butter. However, you really can dress it up with just about anything that tickles your fancy meaning that it is a breakfast that never gets boring!
What are grits?
Unlike oatmeal and cream of wheat, grits is made from corn – more specifically, ground corn, water and salt. This means that unlike cream of wheat, grits is primarily a savoury dish and is actually more commonly served on the side of other breakfasts as an extra, as opposed to being the meal itself. The ground corn gives it quite a gritty texture, but if milk is used instead of what this can help give it a smoother taste, although not as smooth as cream of wheat.
How do you make grits?
In simple terms, grits is just boiled cornmeal – making it very easy to prepare. Depending on how much you need, stick to a 5:1 ratio of liquid to grits. Boil up your liquid – recommended to use a combination of half milk and half water – and then add in your grits and mix. This will thicken up and usually takes around 20 minutes. You can flavour with salt and people tend to top the grits with butter.
How should grits be served?
To add more flavour, you can season with alternative herbs or spices, and lots of people like to add cheese to the top of their grits. As it is often served on the side, grits keeps quite a neutral flavour so as it does not take away from the main meal. It is often served on the side of a cooked breakfast, so people eat it with bacon or sausage or whatever else you fancy for breakfast that day. However, you also can find people eating grits on the side of things like shrimp.
What is the difference between grits and cream of wheat?
So, in short, to answer the question, ‘are grits and cream of wheat the same thing?’ – no, they are not. Grits is made from corn and is primarily only served as savoury dish, and usually comes as a side. It has quite a gritty, lumpy texture, although it can become creamier if cooked with milk instead of water. Overall, it has quite a salty flavour and works best as an accompaniment to other meals – most commonly cooked breakfasts. On the other hand, cream of wheat is made from wheat kernels and is primarily served as a breakfast as itself. It can be served sweet or savoury, and is usually made with milk, but can also be made with water, but as a much smoother, creamier texture.
However, despite many differences, they do hold some similarities. Both are made from a type of grain, and both are made using milk or water and prepared using a very similar method. Both are commonly eaten for breakfast, and both are a good source of energy and fibre. Both sit at around 170 calories per cup, and 4g protein (this will obviously alter slightly depending on brand, but will also significantly depend on whether you are using milk or water).
Should I eat grits or cream of wheat?
To say that one is better than the other would be unfair, as they both serve different purposes. If you are looking solely for a breakfast, then cream of wheat would provide a more versatile meal that can be changed up daily, and can work as a meal on it own. If you are looking for a something on the side to provide your breakfast with some extra substance and fibre, then grits is a great option. They both have very different flavours and textures, so it really depends on what you like. For a salty, grittier dish, pop some grits on the side of your cooked breakfast. For a more versatile, creamier and independently tasty breakfast, whack on some cream of corn and sprinkle with your favourite toppings!