Millet and Oat “Soft Granola”
February 6, 2012

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Happy Monday! Hope you all had good weekends and good game days. I was memorizing amino acid side chains as my home team secured a victory, and it wasn’t until a friend texted to tell me NY had won that I actually flipped on the TV. But I hear there were some pretty funny ads this year?

It’s relatively rare that I end up with whole grains that I don’t know what to do with. I prepare batches of millet, rice, quinoa and/or barley every weekend (sometimes I freeze the cooked grains, too), and they almost always get eaten promptly. This past weekend, however, I actually ended up with a bunch of cooked millet that was just about to go stale, and I had no immediate use for. Rather than forcing it down, which would have been a bummer, I decided to get innovative with my leftovers, and put them to good use in a new kind of granola: “soft granola,” as it were. This is just a fancy way of saying that I toasted cooked grains along with uncooked rolled oats to create a mixture that’s someplace in between regular porridge and crunchy, crispy, traditional granola.

And I liked it. A lot. If you the main thing you appreciate about granola is its characteristic crunch and clumpiness (wow, what a gross word to be using as a positive modifier), this granola may seem pretty foreign/off-putting to you. But if you’re open to something slightly less traditional—and let’s be honest, if you read my blog, you are probably open to something less traditional—I think you’ll enjoy this soft, sweet, and incredibly filling breakfast dish. Here’s how to make it happen:

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Millet and Oat “Soft Granola” (vegan, gluten free if you use GF certified oats, soy free)

Makes About 5 cups, or 15 1/3 Cup Servings (topping) and 10 1/2 Cup Servings (cereal)

1 1/2 rolled oats
1 1/2 cups cooked millet (or rice, or quinoa)
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp flax meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup almond butter
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

3) Whisk together the maple syrup, almond butter, and coconut oil, and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well.

4) Place all ingredients onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until grants are fragrant and oats are toasted. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Check out the texture—you can see flecks of soft millet mixed in with the crispy oats:

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This granola is great for those mornings when you want something with the satisfaction of whole grains, but may not be craving something piping hot. I bet it’s a perfect “transition” meal between seasons.

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I used the same”formula” in this recipe that I use for most granola: cinnamon, maple syrup, nut butter, sometimes a touch of coconut oil for crispiness and flavor. But you could definitely mix things up to suit your own tastes. And feel free to try it with barley, rice, spelt, kamut, or quinoa.

Normally, I force myself to eat leftovers even if my craving for them has passed, or I toss them, and then feel really stupid. This recipe reminded me that you can find inventive ways to “recycle” leftover food that has lost its appeal. A little imagination is all it takes!

What’s your favorite way to reinvent a leftover?

xo

Categories: Breakfast, Gluten Free

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    28 Comments
  1. Gena;

    how do you think this would be in the dehydrator? (still using cooked grains – i’m not going for raw here). I made a version of this recipe with wild rice and millet, but in the oven… I would prefer dehydrator these days. What do you think? Or folks out there, have any of you tried?

    Many thanks!
    Jess

  2. I am loving your site. Lots of delicious looking recipes that are healthy too! What a bonus! I’ve been wanting to try making granola for ages, but I hate the thought of too much sugar, etc. Will try this recipe for sure! Thanks for posting.

  3. This looks wonderful, I’m a fan on non-traditional granola but have not been buying it for price or dehydrating raw stuff because time has been an issue. So this recipe looks perfect, thanks!

    I like to remix cooked lentils or quinoa as a salad topping or in a wrap.

  4. Leftover veggies, grains, and legumes get tossed into salads, made into stir-frys, burgers, or soups, or frozen at my house. It’s been awhile since I’ve used millet due to it’s lack of availability where I live. Thanks for the yummy reminder about this nutritious grain!

  5. This looks great! I too love millet/quinoa/amaranth etc., but often find that my leftover millet isn’t as palatable as freshly cooked but I feel bad tossing it. What a great way to re-use leftover grains!

    I also “recycle” grains by rolling them up in nori sheets w/ avocado, squash, sweet potato etc., and by adding them to soups and stews.

  6. Yum! Nothing new, but I like using cooked grain like quinoa or millet as an oatmeal like hot cereal with almond milk, cinnamon, fruit, nuts etc. This is really creative, though. I wouldn’t have thought to use it in a granola!

  7. Wow, this granola looks AMAZING!! Millet is probably my favorite grain…I just love it so much! I will definitely be trying this recipe soon. What a creative idea, Gena!

    My favorite way to reinvent a leftover? Well, I don’t know if this counts, but I “reinvent” every dinner meal as lunch the next day! ;-D

  8. Oh-ho, I’m a fan! And this has nothing to do with the fact that I’d probably eat a shoe if you put maple syrup and cinnamon on it.

  9. Great recipe!
    I make a kind of quinoa granola, based on the same idea – toasting some cooked quinoa with apples, ginger and spices… the result is sthg between soft and crunchy and I love it! But you have to be particularly careful since you can’t keep it as long as you would do with a traditional granola… turns bad pretty rapidly because of the ‘soft’ side!

  10. I love recycling/reinventing leftovers and am so glad that you promote the concept so beautifully.

    For me, getting a dehydrator was a huge help, as there are so many fun transformations that can happen at that point. But even without a dehydrator, salads and cashew cakes can become smoothies, ‘rice’ type things can become burgers, etc…

  11. I haven’t worked out how to cook millet properly – am I the only one who ends up with a glue-y mess? Anyone got any advice?

  12. I think you’ve been reading my mind! I LOVE my overnight oats in the morning, but I’ve been craving a little more texture. Can’t wait to try this!

  13. Question: how long do you think the batch (or really, the only new variable, the cooked millet) will last now that it’s re-cooked/toasted?

  14. Granola is probably my favorite food (not counting ice cream) hands-down. And this sounds awesome. I’m going to try and bake/cook more this semester – I have some friends that actually go out of their way to cook sometimes, because some houses have working, full-size kitchens.

    People here in MA are not too happy with last night’s game – I don’t really care that much – but people are going crazy here! Haha

  15. Gena, I LOVE seeing millet barley amaranth, etc being used and promoted. my aunt is an MPH and discovered quinoa 2 decades ago and wonders over all the health craze over it NOW…it’s funny to me that, because of her extensive work overseas, she seems to be on the frontier of nutrition (globally –perhaps not in terms of making it globally accessible but definitely in terms of having acquired “knowledge” and information)…anyway…she also lived in Jamaica and did church planting there for twenty years where “callaloo” a popular Jamaican dish that includes amaranth greens has been a staple for EVER…have you heard of it…anyway, love your post and just wanted to share how it reminded me of my recent contemplation of “frontier” of healthy foods an it’s modern context

  16. I reinvent leftovers by adding new sauces or dressings to them; it’s amazing what a sweet and sour sauce, or any garden variety marinade, homemade or jarred, can do to jazz up something that’s lost its pizazz.

    Great thinking on this one.

  17. I routinely have soaked and sprouted grains on hand, from kamut, spelt, soft wheat berries, barley, steel cut oats, for using as my morning cereal base. Then I usually add some walnuts, pecans or pumpkin seeds, raisins or goji berries, or a raw granola, like your fab Choosing Raw Granola.

    Quinoa is a fantastic cooked grain. Quick and nutritious!

  18. “and let’s be honest, if you read my blog, you are probably open to something less traditional”
    This made me laugh-out-loud, though it’s totally true of course!

  19. I’m really bad about leftovers and find I get bored with them so quickly and easily, no matter how enthusiastic I was about the original meal. I love seeing ideas like this where leftovers can be transformed into something new and delicious. I need to start thinking outside the box on this too!