Easy Low-Carb Almond Meal Polenta or Grits

Cheesy grits wtih bacon.
Mix grits with cheese and bacon for a real treat!. Lauri Patterson/E+/Getty Images
Total Time 8 min
Prep 3 min, Cook 5 min
Yield 5 servings Almond Meal Polenta

If you can boil water, you can make this easy  Low-Carb Soft Polenta or Grits Recipe. Even better, it can be made in many different ways.

This recipe uses almond meal, also known as almond flour, instead of high-carb cornmeal as the base for the classic Italian dish which includes Parmesan cheese (see serving suggestion below).

But since the almond meal basically mimics a corn meal mush, it can be flavored similar to grits or other soft corn meal recipes. It can even be made sweet into a kind of pudding with berries or other flavorings.

Additionally, with a little more or less water, it can be made thinner or thicker. Thinned a bit, it makes a serviceable cheese sauce for vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal or almond flour (they are essentially the same thing)
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt (about 1/4 teaspoon if you're using the cheese, which is salty and 1/2 teaspoon salt otherwise)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated good-quality Parmesan cheese (if you are using a microplane grater, which makes it fluffier, use about 2/3 cup) (Do NOT use the dried grated cheese from the shelf!)
  • Pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. In a medium saucepan, place 1 cup almond meal (same as almond flour), 1 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt if using Parmesan cheese or 1/2 teaspoon salt otherwise.
     
  2. Whisk until almond meal is free of lumps. Bring to boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Once mixture is boiling, whisk continuously for 1 to 2 minutes, until it visibly thickens.
     
  3. Remove from heat, and whisk in 1/3 cup freshly grated good-quality Parmesan cheese, whisking until it is fully melted. Add pepper to taste.
     
  1. Pour into a serving dish or, if you would like to cut the polenta, pour hot polenta into a 9x9-inch pan lightly coated with olive oil. When the polenta solidifies, you can cut it into squares, fry it lightly in a little olive oil and serve crispy.

Notes

  • "Polenta" will thicken as it cools. The thickness also varies somewhat depending upon how refined the almond meal is. If you want it thinner, simply add a little more water.
     
  • Polenta reheats fine, but it's drier, so add a little more water if you do this. Also, note that it is more filling than regular polenta or grits, so you'll probably want a smaller serving size.

Serving Suggestion

My favorite way to serve this polenta is with sautéed greens (spinach, chard, kale, etc), often with one or more of the following: onions, mushrooms, bacon, garlic.

Makes about 5 servings of Easy Low-Carb Almond Meal Polenta or Grits

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 2 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, and 138 calories.

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