You’ve likely heard of ancient grains by now. Quinoa might be the first to come to mind, even though it’s technically not a grain, but as eaters have shifted away from wheat — for health or culinary reasons — they’ve turned to other lesser-known seeds and grains, such as chia, kañiwa, teff, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum, buckwheat and rolled oats.
But cooking these ingredients isn’t often as simple as boiling them in a little broth or stock and serving as a side dish at dinner. In their new book, "Grain Power: Over 100 Delicious Gluten-Free Ancient Grains & Superblend Recipes" (Pintail, $29.95), Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming start with healthy supergrain breakfasts, including a handful of warmed oatmeal-inspired dishes like this creamy vanilla cereal made with millet and figs, and end with dessert, such as a chocolate tart made with sorghum and topped with a raspberry and chia seed sauce.
The oversized book also offers big, beautiful photos to help inspire you the next time you’re standing in the bulk aisle wondering what to do with the bag of quinoa you just tossed in your cart.
Creamy Vanilla Fig Millet Cereal
Having a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to mean eating the same breakfast every day. After you try this one, we’re sure you’ll find a way to work it into your schedule. Creamy millet, coconut milk and sweet figs with a touch of vanilla are sure to make you completely forget about all the nutrition you’re getting. You can use almond, soy or rice milk instead of coconut milk. Feel free to double the recipe if serving more than two people.
— Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup millet seeds
1/2 cup light coconut milk
5 dried figs, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. honey or pure maple syrup
Bring the water and millet to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lid; stir in the milk and figs. Simmer, uncovered, until the milk has reduced and cereal is creamy. Stir in the vanilla and honey. Divide between two bowls and serve. Serves 2.
— "Grain Power: Over 100 Delicious Gluten-Free Ancient Grains & Superblend Recipes" (Pintail, $29.95) by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming