Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nutmeg Spinach & Millet Breakfast


So far this week I've featured oatmeal, polenta, millet, and quinoa as healthful, budget-wise breakfast grains.

At approximately one dollar a pound the savings on whole grains bought in bulk, compared to boxed and prepared cereals, is about 2 to 4 dollars a pound.

And without the sweeteners, sodium, preservatives etc., making your own breakfast from scratch with whole grains is one of the healthiest and smartest things you can to do start your day.

Yesterday, I made reference to millet's high-protein content, ditto quinoa and buckwheat. These 3 grains, plus amaranth, have more protein per 100 g than soy and each has all the essential amino acids.

The health and budget benefits are obvious, I'm guessing it's the convenience of use that may have some readers resisting swapping out prepared granola for whole grains.

Bar oatmeal, the aforementioned grains require about 30-plus minutes of cooking so I advised in Tuesday's post cooking a batch of your choice of grain ahead of time and storing it in the fridge for re-heating and consumption the following morning.

I cooked half a cup of millet earlier this week and this morning I ate the last of it, so half a cup or about a quarter of a pound of millet (approximately 25 cents worth), has been the basis of three breakfasts.

And rather than add primarily sweet (dried fruits, honey, marmalade) and or nut and seed toppings, today I decided on savory additions.

As you can see in the pic above and to the left, my breakfast mix consisted of cooked millet, baby spinach leaves, raisins, a dash of nutmeg and some butter for cooking.

Firstly I tossed the butter into my skillet, followed by the cooked millet, nutmeg, then the raisins and the spinach. I stirred the lot with a fork over medium heat until the spinach had wilted slightly -- about 5 mins.

Nutmeg is delicious with spinach. It's sweet, nutty and aromatic flavor compliments the mildly bitter flavor of spinach.

Consider swapping spinach out for kale, chard or beet greens, picking the youngest, most delicate leaves so as to avoid chewing through fibrous greens at breakfast.

If I were to add a nut to this dish, it would be pine nuts since their buttery texture and flavor adds richness, but pine nuts are spendy so I just used butter.

Try swapping out millet for quinoa or polenta or brown rice; the combination of spinach, raisins, nutmeg, butter or pine nuts with any of these grains would work well.

Having mentioned buckwheat as another breakfast grain option, rather than re-print the recipe for buckwheat granola here, I'm going to suggest you follow the link to the post I made back in June. One of my readers volunteered her recipe for that post.

Amy's gluten-free granola calls for buckwheat groats, seeds, nut butter and coconut oil. According to the number of visits that post has received, it's one of the more popular recipes on this blog so do check it out.

1 comment:

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Looks really similar to the breakfast I make - except mine usually includes a poached egg on top (Minus the raisins!)