Eating a variety of whole grains is the best way to take advantage of their many nutritional benefits. A hearty porridge was the perfect opportunity to enjoy several kinds in one bowl. We chose a combination of millet, quinoa, and amaranth. The millet’s mellow corn flavor and fine, starchy texture balanced the quinoa’s nutty, earthy flavor, while a smaller amount of amaranth added bold anise flavor and an intriguing caviar-like texture. Cooking the grains in plenty of liquid encouraged them to swell and some to burst and release their starches, creating a porridge with a creamy texture. However, we felt the 30-minute simmering time was too long for a quick breakfast. So, following our Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Carrots and Cherries, we hydrated the grains in water the night before. Stirring in blueberries and warm spices and finishing with a bit of maple syrup accentuated the millet’s sweetness, balanced the often-bitter quinoa, and tamed the flavor of the amaranth. If you buy unwashed quinoa (or if you are unsure whether it has been washed), be sure to rinse it before cooking to remove its bitter protective coating (called saponin).
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup millet, rinsed
- ½ cup prewashed white quinoa
- ¼ cup amaranth, rinsed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup organic 1 percent low-fat milk, plus extra as needed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 0.12 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 7½ ounces (1½ cups) blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Bring water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Remove pan from heat; stir in millet, quinoa, amaranth, and salt. Cover pan and let sit overnight.
- Stir milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg into grains and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until grains are fully tender and mixture is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in berries and syrup, and adjust consistency with hot milk as needed; porridge will thicken as it sits.