A creamy cornmeal porridge made with coconut milk and warm spices and lightly sweetened with maple syrup. It’s a healthy, hearty alternative to oatmeal that makes for a simple and quick breakfast!
Warm spices, coconut milk, and cornmeal combine to create a delicious plant-based breakfast that is simple to make. While vegan cornbread muffins and vegan cornbread casserole are the more common ways to incorporate cornmeal into your recipes, I know this cornmeal porridge will quickly become a favorite.
🥣 Where Does Cornmeal Porridge Originate?
This cornmeal porridge recipe originated in Jamaica. It is the perfect alternative to oatmeal. It’s made similarly by boiling water, and in this case coconut milk, and then allowing the cornmeal to cook and thicken. Warm spices are added for flavor and then finished with a hint of maple syrup for sweetness.
Cornmeal porridge is a traditional Jamaican breakfast called “Cog” or “Pop.” It’s a popular meal in Jamaican households. It’s made with cornmeal, coconut milk, condensed milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg. My vegan version uses reduced-fat coconut milk to achieve a creamy texture, but instead of condensed milk, I add maple syrup to infuse it with sweetness.
It’s warm, comforting, and just sweet enough! Serve topped with your favorite fresh fruit.
💗 Why This Recipe Works
- If you’re bored by the usual oatmeal, this cornmeal porridge is new yet familiar. It’s that warm, comforting bowl of goodness that is sweetened to perfection, yet it has a different texture than oatmeal, giving it a creamy and hearty finish.
- This Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge is a staple recipe that’s quick and easy to make, which means it’s perfect for busy weekday mornings.
- This healthy and filling breakfast will keep you full and satisfied all morning!
- Quick and Easy to Make
- The natural sweetness of the maple syrup paired with the warm cinnamon and nutmeg brings out the flavor of the cornmeal and coconut milk.
- This recipe is vegan and gluten-free, making it suitable for people of any diet.
🥣 Key Ingredients and Notes
Cornmeal: I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Cornmeal. It has a coarser texture than other brands because they leave the corn bran and the corn germ in their cornmeal. As a result, it’s an excellent fiber source but has a coarser consistency. Do not use cornflour. It is not the same as cornmeal.
Coconut Milk: Use reduced-fat coconut milk from a can to keep the calories down. Coconut milk is an excellent source of healthy fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The body more rapidly breaks them down and uses them as energy rather than having it store as fat. It’s also low in cholesterol. Coconut milk adds a tropical flavor to the cornmeal and a creamy texture.
Spices: Infuse the coconut milk with the flavor of cinnamon by using a cinnamon stick. Once the cornmeal is cooked, add a touch of vanilla extract, ground nutmeg, and salt.
Maple Syrup: Traditional Cog recipes call for condensed milk. The condensed milk adds sweetness and a creamy consistency. However, I use maple syrup to keep this recipe on the healthier side and make it vegan. Reduce the overall sugar by using half the maple syrup, or leave it out completely.
- If you prefer finer-grain cornmeal, try using Doudlah Farms Organic Yellow Cornmeal.
- Feel free to use full-fat coconut milk if you prefer. However, coconut milk should not be substituted for other dairy-free milk. It is essential for the flavor of the porridge.
- Use coconut sugar instead of maple syrup if you prefer. Avoid brown sugar, as it is refined sugar and often not vegan-friendly.
- If you don’t have a cinnamon stick, add a ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon instead. Taste to ensure enough cinnamon to give the porridge enough flavor.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make Cornmeal Porridge
Step 1: Add 2 cups of water and one full can of coconut milk to a large saucepan or medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.
Step 2: Once the water has come to a boil, reduce to low heat. Slowly add the cornmeal mixture a little at a time, whisking consistently to avoid any lumps from forming.
Step 3: Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, whisking now and again to prevent clumping.
Step 4: Once the cornmeal has thickened, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, nutmeg, salt, and maple syrup. Whisk together until combined. Remove from heat.
Step 5: Remove the cinnamon stick from the pot. Add the porridge to 4 bowls, and serve topped with your favorite fruit and a dash of cinnamon.
💭 Expert Tip
Use fine cornmeal for a smooth consistency and coarse cornmeal for a heartier texture. Be sure to whisk consistently to avoid lumpy porridge.
- Serve topped with any fresh fruit you enjoy. Fresh berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries complement the porridge nicely. Or keep it tropical by adding diced mango, sliced banana, pineapple, and coconut flakes.
- Season with more warm spices by adding a ¼ teaspoon of ginger, allspice, or cloves.
Yes, it is a good source of fiber. Coconut milk is a good source of healthy fat, and this recipe is sweetened with refined sugar-free maple syrup. When prepared with light coconut milk and taking out the condensed milk, this recipe is a healthier take on the original. Itcomes in at 300 calories per serving, with 9 grams of fat, 13 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. See the recipe card for complete nutrition facts.
No! Cornmeal is not a bad carb, especially if you use organic cornmeal with the corn bran and corngerm still included. It is a gluten-free whole grain that is high in fiber. Cornmeal becomes unhealthy when it is added to recipes high in saturated fat or added sugar. To keep cornmeal healthy, combine it with other nutrient-rich ingredients, and avoid butter, oils, processed sugars, and dairy products high in saturated fat.
Cornmeal is a good plant source of protein, high in fiber, and gluten-free. It’s a rich source of complex carbohydrates, meaning you feel fuller longer. In addition, it’s a good source of vitamin A, which helps the function of the kidneys, lungs, and heart. It’s low in fat and calories. When preparing it, avoid adding heavy dairy products such as cream, butter, and cheese that increase the fat and calories and make this otherwise healthy grain unhealthy.
❄️ How to Store and Keep
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Warm in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds. Add more water or coconut milk to return the creamy texture, as the cornmeal will thicken and gel in the refrigerator.
😋 More Cornmeal Recipes!
- This recipe makes four large servings.
- If you are only making it for yourself, you can portion the rest of the servings into airtight containers and have almost a week’s breakfast work ready!
- A serving size is approximately 1 ½ cups.
- Add water and coconut milk to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk together to combine. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer. Slowly add the cornmeal a little at a time, whisking consistently to avoid any lumps from forming.
- Allow to cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, whisking every now and again to prevent clumping.
- Once the cornmeal has thickened add the vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and maple syrup. Whisk together until combined. Remove from heat.
- Remove the cinnamon stick from the pot. Add the porridge to 4 bowls, and serve topped with your favorite fruit and a dash of cinnamon.
- Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm in the microwave. You may want to add a bit more water or coconut milk to bring it back to a creamy texture, as it will firm up and gel when kept in the refrigerator.
- Whisk consistently to avoid lumpy porridge.
- When buying your cornmeal use a fine cornmeal for a creamier texture, or use a coarse cornmeal for a heartier texture.
- Reduce the overall sugar by using half the maple syrup, or leave it out completely.
- Add any fruit you like on top, or serve plain with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Reduce the overall fat and calories by substituting the coconut milk with almond milk or soy milk.
- Use coconut sugar instead of maple syrup if you prefer. Avoid brown sugar, as it is a refined sugar, and often not vegan friendly.