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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Cornmeal Porridge

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Enjoy a hearty and creamy bowl of cornmeal porridge for breakfast. This delicious and easy porridge originated in the Caribbean islands. It tastes delicious, and it’s simple to make. Top with fresh fruit and nuts or dunk bread into it for a filling breakfast that will satisfy you all the way to lunch!

bowl of easy healthy jamaican cornmeal porridge recipe with fresh fruit and cinnamon

If you’ve ever been to Jamaica or to the Caribbean, you know how delicious cornmeal porridge is. Jamaican porridge is a cooked porridge made with fine cornmeal, milk, and sweetened condensed milk. It’s sweet but hearty with warm Caribbean spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. There’s just something about cozy breakfast food that starts the day off right.

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This healthy cornmeal porridge uses soy milk in place of regular milk and coconut condensed milk in place of sweetened condensed milk. It’s gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free, but even dairy-lovers will devour it. More importantly, though, it fills you up! There’s nothing worse than a hungry stomach only an hour after breakfast.

Jamaican cornmeal porridge comes together in a snap! It takes less than 15 minutes and it’s perfect for picky eaters. My kids love the creamy texture and sweet flavor. Top with fresh fruit, nuts, and additional sweeteners, or serve with crackers. Traditionally Caribbean porridge is served with hard dough bread, but it tastes delicious no matter how you serve it!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Perfect for a hearty breakfast.
  • Top with brown sugar and your favorite fruit.
  • Make this easy cornmeal porridge in less than 15 minutes.
  • Great for picky eaters.
  • Enjoy this easy recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free & vegan but still so creamy!
  • Make it with or without dairy, based on your dietary preferences.

🥘 Ingredients

This cornmeal porridge recipe calls for pantry staples you can find at your local grocery store. Feel free to use ground cinnamon in place of cinnamon sticks and regular condensed milk if you’re not dairy-free.

ingredients for easy healthy jamaican cornmeal porridge recipe with fresh fruit

Fine Cornmeal: Be sure to use fine yellow cornmeal and not corn flour or coarse cornmeal. Fine cornmeal will give it the smooth texture we’re looking for.

Soy Milk: I used unsweetened soy milk but you can use unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk too. A can of coconut milk works, but keep in mind that cornmeal porridge with canned coconut milk will be richer in taste. If you’re not on a dairy-free diet, dairy milk tastes delicious too.

Water: Mixing the cornmeal with water first prevents it from clumping. Water and soy milk serve as the liquid base for this Jamaican cornmeal porridge recipe.

Cinnamon Stick: I use a cinnamon stick to achieve a nice cinnamon flavor. You can add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in its place.

Nutmeg: A little nutmeg goes a long way. A quarter teaspoon adds just the right amount of flavor.

Vanilla Extract: Two teaspoons of vanilla extract give this porridge plenty of vanilla flavor.

Condensed Coconut Milk: For this Jamaican porridge recipe, I sweeten it with condensed coconut milk. You can use sweetened condensed milk if you prefer. Note: the nutritional information below is based on condensed coconut milk which has less sugar than regular condensed milk.

📖 Variations

Customize this recipe to meet your dietary needs and preferences. You can also add your favorite toppings.

Milk: You can use any plant-based milk or dairy milk you prefer. Soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or whole milk all work great.

Sweetener: You can sweeten this recipe with brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, sweetened condensed milk, or condensed coconut milk. You can also use coconut cream or canned coconut milk instead of the condensed milk to make an even healthier sugar free porridge!

Toppings: Toppings just take this delicious recipe and make it better! Top with coconut sugar, brown sugar, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, blueberries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, or nuts. You can also serve it with crackers or bread.

🔪 Instructions

This recipe is a breeze to make! Here’s how:

Make Cornmeal Mixture: Whisk together the cornmeal and a cup of water. Set it aside.

cornmeal and water mixed in a bowl

Boil Liquid: In a medium pot on medium-high heat, bring the remaining cups of water, soy milk, and the cinnamon stick to a boil.

soy milk and cinnamon cooking in a pot

Add Cornmeal: Pour the cornmeal mixture into the boiling water and whisk until well combined. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to whisk until the cornmeal thickens. Remove the cinnamon stick.

porridge whisked in a pot

Sweeten: Add the nutmeg, vanilla, and three tablespoons of condensed coconut milk. You can always add more if you need it to be sweeter. Stir cornmeal mixture until combined. Cook for two more minutes.

cornmeal and sweet ingredients in a pot

Serve: Remove the porridge from the heat and thin it out with more soy milk if needed. Taste and add more condensed milk for more sweetness. Top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and fresh fruit.

bowl of easy healthy jamaican cornmeal porridge recipe with fresh fruit

❓ Recipe FAQs

What is cornmeal porridge?

Cornmeal porridge is a Caribbean breakfast porridge made from fine cornmeal, water or milk, sweetener, and spices. It’s traditionally served with crackers or hard dough bread, but tastes delicious with fresh fruit too.

Is cornmeal porridge healthy?

The traditional version of this porridge is super satisfying but isn’t the healthiest because it has a lot of added sugar from the condensed milk and sweetener is added on top of that.

This recipe has all of the flavor of the original version but lightens it up by using dairy-free ingredients and less sugar, which makes this vegan cornmeal porridge super healthy for you!

What do I serve with sweet corn porridge?

This tasty breakfast is delicious by itself, but toppings are great too! You can serve it with Jamaican fried dumplings (johnny cakes), crackers, or hard dough bread. Alternatively, you can top the porridge with fresh fruit, ground cinnamon, and additional sweetener.

How should I store this recipe?

Store the porridge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave. You can add more milk to thin it out if needed.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, you can freeze the porridge in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When reheating, add additional milk or soy milk if needed. Since this recipe only takes 15 minutes, it’s easy to make fresh!

💭 Expert Tips

  • This porridge will thicken as it cools. It should be the consistency of a thick custard when it’s done.
  • Don’t forget to combine the cup of cornmeal with 1 cup water before adding it to the pot to prevent lumpy porridge.
  • Be sure to turn the heat down so the porridge doesn’t burn.
  • Start with less sweetener (condensed milk) because you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.
  • If you’re watching calories or sugar intake, you can use Monk fruit sweetener and unsweetened coconut cream instead of condensed coconut milk.
bowl of easy healthy jamaican cornmeal porridge recipe with fresh fruit

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📋 Recipe Card

bowl of easy healthy jamaican cornmeal porridge recipe with fresh fruit and cinnamon
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Cornmeal Porridge

Enjoy a hearty and creamy bowl of cornmeal porridge for breakfast. This delicious and easy porridge originated in the Caribbean islands. It tastes delicious and it's simple to make. Top with fresh fruit and nuts or dunk bread into it for a filling breakfast that will satisfy you all the way to lunch!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time13 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or coconut milk
  • cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup condensed coconut milk

Equipment

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the cornmeal and 1 cup water, set aside.
  • Bring to a boil the remaining 2¼ cups of water, 1 cup of soy milk and the cinnamon stick.
  • Pour the cornmeal mixture into the boiling water and whisk until well combined, reduce heat and continue to whisk, ensuring no lumps, until the cornmeal thickens. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  • Add the nutmeg, vanilla extract and 3 tbsp condensed coconut milk, cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and adjust thickness by adding more soy milk if needed. Adjust sweetness by adding more condensed milk if required.
  • Serve hot topped with fresh fruit, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and a dash of soy or coconut milk.

Video

https://youtu.be/sRr-NjgijSE

Notes

  • Cook the cornmeal porridge until it is the consistency of thick custard.
  • Don’t forget to combine the cup of cornmeal with 1 cup water before adding it to the pot to prevent lumpy porridge.
  • Cornmeal porridge can be sweetened with honey, maple syrup or brown sugar.
  • Be sure to turn the heat down so the porridge doesn’t burn.
  • Start with less sweetener (condensed milk) because you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.
  • If you’re watching calories or sugar intake, you can use Monk fruit sweetener and unsweetened coconut cream instead of condensed coconut milk.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g

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Breakfast ·

Whether it’s a quick smoothie or indulgent (but guilt-free) pancakes, my breakfast recipes have everything you need to start your day off right.

These recipes are healthy, filling, and easy to make!

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