Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

March 27, 2019

This Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge recipe is a healthier take on the delicious traditional Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge which includes boldly sweet flavor and is beautifully textured. This version of porridge boasts it’s creaminess, thickness from the thickly cut cornmeal used, and a generous play on spices and freshly topped berries and toasted pecans, which all create quite the experience in just one bowl. The perfect way to start your day! Vegan option available.

Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

We’re midway into the week and I’m super excited to share this recipe with you. 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 all the time. While some recipes are just better in their traditional version, many can be greatly transformed into Vegan and/or healthier recipes 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. I fact, I remember liking Oatmeal Porridge better than it’s Cornmeal counterpart. However, now that my preferences and taste buds have changed (tremendously I might add!), I’m a fan! Trust me—one good bowl of this stuff and you’re full for the morning until snack time.

Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Traditionally, finely cut cornmeal is used for porridge, however, I took things a bit further and used thickly cut cornmeal in mine. Granted, id 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, this one for me was just better keeping things as traditional as possible, using healthier ingredients. Therefore, I stuck to my non-dairy milk (Oats + Roasted Almond Milk by Califia Farms—my absolute fave!), organic brown sugar (by In the Raw), and Condensed Sweetened Milk (but a Fat-Free version by Borden Eagle’s brand).

Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Why Sweetened Condensed Milk is so important!

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.

Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

If you’ve been an avid follower of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re aware of my inclusion of a few Jamaican recipes that have been my ultimate favorite! This Creamy Jamaican-Inspired Vegan Carrot Juice for one is EVERYTHING! It’s super easy to make and works as a great beverage during meals or as a breakfast substitute by making it thicker! AND it’s Vegan.

Then there’s this Oven Baked Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad, which is an awesome salad alternative on warmer days! This recipe is a really great combination of spicy flavor and fresh veggies. 

Of course, there’s my favorite—Spicy Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas, which is a great homage to the traditional popular Jamaican dish. Made with a flavorful coconut milk base and seasoned with traditional Caribbean spices, this bowl of goodness comes packed with red kidney beans, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, red onions, dumplings, and a kick of heat for those who enjoy a bit of spiciness. Served with brown or basmati rice.

Who can forget these Hot + Spicy ‘Nine Mile’ Buffalo Chicken Wings, right? They definitely live up to their name—HOT + SPICY! Drenched in hot buffalo sauce with a hint of BBQ sauce and maple syrup to balance the heat, these wings remain a spicy staple inspired by Bob Marley and the Jamaican culture with bold uses of red pepper flakes + scotch bonnet peppers. 

Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

OK, let’s dig our spoons right into this recipe, shall we?

Start by adding the water and Almond milk to a large saucepan on medium-high heat, bringing it to a boil (about 4-5 minutes or so).

Gradually whisk in cornmeal (ensuring that lumps are prevented), until all cornmeal is incorporated.

Reduce the heat to low, covering the pot and allowing cornmeal to simmer and thicken, about 15 minutes. NOTE: Be sure to whisk every few minutes to further prevent lumps.

Once thick (meaning that cornmeal has swelled and cooked through), remove pot lid and whisk in vanilla extract, brown sugar, sea salt, condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of all spice, until all ingredients are fully incorporated and porridge becomes creamy.

Remove from heat and serve in prepared bowl(s). Top with toasted pecans and fresh berries of choice, if desired.

Bon Appetite!

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If you choose to make this Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge
Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Yellow Cornmeal, thickly cut grains (See Notes)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 cups Almond milk (You can also use your fave non-dairy milk instead)
  • 1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk (For Vegan option, see notes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of all spice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp organic brown sugar (For Vegan option; Sugar in the Raw is Vegan-approved!)

Instructions

  • Start by adding the water and Almond milk to a large saucepan on medium-high heat, bringing it to a boil (about 4-5 minutes or so).
  • Gradually whisk in cornmeal (ensuring that lumps are prevented), until all cornmeal is incorporated.
  • Reduce the heat to low, covering the pot and allowing cornmeal to simmer and thicken, about 15 minutes. NOTE: Be sure to whisk every few minutes to further prevent lumps.
  • Once thick (meaning that cornmeal has swelled and cooked through), remove pot lid and whisk in vanilla extract, brown sugar, sea salt, condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of all spice, until all ingredients are fully incorporated and porridge becomes creamy.
  • Remove from heat and serve in prepared bowl(s). Top with toasted pecans and fresh berries of choice, if desired.
  • Bon Appetite!

Tips & Tricks

VEGAN CONDENSED MILK: To substitute regular Sweetened Condensed Milk with a Vegan version, simply visit Kalissa’s Vegan Kitchen Recipe.
PECANS: In addition to using toasted pecans for topping, you can also incorporate it into your waffles if preferred. Simply add 1/2 cup toasted pecans in with other dry ingredients and continue remaining steps in recipe. See Recipe for Toasting Pecans.
YELLOW CORNMEAL: If thickly cut cornmeal isn’t preferred, using finely cut ones are just fine!
 

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Creamy Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge.

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  1. This.is.delicious!!!! I’ve never had cornmeal in anything except for cornbread. It’s so creamy, and I love all the spices in it. I could even eat it for dessert!

  2. INSANELY DELICIOUS!!
    Kept it vegan by adding condensed coconut milk (195 ml can – it was enough!) Thanks so much for sharing this recipe ❤

    • Hi Chloe! Awesome, I do hope that you enjoy it! You should be able to calculate the calories by googling a Calorie Calculator! 🙂

  3. What a wonderful and unique recipe. I think it has all my favorite flavors- vanilla, nutmeg-cinnamon. I might just add a pinch of cardamom too.

  4. Such a wonderful porridge recipe! It has been quite a while since I last made myself a good bowl of porridge, so the timing cuold not be better. I am very excited to try this recipe now – thank you!

  5. I have never heard that you could buy fat-free sweetened condensed milk before. Good to know that there is a healthier version available. Thanks for the tip.

    • Yes! I usually get it from Target, however, I’m sure that you can find this version in other retailers! Definitely a great option that is my Go-To!