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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Millet Pudding

millet pudding
Sometimes I am at a loss for what to eat for breakfast when I want something different but healthy, sustaining and satisfying. What I really like is a breakfast that is super-filling and grounding, something that will hold me for a while.

But when I want to mix things up a little, one really hearty and healthy breakfast I have is homemade millet pudding. This is basically just a half cup of millet (available in the bulk section of your natural foods store) cooked with about 2 cups of almond milk and a dash of cinnamon. (The cooked millet will come out to about 3 times the dry quantity).

To cook, bring the mixture to a boil, lower the flame and let it simmer about 20 minutes. Because of the nut milk, it may boil over if the flame is too high. Keep an eye on it. The end result is more like a porridge than a typical pudding, but my friend who shared this recipe with me calls it "pudding" so I am calling it that too. She made it with non-dairy chocolate chips inside and calls it Cocoa Millet Pudding. Yum! If you have a sweet tooth, you could add some honey. Or dress it up with nuts and raisins or whatever you can think of. You can also just cook millet with water and after it is cooked, add a little rice or almond milk if you prefer.

Which brings me to why millet is so good for you. Hopefully you will see why I think it is worth the trouble. First, millet is an honest to goodness whole grain! It is not just "made with whole grains" which have been pulverized, ground, rolled, cut, baked or anything else. It is the real deal. Aside from brown rice and maybe oats and barley, many of us hardly ever eat whole grains when they are still *whole*, if you know what I mean. So while it may seem like a lot of effort for what is essentially a breakfast cereal, the benefits of eating something completely unprocessed is that you get the maximum energy from the grain. No energy is lost by turning it into a flour.

Millet is one of those foods that has been largely pushed to the sidelines in the American diet. Many people think of it as great bird food. However, this stuff is not just for the birds! The health benefits of millet are numerous. Rich in protein and fiber, it is thought to help prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Although it takes a bit of time to make, this quantity will make 3 half cup portions of a very nutritious breakfast at 4 weight watchers points plus points and 166 calories each.


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