February 28, 2011

Millet Muffins

I have a confession to make: I don't like quinoa.  That's right, I don't like the grain (that's actually a seed) that people who eat healthy are supposed to like.  Sure it has protein and sustained the Inca's or whatever, but I'm just not that into it.  As much as I enjoy healthy food, if it doesn't taste good then you probably won't find me eating it.  So what's with all this talk about quinoa? Well, millet is another one of those "ancient grains," the principal difference for me being that it tastes great.

If you've never tried millet, you really should!  It has a mild flavor and can be cooked to have the consistency of polenta or that of, gulp, quinoa, depending on how much liquid is used.  One of my favorite things about millet is that when you add it (raw) to breads or, in this case, muffins, it lends a nice bit of crunch-- and I love a good crunch.  Have you ever had a 5/ 9/ 12 grain bread with tiny pale yellow balls in it? If so, those little balls are most likely millet and they're kind of like natural sprinkles.

So now that your a little bit more familiar with millet, let me tell you about these muffins because they're pretty perfect.  The recipe comes from Heidi Swanson of 101Cookbooks, who, in honor of her new cookbook Super Natural Everyday, generously released a six recipe sampler showcasing a handful of recipes from the book.

I downloaded the sampler right away and was immediately smitten with these millet muffins.  I made them this morning and they lived up to my every expectation (this is a rare occurrence).  They come together quickly and easily, and are full of wholesome ingredeints. They're simple, not too sweet, and very versatile (see: blueberries).  They have golden crusted tops and moist middles, and they're full of crunchy millet sprinkles. I could think of nothing better on this rainy morning.

Millet Muffins
From Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Everyday

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup raw millet
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup plain yogurt [I used Fage 0% Greek]
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup barely melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
Grated zest and 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon

3/4 cup blueberries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 F with a rack in the top third of the oven. Butter a standard 12 (I made 16) cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. [I suggest buttering! I lined my 4 extras and, well, butter is better]

Whisk the flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, butter, honey, and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until the flour is just incorporated.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, spooning a heaping 1/4 cup batter into each one, filling it a bit below the rim.  If you'd like to make half blueberry, as I did, then after you've filled half the muffins cups with plain batter, gently fold in the blueberries into the remaining half of the batter and fill the rest of the muffin cups.

Bake for about 15 minutes (mine took a minute or two longer), until the muffin tops are browned and just barely beginning to crack. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, the turn the muffins out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

1 comment:

Whisked Away said...

These look great! Can't wait to try the recipe out!