This one is for all of you porridge lovers out there. I’ve posted photos of our porridge on instagram before and always get asked for a recipe, so finally getting around to sharing this favorite one with you! This is our take on a West Indian classic dish of plantain porridge.
My husband grew up in back country hills of the St. James parish in Jamaica, and learned how to cook porridge along with other Jamaican classics from some of the best country cooks in the “bush” over a wood fire. This is where he learned how to develop deep flavors, and the importance of good ingredients.
In Jamaica you can make the most delicious meal with very little… a carrot, onion, garlic, tomato, scallion and thyme, because the produce grown in the country’s famous red dirt is really so much more flavorful than anything we’ve ever bought or even grown ourselves in the U.S. (And I think anything cooked over a wood fire in the country will always taste better anyway, right?!?)
Plantain porridge is traditionally made by grating unripe green plantains and cooking them in water and milk, sweetening it with sugar and flavoring it with cinnamon leaf and nutmeg. Often times fresh coconut milk is used in the cooking process too. We like to blend the plantain because it cooks quicker and becomes very smooth and creamy with this method.
This version is naturally sweetened solely with dates and sliced bananas to make it refined-sugar-free, but you can of course sweeten it with whatever sweetener you prefer.
You can find green plantains at most supermarkets these days, but if you’re having trouble sourcing them, unripe green bananas can also be used to make porridge in the same manner. The flavor will be a little different (still good) but the texture will be similar.
Plantains are the starchier cousin to bananas. The most common method of cooking plantains is to fry them, both ripe (yellow with brown streaks) and unripe (green and firm), which we love to do (as you’ve probably seen before if you watch my instagram stories).
Cinnamon leaf is very hard to come by in the states (what you see in the photos was brought back from Jamaica), but if you live in subtropical/tropical zones I highly suggest using it to flavor your porridge. The leaves of the cinnamon tree have the most wonderful aroma and flavor, not as harsh as commercially available cinnamon, and slightly floral. Mace is the outer waxy covering on nutmeg shells. If you have access to it, it adds a lovely spice flavor to the porridge, but it is completely optional.
I hope you give this one a try, it’s really very delicious and filling!
More Yummy Breakfast Recipes
- Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes
- Fried Sweet Plantains
- Easy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
- Vegan Peanut Butter Roasted Banana Waffles
- Vegan Tofu Quiche Recipe (Gluten Free)
- Blueberry Lemon Scones
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- 1 large green unripe plantain
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk such as soymilk or almond milk
- 10 medjool dates pitted
- 1 vanilla bean split
- 2 cinnamon sticks or several cinnamon leaves
- 1 piece mace optional
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup coconut milk optional
- 2 bananas peeled and sliced, optional
- Peel plantain by running the tip of a knife into the peel from top to bottom, 3-4 times. Use your fingers to peel away the skin. If you have trouble, just cut the peel off with a knife.
- Cut plantain into smaller pieces and add to blender along with water. Blend on high until the mixture is completely smooth without lumps.
- Rinse the blender out and add pitted dates and milk, blending on high until the dates are completely pureed. Set aside.
- Cook the plantain mixture on medium-high heat, stirring constantly to avoid lumps and burning, for about 5 minutes or until plantain mixture is thickened, opaque, shiny and smooth.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and pour in the date-milk mixture.
- Return the saucepan to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the porridge bubbles and has a thick yet pourable consistency. If it's too thick stir in a bit more milk. Remove from heat and stir in grated nutmeg.
- Store any leftover porridge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Green unripe bananas can be used in place of green plantains.
- Since the starchiness of each plantain will differ, you may need to add more milk to get to the consistency you like.
- Feel free to add any combo of milks you would like like almond milk, peanut milk, flax seed milk, etc.
- Other toppings to try: dried fruits like chopped dates, raisins, currants, etc all work nicely. Chopped nuts and seeds are yummy additions too.
Hand made wares in this post: Wooden spoon by Polder’s Old World Market.