Sharing about cookbooks is one of my favorite aspects of food blogging. I love posting about the books I find interesting and supporting the art and the authors. I have a long list to post about over the next few weeks, but I still want to make sure I share plenty of my own recipes. I’ve decided that Fridays will be cookbook review day throughout the summer. So if you have a love of cookbooks be sure to swing back by for plenty of new ideas and recipes.
Even after several trips to Jamaica, I have never heard of peanut porridge. I know this because if I had ever encountered anything similar I would have written about it several times by now.
Thank goodness for the cookbook, Vegan Beans from Around the World by Kelsey Kinser. Without it, I may have never been introduced to this rich and creamy warm breakfast.
Peanut porridge in a bean cookbook? Yep. Because they are legumes, of course. In fact, this handy cookbook is full of bean dishes that go way beyond a slow cooker full of soup or stew. Chickpea Fries, Lebanese Spiced Lentil Pilaf and Korean Red Bean Soup are a few examples.
You know I’m food photo crazy when it comes to cookbooks, but this is one book that inspired me even without them. It reminded me of several basic recipes I should return to, while also giving me an array of brand new ideas.
What caught my attention about this porridge goes beyond how much I love Jamaica and the foods from there. It combines so many of my favorite ingredients. The cooking technique is interesting as well. You combine freshly ground peanuts and finely ground oats with other ingredients to form a batter which you then then pour into boiling water to cook.
It is similar to a peanut oatmeal, but the flavors are deeper and more complex. Another bonus is no sugar. The coconut sweetens it just slightly, but not enough to take over the rich flavor of the peanuts and nutmeg.
Just a note, the recipe says this serves 1 to 2. When compared to my normal servings of oatmeal this would be about 3 servings for me, so plan on large portions or having a little extra for leftovers.
Jamaican Peanut Porridge
© 2014 Kelsey Kinser. Reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press.
From the book:
Peanuts are common in a lot of African cuisine, and they made their way over to the Caribbean due to this. For an American unfamiliar with this type of dish, it’s a wonder to stumble across. If you like peanut butter, you’ll like this porridge. It’s basically peanut butter–flavored oatmeal served hot for breakfast. It’s high in protein and a yummy way to start your day the Jamaican way. You will need peanuts for this; peanut butter just doesn’t work the same.
Serves 1 to 2
1 cup oatmeal (quick cooking is fine; instant is not)
1 cup shelled raw peanuts
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
1⁄8 teaspoon fresh grated mace or nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup coconut milk
water as needed
In a food processor, grind the oatmeal into a powder. Set aside. In the same food processor, grind the peanuts until they are almost a smooth peanut butter.
In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with the salt.
While the water is coming to a boil, mix together the flour, powdered oatmeal, peanuts, mace or nutmeg, and cornmeal into a medium-sized bowl.
Using a spatula, stir in water (not the boiling water) until a loose, liquid paste is formed, which will take about 1 cup of water or so. This paste should be wet enough to be able to be poured.
Pour this paste into the boiling water. Stir until no lumps remain.
Reduce heat and cover partially, cooking on medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from sticking to the pot and burning.
Remove the lid and add the vanilla and the coconut milk. Cook on medium-high heat until the porridge no longer has a taste of raw flour and is the consistency you prefer, at least another couple of minutes. Serve.
Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review purposes. I was not required to write about it and received no compensation for doing so.
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