Somehow, four bags of puffed millet ended up in our house.
They just kind of magically appeared in the cart at Fairway Market. “These will be great for making healthier rice crispy treats!” I explained. In response: my parents’ dubious stares. But I managed to get not one, not two, but four bags of puffed millet.
I used up one bag by sprinkling some on top of oatmeal or yogurt every morning. This took a long time. Three bags to go.
Unfortunately, puffed millet does not make a good sub for puffed rice. Puffed millet gets soggy very quickly, resulting not in crispy treats but in chewy treats. Still tasty, just not really what I was hoping for.
Two and a half bags to go.
However, for granola… puffed millet is absolutely delectable. The millet puffs toast up in the oven, resulting in a very light and crunchy mixture, perfect over yogurt or just by itself. A few nuts and dried fruits sprinkled throughout add a variety of textures and flavors. And the only sweetener? A 1/4 cup of maple syrup for the whole recipe. The end result is more of a trail-mix sort of granola–but those oft-desired granola clusters are not missed in the slightest.
I have since made this recipe a few more times and my alterations are noted by the strikeouts below; I like it with the non-struck-out ratios.
Puffed Millet Fruit & Nut Granola
Adapted from Lesser Evil
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 1 teaspoon almond extract
sprinkle of sea salt
3 2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, flaked or shredded
2 3 cups puffed millet
1 1.5 cup nuts of your choice – I used almonds, walnuts, and pecans
a few handfuls of raisins and craisins
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a glass measuring cup, first add the coconut oil to 1/4 cup, then maple syrup to reach 1/2 cup; pour in a large bowl (this helps get all the maple syrup out of the measuring cup easily). In a large bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and spices together. Add the nuts and coat with the wet mixture, then add the oats and millet. Coat evenly. Spread onto a large, rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, stir/toss/mix granola, and bake 10-15 more minutes or until golden brown; the nuts do tend to toast quickly so keep an eye on it during these last 10-15 minutes. Add the dried fruit and toss together; allow to cool completely (will take about an hour). Store in an airtight container.
Granola serving ideas: Topping for oatmeal, yogurt, frozen yogurt, banana softserve, or just simply eaten as cereal. I made a parfait, which was, in fact, parfait.
The addition of coconut makes this granola a bit higher in fat and calories, but coconut’s saturated fat is actually composed of medium chain fatty acids, not long chain. The body metabolizes coconut’s MCFAs a bit differently than the LCFAs found in meat or dairy. MCFAs go directly to the liver and are burned off, while LCFAs, being longer and more insoluble, must be broken down by bile and are eventually transported to and stored in adipose tissue. Some studies show that coconut oil also helps with satiety. So, I would not worry too much about it. Just, as always, practice moderation. Besides, one should eat a larger breakfast and smaller dinner… which is probably the opposite of what you’ve done your whole life, but better for a more restful sleep and happier metabolism.
While the granola bakes, enjoy the wonderful aromas that come from the toasting of the nuts and coconut flakes as they Maillard from just “good” to delectable. Adding the fruit at the end maintains their chewy softness, which is a delicious contrast to the crunch. The millet, so light yet packed with protein and B12, adds yet another dimension of texture and flavor. Paired with finely chopped strawberries and pineapple layered with Greek yogurt, this granola made a perfect post-run breakfast.
Two bags of puffed millet to go now. But they won’t be there for long. Granola they shall become!