Showing posts with label whole grains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label whole grains. Show all posts

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Millet Pudding

You know that old saying "life is short, eat dessert first"?  I've gone that one better, "life is short, just eat dessert".  With this vegan millet pudding that should be no problem.  As a dessert I bet you it's way more nutritious than anything off the 'dollar menu' pretending to be a meal. 
As you may be aware I love millet, and I champion it's benefits every chance I get.  How happy was I to find like minded folks over at  Golden Prairie.  They actually grow the stuff!  If you need more convincing evidence of millet's awesomeness, please check them out.  When they sing about amber waves of grain I'm pretty sure they have Golden Prairie's fields of millet in mind.
I based this recipe off the one I found on the GP site with a few variations to make it my own.  It works as a kick-ass breakfast, quick lunch, afternoon snack and of course a delectable dessert. But if you want to go ahead and eat it for dinner that's fine by me too, because if I had my way I would just eat dessert.  
millet pudding
1/2 cup millet, rinsed and drained
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons flaked coconut
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
sliced almonds for garnish
Bring almond milk and salt to a boil in a small, heavy-bottomed pot.  Stir in millet, bring back to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the almond milk is absorbed and the millet is tender. (Millet may vary by brand so keep an eye as it cooks and add more liquid if needed and reduce or add more cooking time is necessary.)
Stir in honey, raisins, coconut and spices.  Cool and serve topped with sliced almonds.  Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

BBRS Pancakes

     Let me just start by saying I love pancakes. I can, have and will continue to have them for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and midnight snack. I love them with blueberries and maple syrup. I love them made with buckwheat flour. I love them with buttermilk and lots of butter. I love making them, flipping them, stacking them one on top another. I love making that first cut and forking up that first three-tiered wedge dripping with co-mingled butter and maple syrup. I. Love. Pancakes.
     I mean come on, who doesn't want cake for breakfast? Do you want cake for breakfast? Yes, please! OK, I'll make them. Them? You mean more then one? Yes, two, three sometimes even four! Four cakes for breakfast?! Yes! I like where this day is going!
    My favorite pancakes these days are blueberry buckwheat ricotta souffle pancakes. Or BBRS. I've adapted this recipe from the back of a bag of Hodgson Mill buckwheat flour. Yes, you've had blueberry pancakes, you've had buckwheat, you've had blueberry buckwheat, you've had blueberry ricotta souffle. But have you had blueberry buckwheat ricotta souffle?? It's a whole different animal and you really should take it for a ride. It's a pancake that's light, fluffy and meaty all at the same time. Grounded in dark grains of buckwheat and borne aloft by ethereal whipped egg white.  Held together with the tang and texture of ricotta cheese and all studded with glorious tart blueberries.
     Yes, you're going to have to get some bowls dirty. Yes, you're going to have to whip egg whites (well, one egg white). Yes, you're going to have to coach these cakes into a flat round shape. Is it worth it! Yes, yes, yes, it is soooo worth it!

Blueberry Buckwheat Ricotta Souffle Pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg separated 
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 Tablespoons melted butter plus more for the pan and even more for the finished pancakes 
2 cups of fresh blueberries, more or less
maple syrup for serving

In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a smaller bowl whisk milk and ricotta, add egg yolk and melted butter and combine. In a third bowl (clean, no grease or your white will not whip up), add egg white and whip by hand or use an electric hand mixer until you achieve soft peaks. Now is a good time to preheat your skillet and grease with a couple of pats of butter. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour mixture and fold gently, do not over mix. Next fold in beaten egg white and gently fold, the mixture will still be a little lumpy but that's OK. Make sure you skillet is hot and depending on the size, spoon out 2 or 3 dollops of batter (about 3 Tablespoons worth). Smooth the batter down to a four inch circle.  Embed 10 or 12 blueberries in each pancake. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook another minute or 2. Repeat until all batter is gone. Serve immediately with more butter and maple syrup. Yields 8 to 10 pancakes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Edith Piaf Pilaf

What does it say about us when we feed the birds with foods that in other parts of the world are used for human consumption? Does it say we‘re so well off we don’t need to eat bird food? Or does it say we‘re ignorant of the benefits of these foods?
Case in point, millet. Millet is the tiny white bead with the minuscule black spec found in common bird seed mix. But it’s not just for the birds. According to some sources millet is one of the top 10 most important grains in the world and sustains 1/3 of the world’s population. In this country millet is largely used for cattle feed and bird seed, but I think that’s about to change.
Although there are several verities of grain designated as millet (not all from the same genus) they all thrive in hot, dry climates where other grains will not grow. Considering the trend of hotter, dryer weather we’ve been experiencing lately you may be seeing a lot more millet in your future. Best to get a jump on it and start trying some new recipes now.

People all over the globe have been enjoying millet's sweet, earthy flavor and easy digestibility for ages, literately. Seeing as it was one of the earliest cultivated crops you can well imagine the variety of uses for millet that have come down to us through the millennia. Porridge, soup, stews, flat breads, and beverages (both alcoholic and non); it’s been boiled, steamed, puffed and baked whole in pastries. Depending on the amount of water and the cooking time, millet can be toothy like rice or downright soft like mashed potatoes. And when baked whole, millet yields to a pleasing crunch.
It’s not too shabby in the nutrition department either. Millet is a good source of magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, as well as fiber, protein and vitamin B3.
With all this in mind I set out to create a recipe for millet pilaf. I was guided by the theme of birds, so in addition to millet there are sunflower seeds and dried apricots which are cut into tiny pieces. The title, of course, is inspired by the petite Parisian chanteuse named after a sparrow. I predict we'll all be eating like birds soon, and with millet on our plates we'll even be crowing about it and  singing it's praises.

Edith Piaf Pilaf

1 cup millet, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
2 cups vegetable broth (or more, follow the package instructions)
1 cup fresh blanched peas, 
1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 Tablespoon fresh herbs, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted sunflowers seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Toast the millet in a heavy bottom pan, stirring often until grains are lightly browned and your kitchen smells like fresh baked bread. Cook according to the package instructions. Generally more time and more water will give you a creamery end product. 

As the millet is cooking you can blanch the peas and do all the fussy chopping that this recipe requires. Maybe the birds will be singing outside your window. This is a good time to toast the sunflower seeds. Again, heat a pan and add the seeds, stirring gently for about 5 minutes until they are lightly golden and your kitchen smells amazing. 

When the millet is ready, Add the minced fresh herbs (I used lemon thyme, rosemary and chives 'cause that's what's growing right outside my kitchen) to the olive oil in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add millet, peas and apricots and mix. Spoon into serving bowls and top with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Serves 4.