Posts Tagged ‘crunch’

I don’t recall even knowing about millet until very recently, when my aunt tried to tell me about a certain grain that the Chinese like to use for porridge. We had to use a Chinese-English dictionary to figure out that she was talking about millet. (Its name in Chinese literally translates to “small grain.”) Shortly after this conversation, the prevalence of millet was revealed to me. While browsing through some Chinese snacks at the supermarket, I found that millet was a main ingredient for some of them. Who knew?


Millet was a staple grain in northern China long before rice became popular. These days, millet is primarily grown and consumed in India and Africa. Millet is quite a versatile grain. It is used to make breads and porridges, and has about the same protein content as wheat. With its revival here in the states, it has also found its way into baked goods. Like these muffins here.


I made these blueberry muffins for a simple Mother’s Day brunch a couple weeks back, served alongside fresh fruit, broiled shrimp on skewers, and quiche (which I’ll be sharing with you next). While millet is not the main ingredient in these muffins, it is certainly a star. I could not suppress the grin on my face that grew bigger and bigger as I worked my way through my first muffin, crunching down on the nutty millet embedded within.

Try it. I think you’ll like it.





Blueberry Millet Muffins

Makes 12. Adapted from a recipe for blueberry muffins here

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted millet
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup milk

1. Toast millet by placing 1/2 cup millet in a shallow pan over medium heat. Occasionally move and stir millet until you hear popping sounds and smell a nutty aroma. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with squares of parchment paper or muffin liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Working over the bowl, toss blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 teaspoons flour mixture to lightly coat. (If you are using frozen blueberries, like I did, there is no need to thaw them. Blueberries can be coated with flour mixture directly out of the freezer.) Set aside the flour mixture and the blueberries. Mix cooled, toasted millet thoroughly into the flour mixture.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla and lemon zest.
3. With the mixer on low speed, add reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake, rotating pan halfway though, until muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. (With frozen blueberries, the blueberries may still be cold after the muffins come out of the oven. Allow for muffins to come to room temperature if you want to bite into room temperature blueberries.)

Note: Muffins can be stored for several days in the fridge in an airtight container, or even at room temperature. For best enjoyment, reheat muffins in the oven before consuming.


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