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.
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.
First Published March 2017
Jamaican Cornmeal 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!
Also, try my Instant Pot Cornmeal Porridge recipe.
Cornmeal Porridge Ingredients
- Cornmeal – fine cornmeal is the best, but it is hard to find organic fine cornmeal so sometimes I use medium grain cornmeal and cook for longer.
- Water – important to mix the cornmeal with before cooking, it helps to prevent your porridge from turning lumpy, especially if you are making this recipe for the first time. I have added the cornmeal directly to the boiling liquid but it requires experience to know to mix fast enough and pour the cornmeal slowly.
- Almond Milk – traditionally cow’s milk is used with condensed milk but any non-dairy milk is a good sweetener.
- Coconut Milk – used for its creamy texture and amazing tropical flavor.
- Sweetener – you can use sugar, maple syrup, agave, or your sweetener of choice.
- Spices – vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the traditional spices used.
- Salt – to taste
- Fruits – for topping, add fruits of choice. I added banana and naseberry but I love to top it with whatever fruits are in season, like pineapple, passion fruit, berries, mango.
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 cornflour and loved the results. To make the porridge, I mix cornmeal in half the almond milk and water until lumps disappear. I then bring the remaining 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 the 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.
Tips For Making Cornmeal Porridge
- Use a non-stick pot to prevent the base of the pot from burning.
- Make sure your pot is large and deep, when you bring the milk to boil, they tend to boil over the sides of the pot onto the stove but a large pot will help to prevent this.
- Also, don’t close the lid of the pot when bringing the milk to a boil.
- When you add the cornmeal mixture, keep stirring with a whisk until the porridge gets thick and begins to splatter. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, partially cover your pot and leave a little space for the steam to vent.
Other Jamaican Recipes To Prepare
- Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding
- Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
- Rice And Peas
- Steamed Cabbage
- Jerk Cauliflower Bowl
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- Energy: 221 kcal / 924 kJ
- Fat: 4 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Carbs: 42 g
- Preparation: 5 min
- Cooking: 15 min
- Ready in: 20 min
- For: 2 servings
- Mix cornmeal in a medium bowl with one cup of almond milk and water until smooth.
- Bring the remaining almond milk, coconut milk, and salt to a boil in a pot on medium-high heat. (Make sure you are watching the pot so the liquid doesn't boil over the sides, use a large pot)
- Add cornmeal mixture and stir continuously using a whisk. While the porridge thickens, it is important to continue mixing to prevent lumps from forming.
- Reduce heat and cover pot and allow porridge to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon and allow cornmeal porridge to cook for 5 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Divide cornmeal porridge into two bowls, top with fruits and toasted coconut flakes. Serve immediately!