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creamy millet oatmeal with maple & strawberry compote

I’ve been away for a while because of our recent relocation across the country: we said farewell to Colorado in late March and arrived in New Jersey just as the moving truck began to unload our belongings.  A few rooms  still remind us that we are knee deep in boxes. But, overall we are getting there. As much as you can get there with three little ones in tow. It’s comic relief, really. How does one unpack any of one’s belongings with less than five minutes of uninterrupted time, you ask?? Perhaps I should rephrase that: Q: how do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time. My father has bestowed these words of wisdom upon me since I was a young girl.  I refer back to them quite often, actually.  It’s surprising the number of circumstances to which they can be applied.

As sad as it was to say goodbye to the Rockies, living in New Jersey really and truly is a new adventure for our family. Spring is in full bloom. And, seriously, if you’re lucky enough to be able to choose the time of year to move – well , this is it babycakes. Each day that passes is like a little present: something new pops up out of the ground, tulips are emerging, bushes are showing off their colorful buds, and trees are leafing out – all seeming to say – we welcome this much needed post-winter stretch….

The kids and I have been outside so much. Exploring parks, riding bikes on trails and adventuring in our wooded back yard. My children have bestowed the name of “the forest” upon New Jersey. Which is understandable seeing that we come from the “high plains” of the Rocky Mountain West, a place more  akin to The Central Plains than densely wooded areas in the East. To them, this truly is the forest. It’s too sweet.

This oatmeal recipe is something I started making last fall topped with gently stewed apples and cinnamon. I’ve continued to make it since then because it works so well with our rotation diet. That is the beauty of this recipe: it can be changed right along with the seasons. Millet has an inherently savory taste. But, topping it with the strawberries and maple syrup compote balances it quite nicely. And it’s hearty enough to get you through until lunchtime. For more protein-filled breakfast ideas, you can see my post here. Side note: If you don’t want to grind the millet (or don’t have a blender) you can simply cook the whole millet as is. The more water you add, the creamier the oatmeal.

This recipe is also my submission for this months Go Ahead Honey, it’s Gluten Free “Breakfast in Bed” hosted by the lovely Naomi over at Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried.

for the oatmeal:
1 cup uncooked millet, ground to a powder in your blender
3 cups filtered water (add 4 cups if you like it really creamy)
pinch salt

for the strawberry topping:
1 cup organic strawberries, pureed in a blender (you won’t need to add any water)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I prefer Grade B)
2 cups hulled and diced strawberries

1.) Put the millet, water and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. You’ll need to stir it occasionally until all the water has been absorbed. If you’re cooking the millet whole, you’ll need to cook it longer – say, 25 minutes.

2.) Place the pureed strawberries and maple syrup in a saucepan and simmer on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add in the diced strawberries, simmer two more minutes and remove from the heat.

3.) Pour the strawberry compote over the millet. Enjoy. Serves 2-3.

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9 responses to “creamy millet oatmeal with maple & strawberry compote”

  1. kelly said:

    I can’t wait to make this! It sounds like something the girls and I would adore. I’m so happy to hear you are all enjoying “the forest.” We sometimes miss that. Hopefully we can visit Andy’s family this August in Lake George, NY, and get our forest fix =)

    XOXO, Kelly

  2. Ari said:

    I eat millet porridge literally every morning (with differing toppings) because I’m completely addicted. Have you tried toasting the millet first? The aroma and taste is much more complex and wonderful that way.

  3. Stephanie said:

    Kelly,

    thank you!

    Lake George is such a gorgeous area. I sure hope you will be able to pay them a visit. Such a fun adventure:)
    I was fortunate enough to be there smack dab in the middle of summer. We took a boat ride with some friends and had lunch at this little resto overlooking the water. The food doesn’t figure prominently in my memory – I don’t think I could take my eye off the view!

  4. Stephanie said:

    Ari,

    Wow. Thanks for the hot tip about toasting! You know, now that I think of it, I actually thought about it at the time. But, my kids were so hungry (ok, me too :) ) I skipped that step thinking it wouldn’t make too much of a difference. Sounds like I am missing out! Will report back in a few days after I given it a go.

    I actually really appreciate the suggestion, Ari. It’s such a pleasure when there is an exchange between us. We can all learn from each other – I love that:)

  5. Jenn said:

    oh great! I’ve used whole millet for a “couscous” before but haven’t tried it in breakfast yet! my husband is going to love this idea!

  6. Stephanie said:

    Hi Jenn!

    I love millet couscous – moroccan spiced is my favorite – yum! If you give it a try – you’ll have to let me know
    what you (and he) thinks. Next time I make it I am going to change it up a little bit and toast it first, per Ari’s comment suggestion.

  7. gfe--gluten free easily said:

    I’ve recently been using millet more and more, Stephanie. This sounds like a wonderful breakfast that meets my current eating requirements … gf/df/rsf. So glad that you all are loving life in your new area! :-)

    Shirley

  8. Stephanie said:

    thank you, Shirley!
    So glad to hear you’ve found millet to be so useful. I’ve got the millet bug, too!
    It’s a pretty versatile grain. I like it for baking (structure) too – although too much of it tends to be overpowering taste-wise. I don’t know about you – but I find it so nice to have a healthy, protein-packed whole grain alternative to the (same old) rice!

  9. Eats and Plans « One Smile Ahead said:

    [...] breakfast was a millet porridge. I loosely based it on this creamy millet recipe. Blended 1/4 cup millet to flour, cooked it in 1/4 cup almond milk + 1 cup water (I ended up adding [...]

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