Breakfast. I just love breakfast. I would probably have a “breakfast style” meal anytime of the day. I mean, what’s wrong with oatmeal as a light evening meal?! I am one of those people who always looks forward to a huge breakfast buffet when staying overnight in a fancy hotel. And no I don’t have a problem with eating lots of food first thing in the morning…
Some research has shown that it is a good thing to eat within an hour of getting up as our blood sugar is naturally low after the long overnight fast. But for the first meal of the day to be beneficial to our health and metabolism, it is very important, WHAT foods we choose to start our day with. Most breakfast cereals that come in a plastic bag, stored in paper box, is often made from heavily processed grain, stripped from any beneficial nutrients. Sometimes sugar and salt is added to improve flavour too. Having a breakfast made from whole grains, will not just give you good quality carbohydrates and fibre. It will also give you a good amount of protein and important B-vitamins. I think we often forget that WHOLE grains contain a considerable amount of protein, because we are so use to thinking of refined grains as a source of refined carbohydrates only.
Porridge is probably the most popular breakfast in Ireland. But it is normally made from oats. This warming porridge is made from Millet flakes. Millet is a naturally gluten free grain and it has a slightly nutty flavour. The protein content in the grain is naturally high. About 12-15%. Using a different kind of grain makes a change from the usual oats. As I like a hot breakfast during the colder months, this will be my go-to breakfast for the next few months. To make it even more warming, I added some ground cinnamon and some ground cardamom to the flakes when cooking. Both spices are used traditionally for treating digestive upsets. Cinnamon has also shown to be effective to stabilise blood sugar. Top your porridge with some black berries and black currants, both high in Vitamin C and you have an immune boosting breakfast to protect you from any lurking winter-bugs 🙂
Spicy Millet Porridge
1/2 cup millet flakes
1 cup cold water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup mixed frozen black berries & black currants – substitute for any type of frozen berries you have at home
2 tbsp raw honey
shredded coconut, as topping – optional
Add millet flakes, water and spices to a heavy based pan. Slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer porridge until all liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning. In another pot, add berries and honey. Gently heat on while stirring until the berries are heated through and begins to soften and the honey is well melted. Serve the porridge in a bowl, topped with the warm berries, some coconut flakes and your choice of milk. Simple and nourishing.