an ode to millet

I have a lot of favorites.  For example: popsicles are my favorite summer treat (clearly), soup is my favorite winter meal (obvi), snap+cider is my favorite drink (what else is there?), and millet wins favorite in the grain category.  It’s just so tiny and cute and crunchy and nutty….I love it so.

Two millet recipes in particular have stolen my affection this year.  The first is Philly’s own Metropolitan Bakery millet muffin, which has been served for years at the Gryphon Cafe (arguably the center of the universe, for those who did not know).  The other is smitten kitchen‘s crackly banana bread recipe, that a friend who knows my love of millet passed along. Thanks MJ :)

Metropolitan Millet Muffins
from Tastebook – I usually halve this recipe, but really, I always want more, and they’re best when shared, so it’s probably a good idea to whip up the full version.


4 cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups millet, lightly toasted* and cooled
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar


Preheat over to 375 degrees. Butter 24 muffin-pan cups.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir in millet. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. At low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Take care not to over mix (this direction gives me great anxiety – but it is very true – otherwise your muffins will be tough and dry, and nobody wants that).

Spoon batter evenly into the prepared muffin-pan cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans between the upper and lower oven racks half way through. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for five minutes and then remove from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.

*toast the millet by spreading it out on a cookie sheet and baking it in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Every three or four minutes, take the pan out and give it a careful shake, to make sure that every kernel of millet gets toasted.


Crackly Banana Bread
from smitten kitchen

3 large ripe-to-over-ripe bananas
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80 ml) virgin coconut oil, warmed until it liquefies, or olive oil
1/3 cup (65 grams) light brown sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 ml) maple syrup (less for less sweetness, of course)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) white whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) toasted millet

Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In the bottom of a large bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until virtually smooth but a few tiny lumps remain. Whisk in egg, then oil, brown sugar, syrup and vanilla extract. Sprinkle baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves over mixture and stir until combined (again – do not over mix! No tough muffins here!). Stir in flour until just combined, then add millet.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool loaf in pan on rack.
I couldn’t decide between muffins or a loaf – so I made BOTH. YUM.