Millet Porridge

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, soy-free, cane-sugar-free

Some people call eating breakfast a “good habit.”  I guess they do this because there are many, many people out there who (tragically) do not usually eat this assumed first meal of the day.  Their loved ones, doctors, and all health-minded literature encourage them to “get into the good habit of eating in the morning.”  I agree with this.  In fact, I applaud it.  (I nearly cry if, for some evil reason, I do not get to eat breakfast.)  But I also find it funny.

Calling breakfast a good habit is like calling inhaling oxygen a good habit.  It’s like patting yourself on the back for falling asleep at night.  It’s like bragging about the fact that you happened to drink a lot of liquid and then – excuse the blunt delivery – had a nice, long pee.

do believe breakfast is a good habit.  However, the fact that we even find ourselves discussing the importance of this good habit is a bit alarming, no?  Breaking the fast after 8 hours of sleep is normal for any and every animal.  When did we begin substituting a cup of coffee for morning nourishment?  Or worse, a cigarette?  Where, along the fabric of our history, did we begin believing going a full day without eating until dinner was normal?  That depriving ourselves of breakfast would make us skinnier, better?  That retraining our bodies and rewriting our basic instincts so that our morning hunger cues would simply vanish was a good idea?   Am I the only one who thinks something isn’t how it should be?

We are so estranged from nature that we don’t even recognize we are.

So let’s go back.  Ancient times, ancient grains.  Well, gluten free ancient grains… Cue to where we meet millet.  I am often thankful for going gluten-free if not for anything but discovering this glorious little grain.  Millet holds my heart.  Well, it shares it with that one guy in my life for whom I’m explosively thankful.  Coincidentally enough, he is the very reason I concocted this alternative dish.  He lived in Africa for a stretch, and he told me he used to eat “millet porridge” for breakfast every day there and fell in love with it.

This, he says, is identical.

This, I say, is something to make a habit of.

Millet Porridge

(for two)

1 cup whole millet (Optional: soaked for 7 hours and then toasted for 20 minutes in a 300˚ oven.  I do this because the millet I buy at my local grocery store is not pre-washed and it seems to have a slight bitter aftertaste).

2 cups water

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

dash of salt (a few shakes)

splash of vanilla extract

maple syrup to taste

soy-free Earth Balance to taste

sliced almonds, toasted pecans, or any nut of choice – to taste

1) Whether you choose to soak your millet is your own choice.  However, it is essential that you do toast it.  If you are toasting it without soaking, then I recommend toasting for 15 minutes at 300˚.  If you are toasting it just after soaking it, then I recommend toasting for a bit longer, 20 minutes, to be sure the water cooks out.
2) Once cool, grind your millet in your vita-mix or high speed blender. ***I suggest doing these first two steps with a larger amount of millet ahead of time, and storing it in a container in your fridge.  That way, you can take out a breakfast portion whenever you’d like.
3) Heat the almond milk and water in a saucepan over med-high heat.  Add a dash of salt and a splash of vanilla as it heats.
4) Once it becomes so hot it is steaming and nearly boiling, slowly pour in your ground millet while whisking constantly.
5) Lower the heat to medium, and continue whisking, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
6) After about 5 minutes, the millet will begin to thicken.  The moment it reaches the consistency of a thin pudding, take it off the heat and pour it into two bowls.  ***It’s better to take it off the heat sooner than later, as it will also continue to thicken once in your bowl!
7) I usually mix in about a tablespoon of maple syrup, a pat of Earth Balance, and a small handful of nuts on top.  Fix it as you like!

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43 Comments

Filed under Morning Glory

43 responses to “Millet Porridge

  1. Kim

    Hey Desi, that sounds delicious – I’m going to try it!

    Btw, I’ve heard mixed things about whether oatmeal is gluten-free. What do you think? If it passes muster for you, I’ve got a cold cereal I’d recommend.

    Hope you’re well,
    Kim

    • Hey Kim! So, so lovely to hear from you! :)
      Oats are naturally gluten free. However, oats are primarily grown and processed in the same vicinities as wheat, and so they are subject to contamination and therefore small amounts of gluten. People who are celiacs definitely should not risk eating regular oatmeal. Luckily there are companies like Bob’s Red Mill who make certified gluten-free oats using their own separate fields for growing and vicinities for packaging. This is what I buy! So yes, I would LOVE to check out the cold cereal you have to recommend! Bring it!
      xo
      Desi

      • Kim

        Hey Desi!

        Oh, I do get Bob’s Red Mill, though I started because it was the only organic one I saw on the shelf. Anyway, here’s my cereal. I usually mix up a big batch and keep it in the freezer – hope you like it!

        1 bag Bob’s Red Mill whole oats
        2 boxes organic raisins (the larger ones; not the tiny snack-sized ones)
        Roughly 8 oz of walnuts
        Roughly 6 oz of sliced almonds

        Ground flax seeds (I buy them whole, grind them in a coffee grinder, and store them in the freezer)
        Almond milk (I’m a fan of Pacific Natural Foods’)

        Each morning, I scoop out 1/3-1/2 cup of the mix, stir in a tablespoon or two of the flax seeds and top it off with almond milk. I let it sit for ~10 mins, until the oats and raisins have softened and absorbed some of the almond milk.

        Enjoy!
        Kim

      • Oh. My. That sounds DELICIOUS. I cannot wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe!!! I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas… and this is the perfect addition to my breakfast regimen to add some variety! Yay!! :)
        Desi

      • Kim

        Yay, I’m glad! Hope you like it!

  2. That porridge looks fabulous, Desi! I do like millet. I admit I’m a little hesitant to eat it lately since the recent pilot study showing that naturally gluten-free grains contained gluten from cross contamination just like oats do unless they are grown in dedicated fields, processed on dedicated equipment, and certified gluten free. I will have to find out if any of the millet is certified gluten free.

    Hugs,
    Shirley

    • Thanks, Shirley! Wow – I actually did not catch wind of this recent study… Something is telling me though that I’ve seen packaged millet, quinoa, and other grains with the “certified gluten free” seal of approval. I sure hope I’m not making that up! Keep me updated on what you learn!
      xoxo
      Desi

  3. Thanks for sharing such a unique recipe! I never thought of using millet in a breakfast porridge!!

    Do you think the recipe would turn out the same if I use millet flour instead of whole millet ground up? When you grind it, how fine are you grinding it?

    • Hey Stephanie! You could definitely try that. It might end up being a little too-er-goopy…? The ground millet is not as finely ground as flour, so it gives it some texture like cream of rice or cream of buckwheat hot cereals. If you do try it though, please report back! :)

  4. Kim

    Yum! Tried it this morning – delish!

  5. I made this breakfast now a few times & I loved it so much!

    Thanks again!! MMMMMM,…:)

    • YAY! So glad you love it as much as I do. I’m definitely addicted. In fact, I’m addicted to millet in general… I think it’s my favorite grain!

  6. It is my favourite grain too!! I love to use millet flour a lot in my baking!

  7. Totally buying millet when my quinoa supply runs dry. :)

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  9. I am sitting here doing my morning blog-read and eating this porridge and it.is.amazing.

    I sweetened mine with stevia and added vanilla and cinnamon and it’s like eating a decadent rice pudding. Yum!!!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  10. I made this with quinoa and it was delicious! thanks for posting. Just getting it on the blog now.

    • YUMMMM! Haven’t tried it with quinoa yet (millet is my FAVORITE grain…er… pseudo-grain, in fact), but I plan on doing so soon! Sounds scrumptious! Thanks for commenting! :)

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  14. Yummy! I’ll be reposting this on my blog in the next few days.

  15. Angela L.

    A-mazing! I’m pregnant & millet is great for warding off morning sickness & supplies a lot of nutrition for me and the baby. I’m so happy to have found this recipe, as there’s nothing I feel like more than nice, creamy, hot cereal in the morning! I crave this now!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    • Angela! Your comment made my day! I am SO happy that you and the baby are loving on millet porridge! I had no idea about millet’s power to ward off morning sickness… it just goes to show that food is our greatest medicine, right? :) xo

    • Well, you can call it oatmeal if you like but at OUR house-it is Three Bears Cereal. I fix it the same way eepcxt I add cinnamon to the boiling water. When done I top it with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of raw brown sugar for the girls. Would you believe that SweetCheeks always eats the sugar layer off first and asks for more?;>)I usually chop an apple & cinnamon up into the boiling water for myself-and sprinkle it with Truvia. So good!!!! xo Diana

  16. Kelly S.

    Do you think I could grind the millet in my coffee grinder which I use for nuts and seeds??

      • Kelly Smith

        Is this supposed to only make 2 servings? I halved the recipe, and it still made a lot! I’m hoping I can somehow reheat the leftovers. It was yummy…thanks for the recipe!

      • Using 1 cup of millet means 1/2 cup for each person. That is a full bowl of porridge each. I would definitely call that two servings. :) I’m happy you liked it, though! Thank you!

  17. Erica

    I am a huge millet fan. I love cooked millet with just avocados for lunch. I can’t wait to try this as I am a die-hard porridge fanatic! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Sarah W

    So if I am reading your recipe correctly, you call for 1 cup of toasted, ground millet and 4 cups of liquid for 2 servings, yes? (not 1 cup of whole, unground millet.) I’ve been looking for a millet porridge recipe and the ratios for grain to liquid vary wildly! Does the grinding make it take a lot more liquid? thanks!

    • Hi Sarah! Yes, it is 4 cups of liquid. However, it is 1 cup of WHOLE millet – not ground. The reason I use this much liquid is because I don’t like porridge when it is incredibly thick, dense, and sits in your stomach like a brick! This keeps it very creamy. Good luck!

    • Hi Jim! Thanks for your input. Pretty much every food we eat has goitrogens, all in different amounts. I don’t believe in demonizing any whole food… And I also believe in a varied diet. I make sure to eat a little of everything and don’t really obsess over things like this. :)

      • Laura

        Perhaps you are not hypothyroid but for those of us who are this is important information. Thank you Jim.

      • I actually have been hypothyroid in the past, but like I said: It’s a personal choice. I have healed my hypothyroidism and still eat plenty of millet. Thanks so much for your input, Jim! :)

  19. I made this for the first time but got a little creative… I added a bag of unsulfured dried apple rings, chopped to the cooking process with 1 tsp of cinnamon. My kitchen smelled like apple pie. Yum! Then I added a heaping tsp of almond butter, chopped 6-8 raw almonds, and mixed that well. Drizzled the dish with real maple syrup. Unbelievably delicious!

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