Oats are delicious. But, they get boring, right? Why not try my healthy version of traditional Jamaican cornmeal porridge? It is free of added sugars, low in saturated fat, nutritious and delicious!
I know that struggle.
You want to eat healthier, but you can’t give up traditional ‘rich’ foods.
Western cuisine is great. But you also want to enjoy traditional dumplings, fritters, porridge, stews and everything else that’s delicious, and not always forgiving to your waistline, or helpful for controlling your diabetes and high blood pressure.
I get it!
You don’t have to eliminate the foods you love. You only need to adapt the way you cook them.
What is Cornmeal Porridge
Cornmeal is a staple in many global cuisines . If you’re unfamiliar, it is made by grinding dried corn into a fine, medium or coarse flour. This flour is different from corn flour.
Italians typically use coarse cornmeal for polenta. Black Americans use fine or medium cornmeal for cornbread. And they use hominy (coarser cornmeal) for grits. Caribbean’s use fine or medium cornmeal to make a porridge that is fondly known as ‘cog’ or ‘pop’.
Cornmeal porridge is a traditional Caribbean breakfast. It makes a tasty alternative to oatmeal and processed breakfast cereals.
Traditional Caribbean cornmeal porridge is made with evaporated milk, canned coconut milk, sugar, and nutmeg. Undoubtedly, it is delicious. But, it is high in sugar, fat, and saturated fat.
For example, a traditional recipe per serving provides:
- 456 kcal
- 27.2g sugar
- 21.5g fat
- 16.5g saturated fat
It’s okay to eat the traditional recipe occasionally as a treat. But, it isn’t ideal daily.
High sugar, high fat (energy-dense) meals are more likely to cause fat storage when eaten particularly if you’re sedentary. They also cause huge spikes in your blood sugar – something best avoided daily if your overall diet is rich in refined carbohydrates and fat. And if you’re overweight, insulin-resistant or diabetic.
What makes my Cornmeal Porridge Healthier?
My recipe eliminates sugar and evaporated milk. And it replaces canned coconut milk with almond milk. I use Greek yoghurt for creaminess, richness, and a protein boost. Protein keeps you feeling satisfied for longer.
I top my porridge with milled flaxseeds, which provide essential omega-3 fats, and pumpkin seeds for zinc. Raspberries and pomegranate seeds provide natural sweetness, antioxidants and fibre. Fibre also keeps you satisfied for longer, and promotes digestive health.
My balanced recipe for cornmeal porridge is less sweet than the original. But it is nutritious and more ideal to eat daily.
Ready to make it?Print
A nutritious alternative to traditional Jamaican Cornmeal porridge that is free of added sugar and lower in saturated fat.
- 25g fine or medium cornmeal
- 225 almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Small handful raspberries
- 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon milled flaxseeds
- Pinch dessicated coconut (optional)
Combine cornmeal, almond milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring continuously.
Tranfer to a serving bowl. Top with Greek yoghurt, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and milled flaxseeds. Enjoy!
If you use medium or coarse cornmeal, you’ll need to cook for longer.
Dairy milk or another plant-based milk will work well in this recipe. However, the nutritional content will vary.
- Serving Size: Serves 1
- Calories: 205
- Sugar: 4.7g
- Fat: 9.5g
- Saturated Fat: 3.6g
- Carbohydrates: 23g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 6.9g
- Cholesterol: 7.5mg
Keywords: Cornmeal Porridge, Breakfast
- Cignarelli, A., Genchi, V.A., Perrini, S., Natalicchio, A., Laviola, L., and Giorgino, F. (2019) Insulin and Insulin Receptors in Adipose Tissue Development. Int J Mol Sci, 20(3), 759.
- Stinson, E.J., Piaggi, P., Ibrahim, M., Venti, C., Krakoff, J., and Votruba, S.B (2018) High fat and sugar consumption during ad libitum intake predicts weight gain. Obesity (Silver Spring), 26(4), 689-695.
- Seaman, D.R. (2013) Weight gain as a consequence of living a modern lifestyle: a discussion of barriers to effective weight control and how to overcome them. J Chiropractic Humanities, 20(1), 27-35/ .
- Hardy, O.T., Czech, M.P., and Corvera, S. (2012) What causes the insulin resistance underlying obesity. Curr Opin in Endocrinology Diabetes and Obesity, 19(2), 81-87.
- Paddon-Jones, D., Westman, E., Mattes, R.D., Wolfe, R.R., Astrup, A., Westerterp-Planteng, M. (2008) Protein, weight management, and satiety. The American Journal of Clinal Nutrition, 87(5), 1558S-1561S.
- Parikh, M., Maddaford, T.G., Austria, J.J., Aliani, M., Netticadan, T., and Pierce, G.N. (2019) Dietary flaxseed as a strategy for improving human health. Nutrients, 11(5), 1171.
- Martinec, N., Balbino, S., Dobša, J., Šimunić-Mežarić, V., and Legen, S. (2019) Macro- and microelements in pumpkin seed oils: Effect of processing, crop season, and country of origin. Food Science and Nutrition, 7(5), 1634-1644.
- Lattimer, J.M., and Haub, M.D. (2010) Effects of dietary fibre and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients, 2(12), 1266-1289.