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Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

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.

Let me make it clear, I am Jamaican by birth and I grew up in Jamaica and migrated to England when I was 19 and later to USA where I now reside in Florida with my husband Devon, 2 children Daevyd, Devannah and dog Macho.

I grew up making cornmeal porridge the traditional non-vegan way until I became vegan 21 years ago. So this recipe is authentic Vegan Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge.

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!

Come on and think outside the box, why not add some delicious tropical fruits on top of your bowl of cornmeal porridge? Substitute with your favorite fruits, this is only a recipe idea!

Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

How To Make 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 two bowls and top with banana, mango, passion fruit and toasted coconut flakes. You can substitute with fruits of your choice.

I am so excited to start a new facebook group, sharing lots of delicious vegan recipes, health tips etc. from our members, please join us at Vegan Recipes With Love! If you tried this Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl, please comment below and let us know how you like it. Also, please follow us on Instagram!

Per portion
Energy:
221 kcal / 924 kJ
Fat:
4 g
Protein:
3 g
Carbohydrate:
42 g

Ingredients

For: 2 servings
Preparation:
5 min
Cooking:
15 min
Ready in:
20 min

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!

Notes

 

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: Join me in my facebook group!

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

Rating

86 Comments
  1. Chef Mireille
    May 23, 2018

    5.01

    what a delicious way to start the day – I can easily dig into this bowl

    • Michelle Blackwood
      May 23, 2018

      Hello Chef Mireille, thank you for stopping by!

  2. Debb
    March 1, 2018

    5.01

    I have tried this recipe a few times now and it’s delicious! I don’t put cinnamon in my i put start anise instead.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 1, 2018

      Thank you Debb for your feedback, I love star anise so delicious in it!

  3. Kathy
    February 25, 2018

    Can this be reheated ? Looks amazing ❤️

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 25, 2018

      Thank you. It can Kathy but it is tricky, you have to add liquid because it gets thick when cool. You will have to use a whisk and stir it really hard to get rid of any lumps so you will end up with a smooth porridge. I also recommend using a non-stick pot in the first place so the bottom won’t burn.

  4. Dunori
    March 24, 2017

    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
      March 25, 2017

      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.

  5. Abra's Kitchen
    March 13, 2017

    Wow this looks incredible! It’s like a tropical Island in a breakfast bowl :-)

  6. The Vegan 8
    March 12, 2017

    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!

  7. Erin
    March 11, 2017

    I just brought some cornmeal will have to to try this soon. I love the toasted coconut on top.

  8. Alisa Fleming
    March 11, 2017

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

  9. Linda from Veganosity
    March 10, 2017

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

  10. Wanderlust Vegans
    March 9, 2017

    5.01

    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.

  11. hey sharonoox
    March 9, 2017

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

  12. Richard Bivins
    March 9, 2017

    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.

  13. Tatum Skipper
    March 9, 2017

    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!

  14. eazynazy
    March 9, 2017

    5.01

    Oh god this is mouth wateringgg….It looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe ….Saved

  15. Amanda
    March 8, 2017

    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.

  16. Jessica Harlow
    March 8, 2017

    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!

  17. Author Brandi Kennedy
    March 8, 2017

    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

  18. David Elliott
    March 8, 2017

    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.

  19. Glenda
    March 8, 2017

    5.01

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

  20. Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite
    March 8, 2017

    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!

  21. Jessica Taylor
    March 8, 2017

    I can’t wait to try this! My daughter is going to really love it!

  22. Shobika
    March 8, 2017

    5.01

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

  23. Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    March 8, 2017

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

  24. Jessi Joachim
    March 8, 2017

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

  25. Amber Myers
    March 8, 2017

    5.01

    Oh yum, what great flavors! I’d so give this a try. It looks spectacular.

  26. Mel | A Virtual Vegan
    March 7, 2017

    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!

  27. Jenn
    March 7, 2017

    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!

  28. Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health
    March 6, 2017

    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 :)

  29. Dianne
    March 6, 2017

    So many delicious flavors in one bowl! This looks like a great way to start the day.

  30. Becky Striepe
    March 6, 2017

    Oh yum! I’m loving the combination of flavors and textures. And it’s so PRETTY!

  31. Molly Kumar
    March 6, 2017

    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.

  32. Donna
    March 5, 2017

    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!

  33. Hanady Awada | Recipe Nomad
    March 5, 2017

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

  34. swathi
    March 5, 2017

    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.

  35. Kylee from Kylee Cooks
    March 5, 2017

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

  36. ManilaSpoon
    March 5, 2017

    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!

  37. Julie | Bunsen Burner Bakery
    March 5, 2017

    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.

  38. D. Durand Worthey
    March 5, 2017

    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!

  39. Sandhya Ramakrishnan
    March 5, 2017

    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.

  40. Megan Marlowe
    March 5, 2017

    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!

  41. Veena Azmanov
    March 5, 2017

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

  42. Byron Thomas
    March 5, 2017

    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
      March 6, 2017

      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.

  43. Gillian Thompson
    March 5, 2017

    Would love to try this cornmeal porridge. Yours looks so colourful and appetising. :)

  44. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife
    March 4, 2017

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

  45. Christine McMichael
    March 4, 2017

    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!

  46. Sarah
    March 4, 2017

    Closest I’ve had to something like this is grits which is nothing like it! Sounds tasty!

  47. Stephanie@ApplesforCJ
    March 4, 2017

    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!

  48. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    March 4, 2017

    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.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 6, 2017

      Thank you Gloria, please enjoy!

  49. Paul
    March 4, 2017

    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
      March 6, 2017

      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!

  50. yesiam
    March 4, 2017

    4.01

    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
      March 6, 2017

      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!

  51. Erica Heslop
    March 4, 2017

    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.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 6, 2017

      Thank you Erica, appreciate your support. You inspire me!

  52. Mary
    March 4, 2017

    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
      March 6, 2017

      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!

  53. Sonia
    March 4, 2017

    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
      March 6, 2017

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

  54. JayJay
    March 3, 2017

    5.01

    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
      March 3, 2017

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

  55. Aish Das-Padihari
    March 3, 2017

    This looks so yummy and so attractive. All I wish to do is to dig in.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 6, 2017

      Thank you Aish.

  56. J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all
    March 3, 2017

    5.01

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

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 6, 2017

      Awesome thank you!

  57. Louise
    March 3, 2017

    4.01

    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
      March 6, 2017

      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.

    • Kathy
      February 25, 2018

      Email it to yourself, then print 😊

      • Michelle Blackwood
        February 25, 2018

        The Print button is up and working. It is just below the recipe title.

  58. Platter Talk
    March 3, 2017

    5.01

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

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 6, 2017

      Thank you!

  59. Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    March 3, 2017

    5.01

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

    • Veleita
      March 3, 2017

      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
        March 3, 2017

        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

        • Brian Newman
          March 4, 2017

          Girl you so funny!

        • Crystal
          March 8, 2017

          Yes! Tun yuh han please! I appreciate these recipes.

      • Dominique Gayle
        March 3, 2017

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

        • Hopewell
          March 5, 2017

          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.

      • Becky
        March 4, 2017

        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.

      • Becky
        March 4, 2017

        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.

        • Jo
          March 5, 2017

          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