Millet is one of those grains that people often don’t know what to do with. It is an ancient food that is still a staple in many parts of the world today.
In its whole form, it comes as small rounded grains. Although you can buy it in flaked form or use it when it has been ground down to a meal.
Millet has an excellent nutritional profile, it’s supportive to health and creams up wonderfully – so I thought it was about time it received a lot more love here on my website! In this porridge recipe, I am using millet flakes that I bought from a health food store. You can also use ground down whole millet to similar effect.
What is so good about millet?
It’s gluten-free, quick to cook, it grows easily in harsh, dry conditions. It’s thought that it originally came from Africa and then migrated through Asia and the Middle East over 10,000 years ago. Millet is here to stay!
Millet contains impressive levels of phosphorus. Phosphorus is the second most common mineral in our bodies. It’s important for bone health, DNA production, kidney function, nerve and muscle function and acid balance. It has apparently also been shown to promote heart health and reduce the risk of heart attack (especially in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease).
Millet is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is known for helping to reduce blood pressure and support a healthy heart. It is required for the health of every organ in the body, especially the heart, kidney and muscles.
Excellent gluten-free grain
Millet is an excellent gluten-free alternative to wheat and other grains. It’s naturally alkalising and is really easy to digest.
Millet contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid responsible for generating serotonin. Serotonin helps to improve our mood. A big yes please to tryptophan then!
Millet is fabulous for anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are key in keeping the body healthy and free from the damage that oxidation can cause.
I use millet in different ways, although one of my favourite things to use it for is in porridge when the colder weather sets in. For porridge, I usually purchase my millet in the form of ‘flakes’ from the health food store. If I don’t have flakes to hand, then I’ll grind down some of the whole millet grains instead.
For this recipe, I am using a banana to naturally sweeten. This also adds to the delightful creaminess. If you like it extra sweet, then just add a bit of coconut sugar or maple syrup at the end.
I like to add a little pure, creamy, coconut milk (from a can) to mine too. You can add as little or as much of this as you like, depending on your preferred taste. If you don’t have coconut, just add any plant-based milk of choice instead.
OK let’s make this Creamy Millet & Banana Porridge!
- 50g millet flakes (just under 1/3 cup)
- 200ml water (approx) - (a little more than 3/4 cup)
- 1 medium banana
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk
- The amount of water you need for this might vary. Start with less and add more as required. If you want to use more coconut milk for a delightful coconut infusion, then simply add more but swap out for some of the water.
- Add the millet and water to a pan and turn on the heat. Bring to the boil and then turn down to allow to simmer.
- Chop the banana into thin slices and add to the pan.
- Stir regularly for at least 15 minutes (longer time is fine too). The banana will 'melt' into the porridge to help form extra creaminess. You can assist this process with your spoon, by pressing down on banana lumps as they soften.
- If the water boils off, then add a touch more, as required.
- Add the coconut milk near the end of the cooking period.
- Enjoy right away.