Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

4.811

This Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl is a twist on the very popular traditional cornmeal porridge in Jamaica. Creamy and delicious, with the perfect blend of sweetness and spice. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and tastes amazing!

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

Cornmeal porridge is the most popular breakfast cereal that is served in Jamaica, it is commonly given to children as their first cereal and it is believed to be an important source of nourishment in Jamaica.

My Caramelized Banana Oatmeal Porridge is also another variation of tradition Jamaican green banana porridge.

My mom made it on a regular basis, she cooked fine cornmeal with milk, and sweetened it with sugar and condensed milk. She added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Well for this recipe, I used almond milk and coconut milk instead and I sweetened it with pure cane sugar (sweeten according to taste). I have also sweetened it with maple syrup and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar will make your porridge dark brown and doesn’t look as pretty as the photos here. I prefer to use maple syrup or coconut sugar but I wanted to present a more traditional looking cornmeal porridge.

Traditionally we would just have the cornmeal porridge with crackers, bread and butter but I wanted to make a more nutritious bowl, so I added fruits and toasted coconut flakes. So pretty and comforting!

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

When making this porridge, you want to use fine cornmeal for a creamy smooth texture. I have used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free corn flour and loved the results. To make the porridge, I mix cornmeal in water until lumps disappear. I then bring almond milk and coconut milk to boil. I¬†whisked the cornmeal mixture into the boiling milk. For this step, you have to be constantly mixing. I lower heat and allow the cornmeal to fully cook. Depending on the consistency you like, you may have to add extra water a little at a time while stirring. I like mine thick so I didn’t need to add extra water. After cooking, I stir in sweetener and spices. I included the traditional spices used in Jamaica, you can substitute with a combination of cardamom and coriander or just omit and it will taste just as good. I then divide porridge into to bowls and top with banana, mango, passion fruit and toasted coconut flakes. You can substitute¬†with fruits of your choice.

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Ingredients

For: 2 servings

Instructions

  1. Mix cornmeal in a medium bowl with water until smooth.
  2. Bring almond milk, coconut milk and salt to bowl in a pot on medium-high heat.
  3. Add cornmeal mixture and stir continuously using a whisk. While the porridge thickens, it is important to continue mixing to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. Reduce heat and cover pot and allow porridge to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon and allow cornmeal porridge to cook for 5 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  6. Divide cornmeal porridge into two bowls, top with fruits and toasted coconut flakes. Serve immediately!

Recipe notes

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

When you try this recipe, let me know how you like it in the comment box below and I would love to connect you on:Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

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  1. I’ve heard/seen others use the mix first then cook method with the cornmeal but never tried it myself yet; I always just dump the cornmeal in the boiling liquid but the looks of the dish definitely have me considering the other technique. Also even though I’ve had cornmeal porridge many times before, never with such beautiful toppings which is yet another idea I will be borrowing next time I make it. Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Dunori, I find that when I mix first with water or milk that it reduces the possibility of having lots of lumps. Another way is to mix the cornmeal with all the liquid ingredients and constantly stir with a wire whisk while cooking. It takes a while to get to where it is boiling.

  2. Michelle, I love love this amazing and unique idea! I love cornmeal and grits and love this Jamaican twist. It is just so pretty and colorful too!

  3. Alisa Fleming

    Your Jamaican themed recipes are always so enticing and this one is no exception. Those flavors sound marvelous and the porridge looks so creamy.

  4. Linda from Veganosity

    This is such a great alternative to oatmeal. I love grits, so I think I’d really love this recipe. Thanks!

  5. Wanderlust Vegans
    5.011

    That looks like a tasty and nutritious breakfast. It great to see some vegan recipes that I’ve never tried before. There seems to be quite a few vegan Jamaican recipes out there that are delicious.

  6. hey sharonoox

    I’ve never tried this before but it looks so yummy! Love the photos and the nice bowl presentation.

  7. Richard Bivins

    This looks good but don’t think its on the approved list for my new paleo diet. Your Caramelized Banana Oatmeal Porridge looks even better and I may have to try it on one of my free pass days.

  8. Tatum Skipper

    Never been a fan of porridge but this one looks yummy! I love making recipes inspired by places I’ve been so Jamaica is the perfect place. It all looks so colorful and healthy!

  9. This sounds really interesting. I’ve never had cornmeal for breakfast. It does sound delicious, especially with mango and coconut. I’ll have to look for fine cornmeal and give it a try.

  10. Jessica Harlow

    This looks like such a comforting dish! Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla are my favorite flavors and I think I’d love the texture of this porridge!

  11. Author Brandi Kennedy

    I’ve actually never had cornmeal porridge before (it looks a bit like the cream of wheat cereal my mother used to make when I was a kid though), but this bowl looks like a lovely breakfast! You did a great job making it so pretty, too.

    authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.com

  12. David Elliott

    I wouldn’t have thought of making porridge, but this does look fantastic. The fruit is the perfect touch for this dish and it brings bright colors to it as well.

    5.011

    I’ve never seen this dish before. Your Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl looks so tasty and delicious.

  13. Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite

    I have never heard of cornmeal porridge but it looks awesome! Reminds me a bit of that cream of wheat I used to have as a kid!

    5.011

    Wow it looks so yummy. I definitely need to try this one out. The ingredients just make my mouth so watery haha.

  14. Elaine @ Dishes Delish

    How intriguing with the cornmeal. I love all the ingredients and can’t wait to try it.

  15. Jessi Joachim

    This looks amazing! I have never tried anything like it, but I think I need to try it out here soon!

  16. Mel | A Virtual Vegan

    I HAVE to try this! It’ looks so delicious and I love cornmeal. I would never have thought to eat it for breakfast. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  17. This is such a great idea! I have made porridge out of oats, quinoa, brown rice, even millet, but I have never thought to use cornmeal before. Like a sweet polenta! I can’t wait to try this!

  18. Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health

    I prepare cornmeal porridge quite often. I love it because it’s nutritious, and you can top it with almost everything. And it’s super easy to make. Love your version with nutmeg and cinnamon, and tropical fruits. I think I saw fresh mango delivered in the store the other day. I think I’ll be trying this very soon. Looks delicious :)

  19. I’ve never had cornmeal porridge before but this looks absolutely gorgeous! I wish I could just grab some out of the screen :) Love the use of passionfruit in the porridge.

  20. I have a big packet of cornmeal sitting in the pantry, but I would never have thought to use it for cereal!! I will have to give this a try!! We are always looking for something different for breakfast, and I know this would go down well with the addition of the fruit. Yum!

  21. Hanady Awada | Recipe Nomad

    I can’t resist toasted coconut flakes! The porridge looks delicious and healthy! Recipe saved!

  22. We have millet porridge in India, never thought of cornmeal porridge, but if you make this porridge for me I will be happy as it delicious with passion fruit, coconut, mango and toasted coconut.

  23. Kylee from Kylee Cooks

    I’ve never heard of cornmeal porridge, but it sounds like something I should get familiar with! I am definitely going to try this!

  24. I am glad you added some fruits and coconut flakes as that would bring this already yummy porridge over the top! Best way to begin the day!

  25. Julie | Bunsen Burner Bakery

    All that fresh fruit looks amazing – I wish we were able to get delicious fresh tropical fruit around here! I would love a big bowl of this to start my morning everyday.

  26. D. Durand Worthey

    This looks absolutely nosh-worthy! I like how you have taken a traditional Jamaican breakfast staple and made it into something new, yet with traditional ties to the past. As far as I cam concerned there are no rules when it comes to food creation. And really, that is how food evolves, right? If there isn’t freedom in the kitchen then that’s no fun. Keep doing what you’re doing and I will keep checking you out! Thank you!

  27. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    Cornmeal porridge is so filling and this bowl looks awesome with the mangoes and other fruits. I love how creamy the porridge is. My kids love it when it is extra creamy and the flavor of almond milk and coconut milk sounds delicious.

  28. Megan Marlowe

    This bowl is perfect for breakfast and a delicious afternoon snack! I’m loving the colors, flavors and I’m so intrigued because I never thought to use cornmeal in a porridge bowl before but it’s just genius!

  29. Veena Azmanov

    I make semolina porridge sometime for dinner instead of breakfast. Love how you layered the fruit – so healthy and so pretty. Love creamy stuff..!

  30. Byron Thomas

    This looks like a very hearty breakfast – meaning, there’s a lot of food! But, it looks and sounds delicious. I have a question though – we like to host brunches often. Could I make this in advance and serve it cold or at room temperature? Could it be stirred together and served as a side dish at brunch?

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Byron thank you it is very hearty but you can always control the portion size. This is a very good question, I personally don’t enjoy it as much at room temperature because the texture changes and instead of being creamy and smooth it turns firmer, similar to cold oats porridge. I sometimes make it ahead, so what I normally do is add extra milk and reheat stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps and it is excellent that way. Please let me know how it turns out.

  31. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    Such a pretty dish! I’ve never had cornmeal porridge before, but I love your addition here of coconut flakes and fresh fruit!

  32. Christine McMichael

    Whoa, looks and sounds incredible! Never had Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge before, but excited to try something new. Saving for later and excited to try this recipe!

  33. Stephanie@ApplesforCJ

    I’ve never had cornmeal porridge but this is something I would love to try. I think the mango and coconut topping would be perfect as well to compliment the flavor. Putting this on my to try list!

  34. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

    Totally love cornmeal, but have never eaten it for breakfast. Love the smooth consistency here. Looks so tropical….I am going to have to try this.

  35. A nice twist to my favorite porridge! Have had this porridge since I was a bwoy in Kingston! Michelle, didn’t see when vanilla was added. I’ll be trying your other recipes.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Thank you Paul, those are some nice memories especially eating it before going to school and listening to RJR, lol. Thank you I edited the instructions. One Love!

    4.011

    not knocking the traditional cornmeal porridge bc it sustained us growing up but this ‘twist’ is not only appetizing & delicious it is downright healthier .. thank you for stepping outside the ‘traditional ‘ box..

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Thank you Yesiam, I agree with you. We ate the cornmeal porridge, enjoyed it and we were healthy and strong. We had an abundance of fruits growing wild around us so naturally we ate fruits without thinking. The younger generation might not get this opportunity we had because society has changed so we might need to add the fruits on top of the cornmeal porridge. Just saying!

  36. Erica Heslop

    Cornmeal porridge is my favorite. I talked about it all the time to others and your recipe is perfect, just the way it should be done. I also love your creativity of adding the fruits. It keeps the traditional taste, yet add more flavor and nutrients…great idea…I will definitely try the new additions with mine.

  37. This receipe looks ok but you gone over the top from the original. I understand we evolve but u have strayed too far. Next time try staying a little closer to time our Jamaican receipe. Weldone to u. I am a really old Jamaican , just advise keep close to the original , u will do well.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      I appreciate your comment Mary and thank you for visiting my page and supporting me. I can’t be held in a box, just not my personality especially if you got to know me. Please come again and check out my Jerk Cauliflower recipe, Jamaican Vegan Rundown, Jamaican Stew Peas with Dumpling and try them first and then let me know how you feel after. You might just not see traditionalJamaican foods the same way again!

  38. I’m yardie too! Love the decor of fruits, and will use this idea as well on my next cooking. FYI you can also add powdered flax or chia seeds.
    Thank you.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Thank you Sonia for your support, I also add ground flaxseeds, chia, or hemp seeds to mine.

    5.011

    Ya mon!!. That looks so delicious. Being a true “yardie”, I make cornmeal porridge all the time sometimes for dinner. My son loves it with any kind of crackers. Would love a recipe for cornmeal pudding… the one with the creamy buttery top.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Thank you Jay-Jay, me soon put out one straight from out of Hopewell, Hanover. Just like how my mom and grandmother made it!!

  39. J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all
    5.011

    I’ve never tried this combination but I simply must! I love that it’s also gluten free and vegan!

    4.011

    Love this nutritious breakfast. I love just about everything made with cornmeal, so I know this will be one to add to my list.

    Is there a way to print this recipe? I looked everywhere on this page for a print option. That would ensure accuracy and access (for me).

    Thanks very much! Nice departure from empty calories from processed cereal or toast.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Thanks a lot Louise, I will talk to my web designer about the print function. I usually just hit ‘Command P’ on my Mac or Control P on a PC and that usually works.

  40. Platter Talk
    5.011

    Wow! Now there’s a breakfast bowl that will last my stomach’s wants until lunch! Lovely.

  41. Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    5.011

    This looks amazing. You don’t see much Jamaican food around . Love the addition of the toasted coconut and mango

    • Corn meal porridge by it self is very filling we never add chesse and all those other stuff any way we break up bread or Jamaica crackers in it or just have it by it self….lets keep one of our favorite breakfast the way it should be…

      Thanks

      • Michelle Blackwood

        Veleita by the way, that’s not cheese on top. it is mango chunks, banana slices and passion fruit (Check out the recipe). Yeah, cornmeal porridge is great alone but the modern Jamaican in me wants to do something more creative and ‘tun mi han and mek fashion’. Hope you get to try it, lol

      • Dominique Gayle

        Exactly….! What they always trying to remix something. ?Lawd know whoever it was.. Na Yardy. Period.

        • It’s not because yuh a Jamaican yuh affi gwaan suh backwards! If you look at the author’s “about” page you’ll see that she grew up in Jamaica. A dats why unuh fi stick to Facebook wid unuh caah read self.

      • Agreed this is not Jamaican. Straight corneal porridge maybe some bread or crackers but mango in porridge very unappetizing. Cornmealby it self is very filling the fillers on the side are unnecessary. If you need all that flavour add some coconut milk save dem fixing deh fi a parfait.

      • Maple syrup and almond milk has no place in Jamaican cooking. We never use ether one locally. Also can’t have cornmeal porridge without condense milk, it is just not the same.

        • Its called Healthier Steps for a reason! Using plant based products instead of animal products improves the nutritional content of the meal. If you want regular traditional Jamaican food than try a different website. Love

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