Did you have Cream of Wheat as a kid? Remember that bright red box of heavily processed wheat that delivered the creamiest bowl of porridge in 2.5 minutes? I adored having Cream of Wheat with milk, honey, a little butter and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. I developed my penchant for a sprinkle of sea salt on everything very early in life. I distinctly remember that creamy texture and mild (though slightly metallic) flavor that was so comforting on chilly mornings before school. I still crave it to this day, although I cannot remember the last time I had the original.
A few months ago, I was eating millet and had a lightbulb idea that millet would make the perfect cream of “wheat” — cream of millet! It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that reminded me of the Cream of Wheat of my childhood. A quick google search revealed that my idea was not all that original. It seems there are other cooks out there with the same nostalgia for Cream of Wheat. Oh well. I will add another Cream of Millet recipe to mix. This is a very simple recipe that yields an incredibly creamy and comforting bowl of porridge — the perfect blank canvas to any toppings your heart desires! It also has several advantages over the original: it is not processed, has more nuanced flavor and is naturally more nutrient dense (high in B vitamins, folate, zinc, iron and fiber). It is also gluten-free and great for babies and toddlers.
I have been making this recipe constantly over the last few months, especially on cold mornings when I crave something creamy and warming. The recipe does require grinding the millet in either a blender or food processor to achieve that creamy texture. I usually do this in my blender, because it’s always out and in use every day. I blend the millet — about 30 seconds or so — until finely ground with a bit of texture remaining, and I don’t bother cleaning the blender. I simply tap out any residue left behind, leaving it in perfectly fine shape for my smoothie later in the day. Easy enough. This mild porridge goes well with a variety of toppings. Here, I topped it with quickly caramelized bananas and blueberries, but I also love stewed berries (simply frozen berries heated with a bit of maple, cardamom and a pinch of vanilla) or my childhood toppings of milk, honey, butter (I now use ghee) and salt.
I wish you many cozy mornings with a nostalgic bowl of porridge! xo Maggie
Cream of Millet Porridge + Caramelized Bananas
Yield 2-3 servings
- 1 cup millet
- 1.5 cups water
- 1.5 cups milk of choice — I like coconut almond milk (the richer, the better!), plus more for serving
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, plus more for topping
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Caramelized Banana Topping (optional)
- 1 banana, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
- 1.5 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp Vanilla bean powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place millet in blender or food processor and pulse until mostly finely ground, with a bit of texture remaining.
- Place millet, water, milk, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a bowl and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until porridge has thickened and millet is tender — about 15-20 minutes. Millet absorbs a lot of liquid, so if the porridge is getting too dry, add more milk or water to maintain a creamy consistency.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in maple syrup and vanilla bean powder. Add banana slices and cook for a few minutes on each side until softened and caramelized. Remove from heat.
- Serve millet with caramelized bananas or any toppings you desire! I also added blueberries, hemp seeds, a little more coconut milk, maple syrup and, of course, a pinch of flaky sea salt.
Feel free to double or triple this recipe to have leftovers to reheat during the week. When reheating, you'll need to add more liquid.