Trail Cooking

Backpacking Breakfast Recipe: Butter Grits

Breakfast can be a hard one for many hikers when planning. It’s often a commercial “meal” or “energy” or worse….”cereal” bar, shoved in the mouth, while you pack up camp. If you pull out your stove, it’s to boil water for a cup of coffee. We somehow got convinced that we need to be on the trail at 2 minutes after sunrise, and that a hot breakfast is not needed. But maybe we need to be still for a bit. Watch the sun rise, the birds wake up and eat something that only takes a few minutes.

When my oldest was young he hated the texture of instant (or any version) oatmeal. He still hates it, and honestly I can’t blame him. Most commercial oatmeal is too sweet, too powdery and is lumpy/pasty. But I could get him to eat grits though. He liked that it was savory. He ate many bags/bowls of it, often with butter, cheddar cheese and bacon – lots of bacon – mixed in. He liked the texture of grits. His youngest brother loves grits as well. And happily noshes on them.

I have posted grits recipes on the site, and in our cookbooks, but I haven’t done a plain bowl of buttery grits, and there’s nothing like simple meals on some mornings. Or evenings. This makes an excellent dinner as well, easy on the stomach if you had a long hot day of miles. You can always take some shelf stable bacon strips and fry them up to have on the side. Or eat them cold. Ford was always happy to do that. That bumps up the calories/protein/fat.

But there is something about a simple recipe. No bits of onion hidden in here, or well, any vegetables. So it conquer hiking partners that prefer plain food.

To find instant grits, look in the cereal aisle, by the oatmeal. Not all stores carry it, it can be sourced via Amazon, but it costs more. At the store look up high and low, as it is often hidden. Especially in the PNW.

Instant grits are corn, salt and vitamins. It is processed, but not super processed. Just finely ground corn grits that are ready for water. Not really that much different than instant oatmeal is – but just no sugar, fake flavorings or color added.

Included is 3 methods for making this easy recipe.

Butter Grits

In a quart freezer bag or sandwich bag:

FBC Method:

Place the freezer bag into an FBC Cozy. Add in 1 cup boiled water, stirring constantly. Let sit for 5 minutes, stir again and eat.

Insulated Mug Method:

Pour 1 cup boiled water into an insulated mug, stir in the dry ingredients. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir again and eat.

One Pot Method:

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small pot. Turn off the stove and stir in the grits. Cover and let sit till cool enough to eat.

Serves 1.


Add the higher amount of butter powder if you really love butter flavor. Butter powder adds in 35 calories per Tablespoon and 3.5 grams of fat, boosting the counts. We made it it with 1 Tablespoon.

Made with ingredients in links:

270 calories/7.5 grams fat/740 mg sodium/6 grams protein


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