In a way, I'm glad I've been mostly working from home these days, as there's been no happy weather. After everyone was slowly trying to get life back to "normal," in recovery from the hurricane, here came a nasty snow storm. Wind breaking and turning inside out everyone's cheap umbrellas (yes, there's is actually a quality and endurance difference, but I'm still buying the $8.00 ones, which end up being more expensive, but the Burberry's one will have to wait), slushy sidewalks, red noses, wet everythings and dark skies...
It's tea drinking mood, sweats (OK, pajamas), thick socks, fluffy sleepers, soups, crockpot-cooked meals and porridges time. Yes, smooth, warm, creamy, slightly spiced, sweet and comforting porridges. Warmth sliding down the throat, smoothly, delicately, comfortably... Needless to say, lots of oatmeal. But today I was in the mood for something different.
I had some left over coconut milk in the fridge and I decided to give millet a try for breakfast.
Most of us have at some point heard the word millet, but few people keep it in their cupboard. Well, here we go, then: millet is a main ingredient in birdseed and just as it happens with quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat, it is not technically a grain, but a seed that behaves like a grain.
The term millet, actually refers to a variety of grains from the same grass family, not a specific one, and that's why it can be white, red, yellow or grayish.
A tiny round ancient seed, that resists draughts well, millet originated in Ethiopia, and it's a common ingredient in African, Indian and Asian cuisines. Before the discovery of the New World, it was a popular food in Europe, that eventually was replaced by potatoes and corn, and reserved mostly for animal feed.
However, with the current revival of ancient grains, the increasing incidence of celiac disease and gluten intolerance (millet is gluten free), and the recognition of whole, unprocessed grains as health-promoting and maintaining foods, these little guys are making a comeback.
They are mild in flavor, easy to digest, inexpensive and high in heart-protective magnesium and contains a good amount of protein. Millet is also a good source of phosphorus, which is necessary for cellular and genetic structure, bone formation, and energy production; manganese (an essential enzyme activator), powerful antioxidants and fiber.
For best tasting results, it's good to toast millet before cooking it. Millet should be placed in a hot, dry skillet over medium high heat, and moved around constantly with a heat-proof spatula for about 5 minutes. Until a toasty smell and mild browning are perceived. Then, it can be cooked in cold liquid (3 parts liquid to 1 part millet, for a rice-like texture, or a bit more for a loser, creamier one) for about 25 minutes. Then it should stand in the pan, covered with heat turned off for 5-8 minutes.
- Free of: dairy, nuts, eggs, sugar, soy, wheat and gluten
- Super ingredients: millet, pear, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon