Caribbean Oat Porridge

Caribbean Oat Porridge

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Pre-soaking oats: 4 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
75 Calories
1g Fat
14g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 75
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 3g
Calcium 25mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Porridge is a hot preparation of one or more grains (oats, buckwheat, millet, maize, rice, sorghum, or wheat) cooked in water or milk. It can be served with sweet or savory toppings, but in Jamaica, the term porridge traditionally refers to oatmeal, and the following preparation is very common throughout the Caribbean.

This recipe gets a wonderful flavor boost from cinnamon and nutmeg, and the raisins cooked right into the porridge give a nice, soft texture. Whole milk adds a creaminess so delicious the dish can pass as a dessert pudding. 

"This variation of oatmeal had a few new-to-me additions. Cooking the raisins with the oatmeal really did give them a nice soft texture and the freshly grated nutmeg added at the end gave it a nice, new-to-me flavor. I liked adding milk at the end but next time will add less sugar." —Carrie Parente

Caribbean Oat Porridge Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup raisins, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, or more to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Caribbean Oat Porridge ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Soak the oats in 1 cup of water for 4 minutes.

    Soak the oats in water

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. While the oats are soaking, bring the remaining 2 cups of water and the cinnamon stick to a boil in medium heat.

    water and cinnamon in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. When the water boils, add the soaked oats along with any residual soaking liquid.

    cinnamon stick and oats in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Stir in the rinsed raisins and reduce to low heat.

    add raisins to the oat mixture

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Cover the pot and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes very thick.

    oats cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Stir in the freshly grated nutmeg, sugar, and whole milk. Depending on your preference, you can add more milk and/or sugar. The consistency might seem a little thin at first, but the porridge will continue to thicken as it sits and become creamier.

    Caribbean Oat Porridge in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Tips

  • Keep in mind that a standard serving of oats is half a cup of dry oats combined with 1 cup of liquid.
  • Use non-dairy or low-fat milk for reduced calories, but remember that the porridge will be thinner.
  • If you want to reduce the calorie count, use stevia instead of sugar and skip the whole milk. Although the texture will be different, you can add lots of flavor in other ways, like using extra cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Add a spoonful of coconut oil to the mix for a silkier texture. It's a great source of energy before an intense workout. The oats are filling and will provide sustained energy without bloating your stomach.
  • If you're short on time, use quick oats in place of rolled oats but follow the package instructions to adjust the cooking time.

Other Combinations

Porridge doesn't have to be exclusively a breakfast dish, although it's always a good meal to start your day. Here are other ideas to make it the perfect snack, dessert, or savory side dish:

  • For breakfast: Alternate layers of chopped fruit (bananas, plantains, oranges, berries, apples, pears, or breadfruit) with the oats, greek yogurt, and sliced almonds or crushed cashews for a morning parfait.
  • As a sweet snack or dessert: Add combinations like coconut milk and dried coconut; sweetened condensed milk and chunky granola; chopped Brazil nuts and honey; or chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers for an oats s'more.
  • For dinner or side-dish: cook oats in vegetable broth with salt and pepper, then top with chopped carrots, greens, cubed potatoes, or peas.