There’s something about the word porridge that brings to mind nursery rhymes and simmering cauldrons. To be honest, porridge wasn’t in my lexicon, or in my cooking repertoire (apart from oatmeal, but that’s its own species), until I started feeding Ella solid foods when she was a baby (the same time that Little Miss Muffet re-entered my vocabulary). I found a great book on making porridges for babies from various grains and seeds, from barley to oats, rice, millet and quinoa. Soon I began to eat them too, admittedly at first out of lack of sleep and new-mom hunger (I won’t confess to the number of times I ate baby food slathered on bread and called it a sandwich). Ella has since had porridge almost every weekday morning (weekends are reserved for pancakes and French toast) and still loves it. So do I. Millet is hands-down our favorite. It has a gentle, nutty and almost sweet flavor with none of the sliminess you sometimes get with oatmeal (oatmeal also gives me sinus headaches; odd but true). It’s a warming, nutritious breakfast, and, best of all, the millet can be made ahead. I make a batch at the start of the week, then reheat portions in the morning, adding in whatever flavorings I’m in the mood for: cinnamon and/or cardamom; coconut oil, butter or ghee; dried and/or fresh fruit (depending on what we’ve got); applesauce or stevia for sweetness; a sprinkle of hemp, chia and/or flax seeds; kelp granules; and a drizzle of milk. Ella eats it all.
Fall has hit us with her customary back-to-school fervor. Post-Labor Day has seen a number of new work projects fall on my lap, along with cooler days and chilly mornings. Now more than ever I crave a warming, nutritious breakfast. Luckily it’s one I can share with my daughter. While the millet porridge doesn’t come from a simmering cauldron, nursery rhymes often do find their way to the table.
Millet Breakfast Porridge (GF)
This is a nutritious breakfast that both adults and kids love (it’s also a great way to sneak in some “good stuff” for kids). Customize the porridge with whatever spices, sweeteners and mix-ins you have or like.
- 3 cups water
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 cup millet
- Butter, coconut oil or ghee
- Cinnamon and/or cardamom
- Honey, maple syrup, applesauce or stevia to sweeten
- Flaky sea salt
- Fresh and/or dried fruit
- Hemp, chia and/or flax seeds
- Kelp granules
- Regular or nut milk
- If you have the time, soak the millet (soaking grains helps to remove phytic acid, which will help make their nutrients more absorbable). Cover the millet with warm water and let it sit at room temperature for anywhere from an hour to up to overnight. Drain and rinse. If you don’t have the time, don’t sweat it.
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of sea salt and the millet. Cover; reduce to low and simmer 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let sit off the heat 5 minutes. Serve the millet right away with the mix-ins of your choice, or transfer the millet to a dish and refrigerate. Do Ahead: The millet can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. To reheat, spoon some of the cold millet into a saucepan and add few splashes of water. Cook over gentle heat, breaking up any chunks with a spoon, until heated through and smooth.