breakfast

pongal

7th December 2017

This is a dish I make after the Wednesday morning Yoga class when Lior is away as he usually prepares the Ayurveda meal for that day. It is much appreciated and is a wonderfully, soothing warm first meal. Pongal is favourable for all seasons, especially in the cooler months.  I serve it with tamarind gojju, steamed greens and seasonal fruits.

~A wintering garden

pongal

Serves 4 – 6

If wanting to make this a simple, cleansing first meal after a day of fasting omit the cashew nuts. Use only white rice as any other whole rice will change the overall flavour. 

ingredients :

1 cup/180g white basmati 

1 cup/200g moong dal, split

10 cups water

2¼ flat tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/85g dried shredded coconut

¼ cup finely chopped coriander

voggarane :

½ cup melted ghee

1 heaped tsp whole black peppercorns

10 pieces raw cashews nuts

1½ tsp heaped cumin seeds

¼ heaped tsp turmeric powder

¼ flat tsp asafoetida powder

20 fresh curry leaves

preparation:

In a heavy saucepan, wash dal several times until water runs clear – then drain.

Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to boil on a high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.)  You may need to skim off any foam which accumulates at the top at the beginning of boiling. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes. May need to add more water, depending on the preferred consistency of your Pongal.

While waiting for the rice and dal to cook, roughly grind peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and break the cashew nuts in half and half again. Measure remaining spices for the voggarane and chop the fresh coriander.  Set aside.

When the rice and dal have softened sufficiently, turn off heat and stir in salt, dried coconut and fresh coriander. Prepare the voggarane.

Voggarane :

Heat a small pan/bandalei over medium-heat, then add the ghee and roughly ground peppercorns and cashew pieces. Stir once, then allow the ghee to heat and the peppercorns to fry and cashews to turn golden – approximately 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and quickly add cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves – in this order. Allow to fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around, allowing spices to fry evenly.

Pour the voggarane into the rice and dal mixture, mixing well.  You may need to swish the pan out with a little hot water to get all the remaining spices. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to be absorbed before serving. Enjoy as is with a spoon of ghee or my prefered way of serving Pongal is with a tamarind gojju and lightly steamed greens. 

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fig & ginger cluster granola

17th August 2017

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quietness

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Just now I went out into the garden, it was so quiet and still out there, except for a single bird, melodious and sweet.

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tara o’brady’s fig & ginger cluster granola

Makes approximately 8 cups.

The recipe is taken from Taro O’brady’s Seven Spoons Cookbook, with a few small changes.

Tara goes on to say ‘This recipe is my standard and is intended only as a starting point. By all means, add, substitute, or subtract ingredients (add ground nutmeg or ginger, cardamom; or take away the seeds and go heavy on the nuts; swap pistachios for pecans, or dried apricots and dried cherries for the figs) as long as the general guidelines are loosely followed.”

ingredients:

¼ cup/60g ghee or unsalted butter

3 Tblsp olive oil

3 Tblsp maple syrup

½ cup/100g packed jaggery/light brown sugar

½ cup/120ml hot water

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 cups/455g old-fashioned rolled or quick-cooking oats

1½ – 2 cups/180g slivered almonds & hazelnuts (I roughly chop my own into thick slivers)

¾ cup/65g flaked coconut

¼ cup/35g raw, hulled sunflower seeds

¼ cup/35g sesame seeds

1 heaped tsp cinnamon powder

½ cup/70g finely chopped candied ginger

1 cup/150g chopped dried figs & sultanas

preparation:

Preheat an oven to 325F/160C and with racks in the upper and lower thirds.

In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the ghee into the olive oil and maple syrup. Turn off the heat add the brown sugar, hot water, and ½ tsp of the salt. Cook, stirring often until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind 2 cups/180g of the oats into flour. Transfer this oat flour to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 cups/275g whole oats, the remaining ½ tsp salt, and the nuts, coconut, seeds and cinnamon powder.

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Pour the ghee and sugar mixture over everything and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, to give the oats the opportunity to lap up the sugar syrup.

Line 2 half sheet pans with standard baking sheets. using your hands, drop the oat mixture in clumps onto the pans, then bake in the preheated oven until dry, light golden, and evenly toasted 45 to 50 minutes, gently stirring and turning the granola with a large spatula every 15 minutes or so and rotating the pans once from the top to bottom and front to back.

Remove from oven and leave the granola in the pans. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands. After 5 minutes, stir in the candied ginger. Once the granola has cooled completely, stir in the figs.

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Transfer the granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

fig cluster granola - 1 (4)

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golden honey passionfruit elixir & a chia pudding

15th August 2016

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A recipe created for  Holmes Place magazine as part of an ongoing concept of seasonal ‘superfoods’ throughout the year.

Elixir: a substance, usually a liquid, with a magical power to cure, improve, or preserve something.

This Elixir works as a wonderful topping for your morning yoghurt or warm cooked oats. At other times, mixed in with a salad dressing; drizzled over vanilla ice-cream for an evening treat; as a drink, stirred into hot, not boiling, water or gently heated and stirred into milk; or added to smoothies or juices for a flavour kick. Turmeric root is often used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties.   For this elixir, it is combined with the multiple wonderful benefits of passionfruit, honey and ginger, all healing and preventive powerhouses on their own.  

When buying passion fruit, the ripe fruit should be firm and heavy with wrinkled skins, and have a little “give”.  If the skin is not deeply wrinkled, but only shrivelled and unappealing, keep the fruit at room temperature until it is.

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Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Makes 1 cup (240mL)

Recipe adapted from Tara O’Brady – Seven Spoons.

When passionfruit are not in season, replace with an extra ¼ cup, honey.

ingredients:

½ cup mild tasting honey, preferably raw

½ cup ripe passionfruit pulp (approximately 6 fruits)

2 Tblsp freshly grated ginger

1 heaped tsp turmeric powder/ 1 Tblsp freshly grated turmeric root

Zest from 1 lemon

2 pinches freshly ground black pepper

Grate the ginger and lemon zest.  Halve the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp and seeds to measure half a cup.  Set aside.

Pour the honey into a jar, add the passionfruit pulp, grated ginger, turmeric, lemon zest and ground pepper.  Stir to combine well.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes before using, or an hour if you can, then cover and refrigerate.  The longer it sits, the more the flavours balance and settle.  Stir before serving.  Use within 1 week.

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Chia Pudding with Berries & Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Serves 2

chia pudding :

2 Tblsp chia seeds

½ cup almond milk/or nut milk of choice

¼ tsp vanilla essence

serving options:

1 cup Greek-style yoghurt or choice of non-dairy yoghurt

2 – 4 Tblsp Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Fresh seasonal fruits, such as sliced peaches/nectarines, strawberries and raspberries, washed and chopped

2 – 4 Tbsp chopped almonds/granola

To make the chia pudding, place the chia seeds, vanilla essence and nut milk in a jar.  Screw on the lid, shake a few times and refrigerate for 30 minutes or preferably overnight.  Stir again before serving.

When ready to serve, divide the yoghurt into two individual bowls and evenly spoon over the chia pudding.  Drizzle the Golden Passionfruit Elixir over the top, arrange the fruits and berries, and garnish with fresh mint leaves, toasted almonds or your favourite granola.

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good morning live apple oatmeal with tahini sauce

24th November 2015

because it’s still THAT sort of weather…

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or should I say… ‘It WAS that sort of weather’…

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good morning live apple oatmeal with tahini sauce

A favourite with my daughter as a light meal before she goes to school, her preference is served with a spoon of thick Greek yoghurt & a drizzling of honey.

serves 1

ingredients :

1 large apple

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1 tsp each goji berries, sunflower & pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight)

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

tahini sauce

1 Tblsp tahini

2 Tblsp water

½ tsp honey/maple syrup

¼ tsp cinnamon

preparation:

Drain the berries and seeds, set aside.

Grate the apple with a box grater, leaving the skin on.  Toss immediately with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Sprinkle over the ground flax seeds, goji berries and seeds.

In a small bowl combine the tahini sauce ingredient adding water until a pouring consistency is achieved. Drizzle over the apple oatmeal and serve immediately.

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creamy oat porridge with maple roasted pear & toasted macadamia

11th September 2015

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If you keep walking past the plum-tree, the mulberry, quince, and further down past the peach tree, right next to the two different variety of apple trees, there is a small, but a rather abundant pear tree with the most charming, bite-sized pears. After much research, I discovered it may be a Beth, a late Summer producing pear tree.

I was out early one misty morning, as I like to do. Walking the garden after my silence practice, after having my tea in a favourite cosy corner of the house, watching the light change – I ventured out just as it became light enough to see, to take in the moist air, the morning chorus and the silence of the garden. Always with my camera in hand as the light is so soft and magical at this time.  It was a particularly misty, magical morning, as Sintra is known for.  I could almost touch the clouds moving past.  It was just me, the ducks and swans, and this pear tree.

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I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright. ~Henry David Thoreau

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creamy oat porridge with maple roasted pear & toasted macadamia

The roasted pears are subtle and delicious.  They make a wonderful sweet dessert with ice-cream or yoghurt.  You can use any sort of nuts or seeds.  I had brought two big bags of macadamias from my recent trip to Australia and have been using them in everything.  I love their smooth, buttery flavour.

serves 2 

porridge :

1 tsp ghee or a mild tasting oil

¾ cup steel-cut oats, small or large

1 cup water

1 cup nut milk, of choice

tsp fine Himalayan salt

roasted pears :

3 small, firm, ripe pears

1 Tbsp ghee/oil

2 Tblsp maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice

for serving :

2 Tblsp ground flaxseed

½  cup roughly chopped macadamias or nuts of choice

cinnamon powder for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.

roasting the pears –  

Peel the pears, cut in half and core.  Place on the baking sheet, drizzle with ghee/oil and maple syrup, then toss gently.  Roast for 25 – 30 minutes or until browning.  About 6 minutes before the pears are ready, place the nuts on a separate, or if there is room, on the same tray and continue to roast until golden.  Remove from oven and set aside.

to make the porridge –

In a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, melt the ghee.  Add the oats and stir around in the ghee until a nutty aroma fills your kitchen. Pour in the water, nut milk and salt, and bring to boil, stirring continuously for about 15 minutes.  Keep stirring until the oats are creamy and tender.  Turn off the heat and stir in the ground flaxseed.

Divide the porridge amongst the bowls, place a roasted pear half or two on top with a scoop of the caramelized syrup mixture off the tray.  If desired, drizzle over a little more honey or syrup and a drizzle of melted ghee.  Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and cinnamon powder.

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raw granola

22nd March 2015

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I thought I would revisit this post which was posted in the very earlier stages of this blog.   The previous content and photos didn’t do this amazing raw granola the attention which it deserved – which is a shame because it is a well-loved staple in our house.  So here it is again with beauty and intention. 

I make this on a weekly basis adding it into my morning porridge, on its own with freshly made nut milk or in a fruit & chia bowl in warmer months.  It also makes a great travel food.  It is made in a special oven called a dehydrator that blows hot air, but never gets hot enough to burn you or your food.  This allows all the delicate nutrients that are usually burned out of cooked foods to remain.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could use a normal oven.  But, only if you set it at the lowest temperature possible (usually around 150F) and make sure the oven is no hotter than 100F, otherwise it will lose most of its enzymes, vitamins, and fatty acids (though not the protein and fibre).  If using the oven, you should use Pyrex cookware.

I will warn you in advance that this recipe is time-consuming as the almonds do have to be soaked, then blanched in hot water and the skin is taken off.  This is the most time-consuming part.  It is well worth it, though.  It does need forward planning, and once you get into a roll with it, it does become easier.  If you want to go one step further, you can sprout the buckwheat (usually takes two days after soaking).

With all the soaking and dehydrating, raw granola takes about a day-half to prepare, but the time spent actually making the cereal is only about a half-hour.

Just in case you do decide to get creative, here is a little guide for soaking seeds and nuts. By soaking with just a little bit of lemon juice, it helps neutralize the phytic acid.

SOAKING TIME (hours)

almonds                         8

buckwheat                    6

cashews                         8

flax seeds                       8

pecans                            2

pumpkin seeds            4 – 6

sesame seeds                4

sunflower seeds           4 – 6

walnuts                           2

Just remember to always rinse and drain the buckwheat thoroughly, as it becomes very slimy when soaked.

raw granola

Inspired by ‘I am Grateful’ by Terces Englehart, with a few creative changes.

The sunflower seeds & buckwheat can be soaked in one bowl together for 6 hours.

Makes about 8 cups

ingredients :

1½ cups whole almonds

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup whole buckwheat

6 medium sweet apples, cored but not peeled

½ cup dates, chopped into small pieces

½ cup dried cranberries/apricots

½ cup dry coconut

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

preparation :

Just before going to bed.  In a small bowl cover the almonds with an inch of filtered water.  In another small bowl cover the sunflower and buckwheat with filtered water.

The next morning, rinse and drain the buckwheat and sunflower seeds.  After rinsing allow them to sit in a fine-screen sieve for an hour, to allow as much moisture to drain out.  Stirring them once or twice.

Rinse and drain the almonds.  Cover again with hot water, allow to sit for a few minutes.  Drain and peel.  The skin will come off easily without much effort.  Pat dry and roughly chop.

In a food processor fitted with a large grater attachment, grate the apples (If using organic no need to peel).

In a large bowl combine the almonds, sunflower seeds and buckwheat.  Add the coconut, cranberries, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom powder.   Add the grated apple in small batches, mixing well after each addition so that it is well combined.

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I have a small dehydrator oven, so I used all four trays.  Cover the four trays both with the grid and Telfex sheets.  Divide your granola mixture into equal parts on all trays, about 3 cups of granola on each tray.  Spread out the granola with your hands.

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Dehydrate at 145 F for 1 hour.  Then reduce temperature to 115 F for about 22 hours.  After about 10 hours flip the granola onto a clean mesh dehydrator tray, carefully remove the silicone sheet, and continue to dehydrate until the following early morning or until you have the right texture.  I like mine quite dry.

I start soaking in the night and assemble early morning to dehydrate for that day (flip it in the evening) and it is ready for breakfast.

Roughly break the bigger pieces of the granola up and store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator.

This recipe is easily adjusted to your liking.

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easy vegan pancakes

3rd November 2014

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I woke to the sound of rain this morning and birdsong…..

 

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and the morning grew brighter and lighter from there…..

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easy vegan pancakes

Serves 10 – 12 medium pancakes.

If you are using frozen blueberries and you don’t like the bleeding of the fruit, pour the batter into the skillet first and then top with berries. These pancakes can be made plain without the addition of blueberries or replaced with chopped banana, raspberries, steamed apple, even finely chopped chocolate added to the batter, or whatever fruit is in season.  I like my pancakes sweet, but if you prefer less or no sweetener, just replace the maple syrup with more nut milk.

If the batter is too thick or you prefer thinner pancakes, simply thin it out with a little more almond milk.

ingredients :

¾ cup/100g whole-spelt flour

¾ cup/100g white Spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp cinnamon powder

1 cup/125ml nut milk (I prefer almond milk because of its thicker and richer consistency)

1 heaped Tblsp coconut oil, melted

cup/80ml maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup/100g fresh/frozen blueberries

preparation :

Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  A drop of water should sizzle on the pan when it’s ready.

Place in a large bowl the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract.  Pour this into the dry ingredients and whisk the batter until no lumps remain.

Fold the blueberries into the batter.

Lightly grease the skillet.  Scoop a spoonful ( I used a small soup spoon which was about ¼ of a cup) onto the preheated skillet.  The batter should spread by itself into a circle, otherwise help it gently along with the back of a spoon.  Cook until some bubbles appear and the edge looks deeper in colour and firmer.  Flip and cook for another couple of minutes until golden.  Adjust the heat as needed.  Repeat for the other pancakes.  I lightly brush the skillet with oil before each pancake is cooked.

Stack and serve with coconut whipped cream, more fresh blueberries or simply with pure maple syrup.

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chia & oat bliss breakfast bowl

28th June 2014

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I love this fresh green.

 Rainy days after many sunny, warm ones.

I love that there is no school, no rushed mornings.

I love this berry-filled brunch enjoyed together in the garden.

I love the splashes of sun surprises on cloudy days, the wet ground and the smell of pine and eucalyptus in the air.

So much beauty.

Daily walks and adventures.

Brightly lit nights.

A moon that is almost full.4V7A1462_1980x1297P1080849P1080721

This is a simple, satisfying and very delicious breakfast.  It can be ready in less than fifteen minutes if you soaked the chia and oats the previous night ready for fruit the next morning.  The chia seeds are expensive but a little goes a long way.

Chia seeds contain high amounts of complete protein and omega-3 fats, antioxidants, excellent-quality fibre and great levels of calcium, iron, potassium and zinc.  They have a wonderful binding quality when in contact with liquid and because of this gel-like consistency it acts as a binder in your digestive tract which helps regulate your bowels and improves digestion.

Oats are a wonderful source of protein, high in folate, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and zinc.  Oats are the only grain that contains both soluble and insoluble fibre.  This helps moderate blood sugar levels, has been shown to fight heart disease and lower cholesterol.  They are also known for their cleansing properties.  By soaking the oats it increases their digestibility, enabling the nutrients to be better absorbed by your body.

chia & oat bliss breakfast bowl
Serves 3
There are so many ways of serving this.  Sometimes if I am short of time and short on a variety of fruit I mash a very ripe banana in the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle a  few nuts and seeds, and then layer in the chia mixture with a drizzling of honey.  For a quick dessert, a chocolate & hazelnut version sounds delicious by adding cocoa powder to the chia mixture drizzling with maple syrup, sprinkling on cacao nibs and coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts.

ingredients :

½ cup of oats or any other whole rolled grain

1½ cup nut milk (I like to use hemp or almond)

a drop of freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp each soaked overnight sunflower, pumpkin seeds and goji berries

2 Tbsp ground flax seeds

Serve with a mixture of the following:

yoghurt or nut milk of choice

1 mango, 1 apple, 1 banana, finely chopped and 1 cup of fresh blueberries and raspberries (you change the fruits to what is available seasonally)

a handful of raw granola, dates or raisins

drizzling with honey, strawberry sauce or maple syrup

fresh mint leaves from the garden

preparation :

In a small bowl or jar,  stir together the oats, milk, lemon juice and chia seeds.  Cover and set aside for 30 minutes, or place in the fridge for 8 – 12 hours.  It will keep for 4 days in the fridge.

Soak overnight in filtered water, 2 tablespoons EACH of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and goji berries.

The next morning, drain the seeds & berries and add to the oat add chia mixture, sprinkle over the ground flaxseeds and mix well to combine.

Add yoghurt or more nut milk, depending on the consistency you like.  I prefer my chia mixture to be in between, if you prefer something on the runny side, you can increase the amount of nut milk.

Start chopping your fruit of choice.

Place a few spoonfuls of the oat and chia mixture in the bottom of each bowl.  Layer over some fruit, another layer of the oat and chia mixture, fruit, and so on.  Sprinkle over raw granola, toasted coconut, drizzling of strawberry sauce, honey, granola, fresh mint leaves or whatever toppings you desire.

Find a little bit of sunshine and enjoy.

My daughter was soaking this in the evening in a screw-top jar, in the morning layering in the fruits and yoghurt, screwing on the lid and enjoying later that morning at school.

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References:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA365093/Chia-for-Health.html

10 Life Changing Benefits Of Oats: The Ultimate Guide To Eating Oats

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brown rice & quinoa pancakes

28th July 2013

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I woke early to a thick fog and a fine mist that blanketed the world, then the gentlest, softest light tip-toed in.

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brown rice & quinoa pancakes

Inspired by ‘Earthly and Divine’ by Eva Cabaca.

I love these for their lightness and easy digestion. The second time I made these, I peeled and halved a banana and placed on a hot griddle with a tiny drizzle of ghee and cooked it until it browned on both sides. 

Serves 4

ingredients :

½ cup short-grain brown rice

½ cup quinoa

2 cups quality drinking water

½ pear (ripe), cored and chopped

2 – 3 tablespoons dried shredded coconut

1 pinch fine rock salt

preparation :

Rinse grains and soak separately overnight in 1 cup quality drinking water for each.

In the morning, place the grains with one cup of the soaking water in a blender.  Set aside the rest of the soaking water to use as needed.  Add the pear, coconut and salt.

Blend into a smooth batter.  Adjust the desired consistency by adding more water if it is too thick, or if you prefer a thin crepe batter, or add extra shredded coconut for a thicker pancake batter.  Take the time to blend until silky smooth.  The extra effort of thoroughly blending pays off.  Gritty pancakes don’t taste very good.  A powerful blender or food processor will help.

Heat a nonstick or cast iron griddle.  Drop in 2 – 3 large spoonfuls of batter.  Spread slightly to even out the batter.  Let it cook until bubbles appear at the top of the pancake and the underside is golden-brown.  Flip over and cook the other side until lightly brown.  These are best served straight away, otherwise, they should be kept in a glass or porcelain dish, covered, to retain moisture.  Serve with pure maple syrup, whipped coconut cream and saute banana slices, chopped walnuts, or seasonal fruits blue and red berries.

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millet porridge – a new breakfast

14th May 2012

I had used up all my oats so when I went to make my morning porridge. Then it occurred to me, why do I need oats when there are so many delicious grains in front of me.  And recently, I have been reading many posts using a variety of combinations of quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat or rice as a porridge form.  Just remember to choose grains with relatively similar cooking times. For my first experiment, I decided on millet and amaranth with a few spoons of red quinoa, because I love the earthy colours.  It was so delicious with a drizzling of maple syrup, banana, a handful of raw granola and my freshly made almond and hazelnut milk.   My husband preferred his with a drizzling of ghee and an avocado chopped in. Definitely enjoying this tomorrow again, but this time I will soak the millet tonight, ready for my morning feast.

Millet is a gluten-free, easily digestible grain that is one of the most outstanding alkaline foods in the world, as well as one of the least allergenic.  It is wonderfully nutritious, contains an abundance of minerals and vitamins, and is a complete protein of any true cereal grain.  Millet is rich in fibre and silica, which detoxifies the intestines.

Millet

calms and settles

soothes…

and fulfils…

millet porridge

Generously Serves 2

ingredients :

½ cup millet

¼ cup amaranth

2 Tblsp red quinoa

1 – 1½ cups water

pinch rock salt

preparation :

Rinse the grains well and place in a saucepan, pour in the water and sprinkle in the salt.  Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed, which takes about 20 minutes.

Place your millet in a bowl.  Stir in the milk of your choice.  Drizzle with maple syrup, add nuts and chopped fresh fruit.

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