Monday, August 4, 2014

Millet and Chia Seed Breakfast Porridge

When I found out that my daughter was allergic to basically every grain except for kamut, millet, teff, and amaranth, I was at a complete loss as to what I was going to do.  Grains make so many wonderful things, especially things that are easy to grab for a quick snack such as cereal, crackers or granola.  I had no idea what to do with ANY of these grains.  It's not like they make crackers made out of only teff or only kamut (although they really should).  After doing some research on kamut, it quickly became my grain of choice.  As a form of wheat, I could pretty much sub it in place of any recipe that called for wheat and have it come out ok.  Unfortunately it's a little dry, but it's organic and non-gmo so I really can't complain too much since gluten free cooking can be a bit more problematic.  That still didn't solve the problem of what to do with the other grains, however. Teff is good but incredibly dense, and I didn't care much for the amaranth.

When a colleague suggested that I use millet as a replacement for rice, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out.  One of the things I had been craving like crazy was my grandmother's rice pudding.  It was actually more of a custard than a pudding; creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, goodness.  Sadly, the three main ingredients were milk, eggs, and rice, all of which were forbidden foods.  I decided I'd try to make it anyway without the three main ingredients using millet instead of rice.  The end result (this recipe) was nothing like my grandmother's pudding, but it is still very tasty and has become one of my favorite breakfast foods.  I like to make a big batch of it so that I can eat it for a few days.  It's easy to fix and keeps fairly decent in the fridge, although you will need to add a little extra milk to it as millet also tends to dry out a bit.  Millet is also incredibly cheap which is also a plus. 
In addition to being a good replacement for rice, the cooking process is also similar.  The only difference is that millet comes out better when toasted first.

I think that soy milk gives this recipe the best flavor, but I have used other milks in a pinch and it tastes just fine.

Add some puréed banana (Believe me you don't want to skip this part... unless of course your are allergic to bananas).

Millet and Chia Seed Breakfast Porridge
1cup millet
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/3 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
1 Tablespoon raw sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup raisins
1 banana
  1. In a saucepan, toast the millet over medium-high heat until it begins to turn golden and smell fragrant stirring frequently.  It will burn quickly so keep a close watch on it.
  2. Add the water and a drop of oil (optional) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Try to resist the urge to remove the lid as the millet will come out better if it is left covered.  Millet tends to be a bit crunchy so cook it longer if you want it a little softer.  Just don't overcook it or it will turn into mush.
  3. While the millet is cooking, heat 1 cup of the soy milk and the chia seeds over medium-high heat stirring continuously until it reaches a low boil.  Do not heat too hot or it will boil over.
  4. Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins to the soy milk mixture.  Set aside.
  5. In a blender or food processor puree the banana and the remaining 1/3 cup of soy milk.
  6. Add the banana mixture to the soy milk mixture and stir well.
  7. Add the soy milk mixture to the millet and mix thoroughly.  If the porridge seems dry add a little extra milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
  8. Top with fresh fruit if desired.

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