Breakfast of Champions

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Those of you who having been following the blog regularly will have heard me mention teff before and its many health benefits. You’ll have also heard me talk of my food obsession and how I’m constantly hungry. This recipe is my way of tackling all three.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t belong to the skipping breakfast school of thought, but neither do I want to gorge myself on all the processed (“fortified with vitamins and minerals”) cereals that there are out there. But not matter how much you may be dedicated to the breakfast cause, not many of us can devote much time to its preparation, unless we’re talking about a weekend. Yes, you could always make some healthy muffins and store them in the freezer but, and again I don’t know about you, I really need something relatively substantial at breakfast time to even get through the morning and to keep all my healthy eating intentions on track throughout the day. My summer porridge does this nicely, but it’s always good to have other (and warmer) options available.

Now it’s true, you will have to plan a bit to make this porridge, but as that only involves an overnight soaking we not talking about anything massively strenuous. This stage will then make it much easier for your body to access the nutrients in the amaranth so you will benefit from it later. If you’re not familiar with the health benefits of all these ‘grains’ (strictly speaking they’re all seeds) let me assure you that you find it hard to find a more complete cereal. Amaranth is high in protein, as is teff, but also more unusually contains the amino acid lysine and therefore is a complete protein. Hence the reason why it will fill you up till lunch time. It’s high in fibre, calcium and iron as well as having good levels of phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Add to this mix the (also) high in protein, prebiotic millet and you’ll also be benefitting from a natural mood balancer due to its naturally occurring serotonin. And all whole grain and gluten free.
A final word: if you can’t get hold of any maca powder, then feel free to skip over that bit. But keep your eyes peeled for some in your local health food shop; aside from its rich nutrient make up you’ll be adding vitamin C and E and B vitamins as well as really helping to increase your energy levels.

3 Grain Porridge Recipe

Makes 2 servings:

1/2 a cup of amaranth, teff and millet

1 & 1/2 cups almond milk (you could also use soy)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp maca powder

Mixed fruit/ nuts/ seeds to serve

Kefir or more almond milk to serve

Soak the grains over night in at least double the volume of cold water. As I said before your body will access the nutrients in the amaranth far more easily if it has been soaked, and it does help slightly with the cooking process for all 3 so I do them all together.

The next morning, strain the grains. You will need a very fine sieve for this, otherwise you will lose much of your teff and possibly amaranth. Place in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the almond milk and cinnamon and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer for around 20 minutes. Unpack the dishwasher, make the tea, whatever; the time soon goes.

When the porridge has the consistency that you like, serve it up in two bowls, sprinkled with the maca powder, fresh fruit and kefir.

Enjoy! And don’t forget, if you can’t find a friend to eat the other serving with you, it warms up a treat the next day with perhaps a splash more almond milk to loosen it.

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