Apricot Millet Breakfast Bread

Here is another recipe I love because it’s both kid and adult friendly.  A tasty bread that satisfies that desire for something … well … bready, yet is low in sugar and full of healthy bits like pumpkin seeds, honey, dried fruits, and millet.

Millet?  Oh yes, millet.  I love millet and yet fail to use it enough.  It’s technical name is proso and it originated in Eastern Asia.  For hundreds of years it has been a staple food in India, Asia and Africa.  It’s one of the smallest grains I can think of with its tiny little yellow seed and yet has one of the most complete protein profiles and is a significant source of phosphorous and B vitamins.  Cooking millet is amazingly easy, about as easy as cooking a pot of rice.

This particular recipe I got from The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood.  I’m sure there are a lot of great grain cookbooks out there, but this is by far my favorite.  I recommend it to everyone.  It contains a lot of unique yet simple ways to use a variety of grains.  To be honest, there are still grains in there I haven’t yet experimented with.  I just like knowing that when the mood finally does strike me, there are tried and true recipes waiting for me.

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know how you like it.  You will notice that it is definitely not as sweet as a fruit bread say from a bakery yet it still has a pleasingly light sweetness to it and is fantastic for kids as a light snack at home or on the go.

Apricot Millet Breakfast Bread
1 -1/2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup currants
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 cup cooked millet (see basic millet recipe below)
1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (unbleached all-purpose will work as well)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup chopped pumpkin seeds

1.  Place the apple juice in a small saucepan and heat gently over medium heat.  Take off the heat before it starts to boil
2.  Combine the apricots, currants, and cranberries in a heatproof bowl.  Pour the hot apple juice over and leave to soak for about 15 minutes.  Drain the fruit in a colander, reserving the liquid.  Measure 3/4 cup of the liquid in a measuring cup.  If it is not quite 3/4 cup, add extra juice to make up the difference.
3.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Grease a 9 x 5 -inch loaf pan.
4.  Whisk together the melted butter with the honey.  Stir in the egg and 3/4 cup juice, followed by the millet and fruit.  Stir in the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder just until blended.  Gently fold in the pumpkin seeds.
5.  Use a spatula and scrap into the loaf pan.  Bake for 30-40 min or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Basic Steamed Millet
1 cup millet
2 cups water
pinch of sea salt (optional)

1.  Toast the millet by placing in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly for 4-5 minutes or until it becomes very aromatic.  Remove from heat when you hear the grain begin to pop.
2.  Place grain in a medium sized bowl, fill with cold water, and gently wash the grains.  Drain.  Alternatively you can place the grain in a fine mesh strainer and wash.
3.  Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the millet and salt, if using.  Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and set aside before removing the lid and fluffing with a fork.  It is now ready to use.

Danielle VenHuizen

Registered Dietitian, Certified LEAP Therapist