Pumpkin Mush

January 16, 2014
1 Rating
Author Notes

Yup, mush. Cozy, comforting, soul-warming mush. This is basically a breakfast porridge made from polenta and pumpkin puree. I've adapted the recipe from Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book. As with most things that originate with Marion Cunningham, it's lovely. —fiveandspice

  • Makes 3 cups
  • 2 cups milk (non-dairy milk substitutes like almond or coconut milk also work well)
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup coarse ground cornmeal (grits)
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • For serving: butter, maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar, toasted nuts, dried or fresh fruit (you can also take this in a savory direction with Parmesan and eggs)
In This Recipe
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the milk, pumpkin, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir until smooth. Cover and heat over medium heat until it reaches a bare simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together the cornmeal and cold water in a smallish bowl (this will help prevent cornmeal lumps). When the milk-pumpkin mixture is warm, stir in the wet cornmeal.
  3. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened and is making big spluttery bubbles, about 15-25 minutes. Serve hot topped with butter, maple syrup, and nuts, or whatever other fixings you fancy.

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.