“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Weâ€™ve been hanging out with my good friend J.â€™s almost-eleven-year-old daughter V., the brave girl flew all the way from the UK to Vancouver by herself to spend summer with her â€˜Aunty Elsaâ€™!
Our summer has been less ordinary, and indeed fast, and like the quote above, it feels refreshingly new.
Weâ€™ve been spending our evenings on the beach, having dinners, catching sunsets and watching fireworks. Weâ€™ve also been on boat rides and other great adventures. And me, I’m rediscovering what makes this beautiful city magical in the summer.
We usually start our day off with breakfast, and talkâ€¦ and make plans for our day; sometimes I forget sheâ€™s a ten year old, sheâ€™s smarter and pluckier than I ever was at that age. And then, there are those moments that remind me of my ten-year-old self.
I love our breakfast time together, and testing out breakfast recipes on her – like this sweet corn polenta with toasted coconut, itâ€™s an update on the old polenta porridge, made extra divine by adding sweet corn and topped with crunchy toasted coconut chips.
I ate roasted corn and coconut when I was a child; itâ€™s an inexpensive popular street food in Ghana, and a yummy healthy combination children seem to love. Thin runny polenta porridge has a similar texture to a maize infant cereal also popular when I was little.
The tasty breakfast polenta is nourishing for adults too, itâ€™s creamy and filling, I toss a handful of peanuts in mine for a little protein boost, plus the combination of corn and peanuts is quite satisfying.
I used to toast my own coconut chips, which is quite easy to do, but I recently discovered roasted coconut chips from Trader Joeâ€™s â€“ theyâ€™re lightly sweetened and salted, and provide great crunch.
*To toast coconut chips, spread coconut chips in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300F for about 20 minutes; stir every 5 minutes to ensure that the coconut browns evenly, or spread coconut into a skillet and toast on stovetop over medium heat, stir frequently, until coconut is mostly golden brown.
Sweet Corn Polenta with Toasted Coconut
- 4 â€“ 5 cups of almond milk or your favourite type of milk (plus more for serving)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup polenta or cornmeal (coarse or fine)
- 1 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or cinnamon)
- Maple syrup or honey, to taste
- 1/2 – 1 cup toasted coconut chips*
- Nuts & fruits for topping
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring about 3 1/2 cups of almond milk to boil over medium heat
- Mix in polenta, lower heat and continuing stirring frequently until polenta is thick and creamy, between 10 â€“ 15 minutes
- Be sure to keep stirring to prevent lumps, sticking and burning
- Add sweet corn and about 1/2 cup more almond milk
- Add nutmeg and cardamom, and more almond milk depending on thick or thin you like your porridge
- Remove from heat, and serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup, milk and toppings of your favourite nuts and fruits