A while back, I did a post on Quinoa and thought that I would do another one on a different grain; Millet.
Although millet is most often associated as the main ingredient in bird seed, it is not just “for the birds.” Creamy like mashed potatoes or fluffy like rice, millet is a delicious grain that can accompany many types of food. As with most grains, millet is available in markets throughout the year.
Millet is tiny in size and round in shape and can be white, gray, yellow or red. The most widely available form of millet found in stores is the hulled variety, although traditional couscous made from cracked millet can also be found. The term millet refers to a variety of grains, some of which do not belong to the same genus. – http://www.whfoods.org
I do make millet rather often and usually use it in place of rice or potatoes. I simply just boil it up for about 30 minutes and add a bit of salt and olive oil or a small bit of butter and eat it that way…but I was looking for something different to do with it.
Rather than make them into a porridge-like breakfast cereal, I was looking to make them into bars, something like a granola bar or a flapjack. Some recipes I came across used puffed millet. I inquired about trying to make them puffy at home, but from what I read, that’s nearly impossible as a high pressure system is used which could not be replicated at home. I also read that eating grains in their ‘puffed’ form reduces their nutrition value and also really isn’t that good for you due to the chemicals used to puff them up.
I did some searching and came across a couple of recipes for millet bars and decided to combine some ingredients from each to make up my own bars. I will say that most bars of this nature do call for some fat (butter) and sweetener (agave nectar, brown sugar, maple syrup) although it doesn’t appear to be a great deal of either. I will also say that at the moment I’m typing this, I haven’t yet made the bars, although by the time you get to the bottom of this post, I will have done so. I started typing this last night, just to get a bit of a head start considering all these words were in my head at the time and didn’t want to lose them, especially since I knew I was about to have either a glass of wine (or two) or a martini!
So until tomorrow….
Well here we are again (in case you’re wondering…martini) and the millet bars have been made, although they didn’t quite come out as I hoped. They taste OK, they just didn’t stay together like they should, so they’re in chunks rather than bars. I’m not sure why that is, perhaps I need to add a bit more liquid stuff or less dry stuff. (side note: I’m a day late in posting so these were actually made yesterday – today they’re a bit more set and held together and they taste pretty good!)
If you’d like to try your hand at these, please do.
*For the wheat bran/oat bran/wheat germ, I used a mixture of wheat bran and oat bran. I didn’t have any wheat germ, but I saw recipes that called for it, so am including it here. Use any mix of them you wish, or just use one or two of them – the choice is yours!
~~OAT, MILLET AND NUT BARS~~
1 C rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 C millet seeds
1/2 C wheat bran/oat bran/wheat germ*
1 C nuts, chopped (any combo of what you like – I used pecans, walnuts and almonds)
1/2 C seeds (again, any combo – I used sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, linseed/flax and hemp)
1/2 C dates, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter (no sugar added)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9″ X 13″ baking dish or line with parchment paper and set aside.
While this is in the oven, combine the wet ingredients and the salt in a sauce pan large enough to hold all the nuts/grains. Heat gently and stir until warm and dissolved. Do not let it boil or it will start to burn. (do as I say, not as I did!)
Remove the nuts/grains from oven and turn temperature down to 150C/300F. Add the grains to the saucepan and stir to combine.
I put the chunks into a plastic bag. Whatever crumbs I had left, I put into a bowl and added milk. It makes a nice cereal too!