Porridge is a widely consumed breakfast. You can find it in almost every cuisine. The most commonly used ingredient in porridge is oats. However, not many know that we can use other ingredients instead of oats as well. For instance, millet is an underrated yet amazing ingredient that you can use to make breakfast porridge. So, for those who like to enjoy a vegan and healthy breakfast, millet porridge is just the perfect recipe for you to try out! It has a fluffy texture and is loaded with nutrients and minerals.
What is millet?
Millet is among the ancient grains that are known for its versatility and several health benefits. It is widely grown in Asian and African countries and is usually a part of bird feed. However, it is a grain but is widely used as a cereal. You can easily find it in every grocery store. It is small in size and round in shape.
Health benefits of millet
Millet is loaded with nutrition and health benefits. Because of this reason, it has been used instead of rice or wheat since ancient times. Even today, millet is widely consumed in third-world countries. That is not only because it is very affordable and economical but also because it is very beneficial for human health. Here are some of the amazing health benefits of millet:
- It is high in iron. Therefore, for those who have iron deficiency, millet is a great food to consume.
- Rich source of protein. It is also gluten-free, which is another plus point.
- It is rich in plant-based antioxidants, which help in protecting the body against several diseases.
- Millet is high in fiber. As a result, it improves the digestive system and regulates bowel movement. It also aids in controlling the sugar level in the blood.
- It is also high in calcium which helps in promoting bone health.
Types of millet
Millet comes in several different types. All these types are equally healthy and safe to be consumed by people. Here are a few commonly used types of millet:
- Pearl millet: It is the most widely consumed type. A small grain that looks like a pearl, hence the name pearl millet. It is most widely grown in the Indian subcontinent and Africa. It is high in iron and other minerals.
- Foxtail: This is the second most grown millet type. Usually grown in central Asian regions. It is often used in the form of flour or semolina. Foxtail is also high in iron and calcium.
- Finger millet: It is the most common substitute for wheat or rice. It is gluten-free and is nutrient-rich.
Do you have to soak millet before cooking?
Soaking millet like other legumes or beans is not a compulsory thing. However, it is just a choice that offers several benefits. For one, when you soak millet, the seeds soften up. As a result, the cooking time reduces. Furthermore, it also helps to make the millet more digestible. Lastly, soaking it will remove some naturally occurring compounds that result in causing bloating in the stomach. Despite all this, soaking isn’t necessary. You can simply rinse it a few times, and that will also do the job.
You can make this porridge using five simple ingredients. Here is a detailed breakdown of everything you will need for this recipe:
- Millet: The main ingredient for this porridge is millet. It comes in dried forms that look like small seeds or cereal. You can easily get it from any grocery store. Make sure to look into the whole wheat aisle. However, there are several types of millet, the most commonly available in the pearl millet. However, you can choose whatever type is available to you. These all are perfectly safe for consumption.
- Water: You will need water to cook millet. Millet takes some time to cook. Therefore, water helps in providing the necessary moisture to cook it.
- Almond milk: Almond milk is an amazing plant-based ingredient that results in adding a rich and creamy texture to this porridge. It has slightly sweet which is clearly visible in the porridge. Substitute with coconut milk for a richer experience.
- Maple syrup: One of my all-time favorite ingredients for adding sweetness to anything is maple syrup. It is not just sweet but also has a complex caramel and toffee-like flavor. If you don’t have maple syrup, you can add agave syrup as well. Furthermore, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or a sugar-free sweetener also works really well. However, you will have to adjust the quantity according to your liking.
- Vanilla: It is an optional ingredient but adds flavor to this porridge and makes it interesting.
- Cinnamon: A dash of cinnamon adds warmth, sweetness, and a slightly woody flavor, which is just perfect to start your day. Especially in winter, adding cinnamon to this porridge makes all the difference.
- Salt: It will be amazing o see what a pinch of salt can do to the flavors of sweet porridge. It balances out the sweetness and intensifies the flavors as well.
How to make millet porridge?
Making millet porridge is very easy. It takes no more than 30 minutes to cook the porridge. It means you can start cooking it and get ready for work. By the time you are ready, and the porridge will be ready too. Here is how you can make this porridge:
Step 1: Start by washing the millet a few times. You can do that by washing it in a fine-mesh strainer. Furthermore, you can also soak it overnight. The main idea is to get rid of dirt and debris.
Step 2: Once it is washed, add it to a medium saucepan. Pour water and almond milk and mix. Place the saucepan on medium heat and let it come to a boil/.
Step 3: Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 25 minutes or until it is cooked through.
4: Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.
5: Now, take the saucepan off the heat and divide it into two parts. Add one part to a high-speed blender and blend for a few seconds. You can also use a hand blender. Now pour this blended porridge back into the saucepan along with the unblended porridge and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. You can skip blending altogether.
Step 6: Once everything is unified, serve it by garnishing it with your favorite fruits or nuts. Enjoy!
This millet porridge is simple, and that’s where the flavors come from. However, you can add a few extra ingredients to make it more wholesome and tasteful.
- Fruits: Once it is cool, serve it with freshly sliced bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. Fruits add flavor and freshness to this porridge.
- Nuts: You can top it up with chopped nuts like cashews, almonds, pecans, etc.
- Dried Fruits: Dried fruits like dates, dried mulberries, raisins, etc., are jam-packed with energy. They do not just add flavor but texture to this porridge as well.
Can you cook millet porridge in an instant pot?
Absolutely! If you are running late or want a quick breakfast fix, I prefer you cook it in the instant pot. It will take no more than 10 minutes. Cook at high pressure, and you will get instant results. This is a very convenient way to cook porridge. However, the texture may vary slightly when compared to stovetop cooked porridge.
How to store millet porridge?
You can store the leftover millet porridge by placing it in an airtight container and storing it in a refrigerator for up to a week. Thus, it is a perfect dish you can prepare in advance and store for later use. Moreover, you can reheat it on the stovetop. Add a splash of coconut milk if necessary to get the creamy texture you like.
Other Millet Recipes To Prepare
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- Energy: 266 kcal / 1112 kJ
- Fat: 3.1 g
- Protein: 5.9 g
- Carbs: 52.8 g
- Preparation: 5 min
- Cooking: 30 min
- Ready in: 35 min
- For: 4 servings
- Wash the millet a few times using a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the dirt and debris.
- In a saucepan, pour water and almond milk.
- Add washed millet and place the saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and mix well. Once the millet is cooks, remove half of the millet and blend it in a high-speed blender or using a hand blender.
- Combine it with the unblended cooked millet and let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until you get the consistency you require.
- Garnish with fresh fruits, nuts and serve.