If you are not Italian, chances are that you don’t know what polenta is let alone what to do with it.
Ten years ago I discovered this ingredient at a cooking demonstration. Admittedly, I still find it a strange ingredient to use as a starch in a main meal but there is one way in which form polenta can get me excited – porridge!
How Westerners can feast every morning on sugary, dry cereal with milk is beyond me and it is something I will never be able to comprehend. It looks unappetisingly like sawdust, tastes like junk and you are hungry one hour later. Porridge is a much better and more nutritious alternative for breakfast.
Polenta is basically rustic cornmeal and has a vibrant yellow colour. It contains vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, folate, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid. If that doesn’t convince you to try it, I don’t know what will.
The taste itself can be rather bland and boring but this is where you decadently add a lashing of butter to make it roll on your tongue, honey for sweetness, and seeds for interesting crunch and nuttiness. As you can see in the photo I like my porridge to be of a thicker consistency but there is nothing stopping you from making yours runnier.
- 250ml (1 cup) water
- 60g (2 oz) instant polenta
- salt, to taste
- 5ml (1 tsp) butter
- 5ml (1 tsp) honey
- 5ml (1 tsp) brown sugar [optional]
- 15ml (1 tbsp) mixed seeds, e.g. pumpkin, hemp, sesame, sunflower, etc.
- Bring water to the boil and add polenta in a steady stream, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk.
- For soft polenta cook for 1 minute. For firm polenta cook for 5 minutes and allow to set.
- Season to taste.
- Stir in the butter and honey.
- Sprinkle with seeds and serve immediately.
- In this recipe the quick-cook variety of polenta is used. I used Merchant Gourmet.
- If you would like to serve more people, simply multiply the ingredients used.
- It’s up to you how much butter, sugar, honey and seeds you put in your porridge. Please yourself!
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 213
- Sodium: 612 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 31 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 11 mg