This Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge recipe is a rendition on the delicious traditional Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge which includes boldly sweet flavors and a beautiful smooth, creamy, and velvety texture. This version of porridge boasts it’s guaranteed lump-free, thickness from the thickly cut cornmeal used, and a generous play on spices and freshly topped berries, which all create quite the experience in just one-bowl. Vegan option available.
I'm super excited to share this creamy, velvety recipe with you because this Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge recipe is one that I grew up eating and it was heavily considered the breakfast of champions. When it comes to paying homage to my Jamaican roots, I truly get excited to create healthier versions of the foods I grew up eating during my childhood and this is one of them. While some recipes are just better in their traditional form, many can be greatly transformed into Vegan and/or healthier versions that would leave you feeling like, “is this really healthy”? Haha.
When it came to porridge, I can honestly say that I wasn't head over heels for this stuff as a child. In fact, I remember liking only oatmeal porridge more than it's Cornmeal counterpart. However, now that my preferences and taste buds have changed as an adult (tremendously I might add), I'm a huge fan of this lump-free porridge! Trust me---one good bowl of this stuff and you're full for the morning until snack time. Plus, you'll want to try this Banana Chai Oatmeal Porridge and Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Porridge which are a guaranteed hit for the entire family!
Basically, cornmeal is a meal ground from dried corn. You can find a variety of grain sizes, which will result in a slightly different texture depending which you've used. However, for this recipe, I chose to use thick-cut cornmeal although traditionally, finely -cut is preferred.
Overall, cornmeal porridge is considered a typical hearty breakfast in Jamaica which most indulge in because it keeps them full throughout the day until their next meal---usually lunch or dinner. In addition, most Jamaicans enjoy their cornmeal porridge with a side of crackers or hard dough bread, which acts as a great filler for a full meal as well.
There are a few key ingredients in this warm, sweet, and smooth Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge recipe that you may not usually use in your morning oatmeal or porridge, but these make this bowl even tastier and comforting.
Traditionally, finely cut cornmeal is used for porridge, however, I took things a bit further and used thickly cut cornmeal in mine. Granted, if you aren't a fan of the 'grainy' texture from the thick cuts, then sticking to the traditional "finely cut" version is absolutely fine! It's a mere matter of preference. Of course, I always use Bob's Red Mill products when it comes to my flours, oats, and grains, so this recipe was no different.
While there is a way to make this porridge vegan (which I discuss further down), this one for me was just better keeping things as traditional as possible, while reducing the dairy a bit for my own personal consumption. Therefore, I stuck to my fave plant-based milk, organic brown sugar (by In the Raw), and Condensed Sweetened Milk (but a Fat-Free version by Borden Eagle's brand).
Here’s the list of ingredients to make Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge for breakfast today:
First, I must let you know that Sweetened Condensed Milk is a canned milk that has 60 percent of it's water content removed, making it thicker in consistency.Also, it has 40-45% sugar, making it a great sugar substitute in recipes that use sugar. More importantly, condensed milk creates a caramelized flavor along with it's sweetness, which give the dishes that require it, a beautiful kick of flavor.
That being said---I chose to stick with the traditional way of making this recipe (using Sweetened Condense Milk), because I wanted that caramelized flavor to work with the cornmeal. Personally, I find that eating this porridge without it make everything incomplete. Again, for a vegan option, I love using Let's Do Organic's dairy-free coconut version.
The Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes list is all about finding better ways to enjoy your favorite sweets without compromising your healthy lifestyle. For those who follow a vegetarian and/or vegan lifestyle, this lists offers a few great ideas to incorporate healthy sweeteners into your diet.
Follow these tips + tricks to make your Jamaican cornmeal porridge ultra creamy and lump-free:
Mix (preferably with a whisk) your mixture the moment you add the cornmeal to the boiling liquid and continue to do so for the first 2-3 minutes as it thickens. You can use a superfine cornmeal for a really creamy base, however, constant mixing will still produce a nice creaminess.
Always SIMMER your cornmeal porridge for the majority of the cook time. This allows for a nice slow cook that allows everything to cook through and thicken nicely. The porridge naturally thickens as it cools, therefore, you can always add an additional ½ cup of water or milk while cooking to make it less thick.
Keep whisking in intervals (roughly every 2 minutes) as the cornmeal porridge simmers to further avoid lumps and to keep things creamy.
As mentioned, if you want to keep things traditional, you can always use canned coconut milk. However, in the case that you need things to be without coconut milk or if you’d like to switch things up—–that’s totally fine! The world of plant-based milk is constantly expanding. From the classics like cashew milk, soy milk and almond milk, we now have delicious options like oat milk, and even potato and quinoa milk. You can also use canned evaporated milk or whole milk as a great substitute as well.
Jamaican Cornmeal porridge is best when consumed within the same day. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated over the stovetop when ready to serve.
Of course! To make this porridge vegan, simply omit the condensed milk and substitute with canned full-fat coconut milk/cream or a dairy-free condensed milk (I love Let's Do....Organic's version) instead and ensure that you use a plant-based milk. If you'd like to substitute the brown sugar, you can definitely use coconut sugar, maple syrup, or Agave instead.
Overall, Cornmeal is a good plant source of protein, fiber, and is gluten-free. Also, it's a rich source of complex carbohydrates, which means that you feel fuller for longer. Lastly, it's a good source of vitamin A, which helps the function of the kidneys, lungs, and heart and It's low in fat and calories.
All in all, cornmeal porridge will be ready in about 20 minutes or so. It's super important to whisk frequently to avoid lumps and maintain a smooth consistency.
Nope! Corn grits, similar to cornmeal, are ground from dried corn kernels; typically coarser then cornmeal.
Not at all! While both cornmeal and cornflour come from the same type of grain, they are not the same. Corn flour is ground until it takes on a powder form. Therefore, you'll want to make sure that you’re using fine or thick “yellow cornmeal” for this porrdige.
Generally, you can enjoy a bowl of cornmeal porridge by itself with a bit of garnish like fresh berries, sliced mango, pinches of cinnamon or nutmeg, or cinnamon sticks. However, you can also keep things traditional like within the Jamaican culture and enjoy this porridge with a side of crackers or bread for a heartier meal.
Basically, after about 15 minutes, when taste tested with a spoon, the porridge should have a smooth texture. This means that the cornmeal is cooked through. If it is uncooked, the porridge will taste grainy, which means that you'll need to simmer it a bit longer.
Loving this Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge and want more Jamaican cuisine? Here are some of delicious recipes to try that your entire family will love:
If you tried this Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.