Friday, March 25, 2011

Foodie Fridays

It has been too long, again, since I've shared a yummy food idea with you all. My apologies. But you are all clever cookies and I know you've been cooking your family favourites just fine without me. ;-)

Here is a yummy way to change up the hot cereal routine in your house, and mix in some fruit, and nuts, and dairy (or some variation of it).

I'm a big fan of whole grains. You've heard me go on about quinoa (keen-wa) and we only use brown rice, and we only use 100% whole grain whole wheat in our breads. And so on. We also eat our fair share of large flake oatmeal (much to my eldest's chagrin).

Instead of oatmeal, though, some mornings we have millet. Have you ever eaten millet? You should. It is delicious! But not only that, here's the rest of the deal with millet:

It is delicious! (oh, wait. I already said that!) ;-)
By the numbers, 100g of millet has 7.3g of protein, 3.6g of fibre, 72g of whole grain carbohydrates, and 328 calories, and only 1g of fat! Woot! So far so good right?

Plus, from a global happiness perspective, millet is easy to grow, and easy to store, and full of amino acids that people without access to a healthy and varied diet need in order to live well. What I mean is, in parts of India and Africa, the hundreds of millions of poor who live on inadequate diets, can find great nutritional benefits in millet, and it is consumed in many forms during the day for the various meals (as a grain, as a fermented beverage, as a 'sweet') and the ease of growing and storing means that even where farming practices are a little lack-luster, this crop can be a means of sustenance for the people, and financial strength for the community. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

Are you sold yet? It cooks up light and fluffy, almost like couscous. We use it in stuffed peppers; I toss it in soups; It makes a good substitute for bulgur in tabbouleh; you can eat it as a pilaf.

Or you can eat it for breakfast. Millet cooks in a liquid to grain ratio of 2:1. For savory meals I'll use chicken broth, but for breakfast I use half apple juice and half water.

Today I brought 2.5 cups apple juice and 2.5 cups water to a boil, and then added 2.5 cups of millet. I turned down the heat to a low simmer and kept the lid on the pot. After 10-15 minutes I check the pot to see if the water has been absorbed and if the grain is fluffy. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes.

Then we serve it with a heap of sliced strawberries, raw almonds, and a splash of soy milk (or the real deal if you are so inclined). If my kids are feeling particularly sweet-toothish we add a pinch or two of brown sugar, but the apple juice is usually sufficient.

That amount feeds my 7 kids, and if I'm quick I can get a bowl-full too.

It is delicious, and it easily satisfies until lunch time. Give it a try, and tell me what you think!


Lindy said...

Millet is gluten free! I've been playing with Millet this week. We had millet cakes a few days ago (millet, brown rice, and sundried tomato boiled up in some stock, then a little parmesan and egg added to make 'cakes' upon which I served some really tasty chicken!) which I've been craving ever since.

Kate Hunter said...

Heard at our house, "Mom, is this bird seed?"

Carrie said...

Nice to meet you and find your site! Please forgive me for asking a silly question, but can I find millet in a regular, run of the mill, grocery store? And how is it sold? I'm fearful of buying a bulk of millet and then my kids hating it. BTW, my kids are super picky so maybe I can try first as a cooked grain substitute first? Thank you and I look forward to following you!
P.S. Love your reader, Kate's comment! Sounds like my kids :)