Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sassy Chai-Spiced Breakfast Polenta

Ingredients Lineup


FitSugar Chai-Spiced Polenta

I'm always on the lookout for new breakfast porridge/oatmeal flavors, so I was interested to try this chai-spiced polenta.  When I mentioned I was going to make this for myself for breakfast, Husband Jeff said, "I thought you didn't like chai?" Yes, that's true, I don't normally care for chai-flavored items, but I figured I would try this out.  Maybe my tastes had changed and evolved since I've gotten older.

Additional flavorings
I pulled the ingredients together for this recipe so I could take the picture.  It all seemed ok until I realized I didn't have cardamom.  That's totally crazy because I have a lot of spices (Husband Jeff had to re-build my spice rack because I've got so many!) and somehow I don't have that one??  Yep, totally true.  I looked up what other flavors go in chai and found a recipe that used cloves and nutmeg, so I added a small shake of each of those.

As per usual, I used almond milk instead of cow milk.  And I skipped the sweetener since I add a "float" on top of non-dairy creamer, which is usually sweet enough.

And I used instant polenta, which is awesome stuff.  It only takes five minutes to thicken once it comes to a boil.

Pot of polenta
It seemed like my pot took forever to come to a boil, so breakfast took much longer than normal.  Thankfully this was on Sunday, so I had all the time I wanted to make breakfast.


This was only ok, I guess I still don't like chai.  Actually, I think the main thing I didn't like about my version was the cloves, it's such a dark, intense flavor.  And it's weird, because I love the smell of cloves, but apparently not the taste. 

I think I should have added sweetener to the polenta as it cooked, the polenta was really boring aside from the intense spice blend that I didn't really care for.

Unfortunately I made a full batch of the polenta, which was four servings.  I had a few servings of oatmeal in the fridge as backup, but I figured that I would keep trying it to see if I could come up with something that I did like, so I had multiple opportunities to try to try to fix it up a bit.
  • First bowl, ate it as-is, only added a milk float. Not good.
  • For the second bowl, I added more cinnamon and 1/4 of an apple diced.  It didn't really help it, the clove flavor was still at the forefront. Bleh.
  • For the third bowl, I added more cinnamon, more ginger powder, crystallized ginger, and evaporated cane juice sugar, and skipped the milk float.  That was definitely better. I was actually planning to ditch the last serving since I was hating it so much, but this redeemed the polenta. 
  • The fourth bowl became spicy Mexican chocolate by adding 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, a sprinkle of cayenne, cane juice sugar, and more cinnamon. This reminded me of chocolate Malt-O-Meal, which I like, but this still wasn't very good.  
It was fun trying polenta for breakfast, which was ok once I figured out that it doesn't work when I try to eat it like oatmeal with a milk float.  I think I'm off chai-flavored items for a while, until I can get some cardamom and next time I'll skip the cloves.

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!