My Millet Porridge Obsession, Detailed

If you've been following the trends in my blog writing recently, I can assume you have become aware of my fondness for millet porridge. Not even kidding, I could sing songs about the wonders of this delicious meal. Just ask my sister - I interrupted her important day at a conference in Virginia to exclaim just how wonderful my breakfast was and give her the directions to make it. Thankfully Rachel is a wonderful sport and received my detailed description with exuberance. How great it is having a sister that gets as excited about porridge as I do! Figures, since she's become quite the UK resident.

When I first started my voyage into this new lifestyle change just less than two months ago, millet was one of the grains I could consume. Before that, I had only used it once in a black bean sweet potato veggie burger. Otherwise, the small, golden orbs were completely foreign to me. I remember thinking, How do you even cook this stuff? when I scooped the grains out from the bulk bin over winter break when I first tried the grain. In fact, I'd never even heard of it - much less seen it - before my first encounter six months ago.

Two months into my change, and what do you know? Millet and I have become fast friends. Sometimes I worry I eat too much of it, but then I find comfort in the fact that it's just so darn fantastic and has a knack for making me smile. A true sign of friendship. Millet has become my go-to breakfast fixing, and with continuous practice, I've found that it's quite an adaptable grain. Grind it and add it to supplement your veggie burgers, eat it cooled with chopped veggies, or whisk up some porridge. You can't go wrong with millet. Especially when it's in its most magical form: porridge.

Having added some new faces to my food repertoire recently (i.e., coconut and apricots), the millet porridge I'd once fallen in love with has only become tastier. I'm about to share my well-guarded secrets for what I personally believe is the best millet porridge in the world! (I'm thinking of cooking it again for lunch and dinner after I'm done writing this post...)

The Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup millet
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup oat milk (or milk of your liking; homemade oat milk is sweeter, creamier, cheaper, and tastier than normal cow's milk, so I always recommend it)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower butter (or nut butter of your preference; cashew butter would be great in this as well)
  • 1 spear dried, sweetened papaya
  • 1 apricot
  • 1 Tbsp shredded coconut

The Procedure:

  1. Pre-soak the millet in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes - or more - to soften the grain. I've found that immediately throwing the millet in the pan without soaking yields a harder grain that can be difficult to chew, so the solution: softening it before you begin to cook it!
  2. After the millet has soaked, drain and rinse it using a fine sieve (the grains are small, so a typical colander won't do; your entire breakfast will be washed down the drain)
  3. Place 1 Tbsp of your butter in a pan over low heat, and let melt
  4. Add the soaked millet to the melted butter and let it toast on low (!!!) for several minutes, until it's slightly more golden. My method is to toast it as long as possible, just as long as there's no burnage going on, because I'm one of the least precise cookers. Sometimes it works, sometimes not...use your best judgment and sense of smell.
  5. When your millet has reached a satisfactory level of toastedness, add the 2/3 cup milk and 1/2 cup water to the pan, turning the heat up to high, and stirring every so often to keep the millet from sticking, as well as helping the milk mix with the water (it can get a bit stubborn).
  6. While the ingredients in the pan heat up, prepare your banana by smashing it up! The smoother it is, the easier it will be to get it to mix.
  7. Once the pan is at a steady simmer, add the 2 Tbsp applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla, smashed banana, 1 Tbsp sunflower butter, and remaining 1 Tbsp butter (you can always opt out of this; I just love the extra buttery flavor) and stir for a good 30 seconds-1 minute until everything is mixed in evenly.
  8. Reduce heat to low, and cover the pan for approx. 10-15 minutes, until the contents have thickened (if you want your porridge thinner, cook for less time; if you want it thicker, cook longer; if you've cooked it too long and want it thinner, you can add some milk to the top...the coolness will keep your tongue from burning, which is an added bonus).
  9. While letting the porridge thicken, dice the papaya spear and apricot into small pieces. The apricot especially will add some fabulous flavor and sweetness to the porridge. If you're lucky enough to have an apricot tree, go ahead and throw some fresh fruit in! Knowing you're using very local produce makes it taste even better...or at least I thought so ;)
  10. After the porridge has thickened to your liking, spoon it into a bowl and top with your diced papaya and apricot, as well as the shredded coconut.
  11. Pair with a nice brew of herbal tea, and enjoy!
The perfect pairing: millet porridge & herbal mint tea ...sorry I didn't do a great job with presentation; I just had to eat a few spoonfuls before snapping my photo

The perfect pairing: millet porridge & herbal mint tea
...sorry I didn't do a great job with presentation; I just had to eat a few spoonfuls before snapping my photo

Try it for yourself and see just how wonderful this breakfast option is! Like many other recipes you'll find on my blog, this is completely open to your interpretation. Don't like papaya? Use blueberries. Need some more protein? Add some whey...or whatever protein powder people use these days. Cacao powder and/or nibs are a great addition as well. This porridge is all about bringing happiness to your life, so make it what you want it to be! Like I said earlier, millet is a very adaptable grain, so use it to bring forth your most palatable flavors, and become a believer!

Let me know of any other creative ways to prepare this meal. In the meantime, I'm off to daydream about more millet recipes....