I am real porridge addict, I just never seem to get tired of it. I imagine I am not alone with this one 🙂 . Since I always tell my clients that variety is the spice of life, I like try to take a leaf out of my own book and have variations of my favourite breakfasts. Millet porridge is at No. 1 of my porridge charts at the moment, so I thought I would share it with you. Be careful though, because it’s so good, you might have difficulty going back to the traditional oat. But I will have some more porridge options coming up in the next few weeks, so no worries about that.
Now, why millet ? I have to admit, the first time I saw it , it reminded me on my pet budgie, who used to munch on the tiny grains most days. Not only good for budgies, it’s good for us too. Millet is rich in gut health promoting insoluble fibers and it is gluten free, which I love because it is easy to digest for most ,and as a psoriasis sufferer I try and stay away from gluten as much as I can. Technically speaking it actually isn’t a grain but a seed, which may explain the absence of gluten. Millet also is an excellent source of minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Now, magnesium is one of my favourite relaxant and energy production supporting nutrients. Furthermore, it is a co-factor for over 300 enzymes, which means it is needed for their function in the body. That’s why I like to stock up on magnesium rich foods when ever I can, especially during stressful times.
When preparing whole grains, I like to soak them well before cooking , as it helps to break down their protective layer of phytic acid, which also makes it easier to digest them. An additional bonus is that it reduces the cooking time as well. Phytic acid is the principal store for phosphorus in seeds, grains and pulses, it is thought to support the growth of the seed. However for humans and animals it is hard to digest and acts as an anti-nutrient, because it has a high mineral binding potency, especially for iron and zinc and may inhibit their absorption. Therefore it’s a good idea to remove the phytic acid through soaking or fermentation. So, it comes at no surprise that you will almost always find some kind of grain or seed sitting around soaking in water on my kitchen counter.
It really does not take much time to prep it either, I tend to start off the soaking process in the evenings before going to bed. That way the grains are ready in the morning for breakfast or the following evening for dinner. You can easily leave them soaking for two or three days, just make sure the grains are always covered with plenty of water and best to put a towel on top, just to keep any peckish bugs away. 🙂 Rinse well before further preparation.
As a porridge topping I chose a deliciously spiced plum compote, one of the regulars on my autumn menu. Plums are not only super yummy, they are also rich in soluble fiber and have not only shown to help support digestion but also blood sugar balance by the means of delaying the absorption of glucose after eating. There are over 2000 different varieties of plums available, so you will be spoiled for choice a lot of the time. Being in Germany, I chose the traditional ‘Zwetschge’, as you can see in the picture. Aren’t they just so pretty ? These beautiful purple fruit are also rich in phenols, which are high potency antioxidants.
Now, let’s get started. Here is what you need and how to prepare it:
Millet porridge with spiced plum compote
Ingredients ( ideally organic): serves 2-4
200-400g whole grain millet – soaked in fresh water over night
1/2 vanilla pod (scrape out and add content and pod to the porridge)
250ml-500ml oat or rice milk
125ml-250ml fresh water
2 medjool dates (optional)
a pinch of sea salt ( optional)
500g fresh plums
200-25ml fresh water
6 medjool dates
4 prunes (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
1/2 tsp ground ginger
I usually prepare the compote the day before or if it’s a Saturday and I am not in a rush I like to cook it fresh. All you need to do is to remove the pits ( stones), this is easiest done when cutting the plums in half, once de-pitted, quarter the plums to give them a nice shape for the compote. Then simply place the plums in a pot, add the water, spices and the dried fruit, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check on them now and then to make sure they have enough liquid to cook in. Once cooked, set aside to cool or enjoy straight away. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so, but usually it’s eaten before that time 🙂 .
For the millet porridge rinse the soaked millet, place in a pot, add the milk, half the water, the vanilla pod and dates. Bring to a boil , then turn down the heat and simmer until rich and creamy, keep stirring adding more water if needed. Sometimes I need to add more liquid, it just depends on the grains and how long they have been soaked. Adding a tiny bit of sea salt gives this delicious porridge a bit of an edge, but you want to be careful not to overdo it with the salt.
Serve the porridge with the cold or hot compote and for and extra crunch add some nuts or seeds. A pinch of cinnamon work a treat too.
That was easy wasn’t it 🙂 ?