I have been transitioning away from traditional oatmeal and have discovered a wonderful alternative: Millet Porridge. This simple recipe is packed with nutrient dense, whole food energy.
Millet is a tiny-sized grain that is gluten-free and considered the only alkaline-forming grain. It can be cooked to be fluffy or as a more creamy, mushy texture. With a nutty flavor, it can be enjoyed in both savory and sweet recipes. Major health benefits include:
*Good source of minerals iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese
*Good source of plant-based protein (15%) including essential amino acids methionine
*High source of dietary fiber
*Rich in B-complex vitamins including niacin, folacin, thiamin, and riboflavin
*Rich in photochemicals including phytic acid, which is believed to lower cholesterol, and phytate, which is associated with reducing cancer risks
Note: millet should be consumed in moderation, especially for those with hypothyroidism conditions
Millet Porridge Recipe:
To enhance the digestibility and absorption of nutrients, it is recommended to soak the millet overnight in water (adding a small amount of lemon or apple cider vinegar with the soaking will further boost digestibility).
In a small sauce pan, add 1/3 cup millet (hulled and soaked) and 1 cup of water. Turn to medium heat and bring to a light boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and continue cooking (without stirring). Within 3-5 minutes, most of the water will be absorbed. Depending on the texture you prefer, you can add more water for a more mushy texture. Remove from heat before all the water is absorbed. Stir and add additional ingredients to boost flavor profile.
My favorite way to enhance this porridge flavor is by adding raisins and 1 date to the boiling process. I often also add a tsp of grated orange rind. After cooking, I stir in fresh or frozen blueberries and a pinch of cinnamon. I finish it off with sliced banana and unsweetened dried coconut.
*Most recipes suggest using varieties of milk to enhance the ‘creaminess’. I find using water is sufficient creating a soft ‘polenta-like’ consistency. If using a non-dairy milk, I encourage you to use hemp, rice, or coconut milk and to avoid almond milk. Almond milk and overall almond production is a major factor in the decline of bee colonies.
*Many recipes ‘roast’ the millet prior to boiling to enhance the nutty flavor. I do not do this step as I prefer to reduce cooking as much as possible to retain nutritional quality.
*Play with flavors and spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and orange rind.
*Add raw nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts) or seeds (hemp, ground flax, sun flower, pumpkin).
*Enjoy with fruit (apples, pears, peaches, berries, bananas,).
*I find adding 1 date in the cooking process offers plenty of sweetness, but you can add additional sweetening like maple syrup or coconut sugar.