DIY Gluten-free Multi-grain Porridge Recipe

How to make your own gluten-free multigrain porridge | pamela salzman

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day not only because it jumpstarts your brain and your metabolism, gives you fuel to get going, provides energy until your next meal, but it also sets the tone for how you feel and what you crave the rest of the day.

Hypothetically speaking, if I eat a doughnut for breakfast, my blood sugar will surge, then plummet, making me cranky and not able to think very clearly.  I will be hungry a short while later, and psychologically other things can happen.  That sugar may initiate more cravings for sweets during the day.  I might be annoyed with myself for eating something “bad” and feel depressed afterwards.  I could even think my whole day of eating has already been “ruined” and so I throw in the towel and eat a whole other bunch of crap, which we all know is a crazy thing to do, but it happens to the best of us.

Mix some grains

The key is to eat the right amount of the right combination of high quality protein, fats and complex carbohydrates at breakfast.

At least twice each week, I make a big pot of warm porridge, usually steel cut oats, but occasionally another grain or two.  I set out a bunch of different jars on the counter so everyone can make their own “power bowl” with fresh or dried fruit, nuts or nut butter, seeds, coconut, granola, and the like.

Mixed grains for porridge

Last year I decided to change it up a bit and mix a bunch of different grains I had lying around and see what would happen.  It’s always a good idea to expose yourself to more nutrients and flavors!  I chose grains that all had similar cooking times — millet, quinoa, rolled oats and “creamy buckwheat cereal.” The buckwheat cereal is just the cut version of whole buckwheat groats, so it cooks faster.  I loved it and so did my husband!  My son, who doesn’t like to try anything new, thought it was “ok.”  But he finished his bowl and eats it all every time I make it.  (I think he secretly likes it.)

Mixed grains for porridge

Many of my students have asked me for the “recipe” after seeing many a bowl of multigrain porridge on my Instagram feed.  There’s really no one recipe for how to do this.  I usually use 1 cup of mixed grains, so you can divide that equally into 1/4 cups of each of 4 grains.  Or you can do mostly oats if that’s what is most familiar to you and a couple tablespoons of the other ones.  (Mixing the grains makes for a more complex flavor than just one note.)  I like to cook with water and when the grains are nice and soft and porridge-like, finish it off with something creamy like almond milk.  If you are desperate to get more protein into your breakfast, you can certainly cook your grains with milk from the start.

DIY gluten-free multigrain porridge | pamela salzman

You can also use other grains like wheat berries (not GF), brown rice, spelt (not GF), barley (not GF) and steel cut oats, but keep in mind those take longer to cook even if you soak them the night before (which you should do — see this post for why.)

DIY gluten-free multigrain porridge with apple, almonds and hemp seeds | pamela salzman

There are infinite possibilities for toppings or add-ins, but I have included a few images of my latest creations (sorry there are no images of the porridge in the pot — the steam fogged up my camera and the pictures were a mess!) and you can check this post on some of my favorite oatmeal concoctions.  Make your next breakfast count!

DIY gluten-free multigrain porridge with turmeric, vanilla powder, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, raw cacao nibs | pamela salzman

DIY Gluten-free Multi-grain Porridge
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 cup mixed gluten-free grains (I like a combination of rolled oats*, quinoa, millet, and creamy buckwheat), preferably soaked overnight in water and drained
  • 4 cups water (use 3 ½ cups of water if grains were soaked)
  • ½ - 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice (click here for how to make your own almond milk)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the grains and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered.
  2. Cook until all the grains are tender, about 25-30 minutes. If grains were previously soaked, they will cook much more quickly!
  3. Stir in the almond milk according to whether you like your porridge is thick or thin until porridge is nice and creamy. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few days. Reheat in a saucepan with a little water or almond milk to desired consistency.
*Look for specially labeled Gluten-free oats if you are gluten-intolerant or are trying to limit gluten.

Almond Butter-Millet Blondies Recipe (gluten-free)

almond butter-millet blondies | pamela salzman

We have survived the first week and a half of school and an early Jewish holiday!  I started this year right by having my girls order their own school supplies and Mr. Picky helped me out by writing out a list of lunch box-approved foods.  Not sure we’ve expanded the repertoire since last year, but at least I don’t have to think too hard.  I am also so glad I was inspired to bake and freeze a few treats before school started this year.  Those are coming in very handy for lunchbox and after-school snacks.  Plus it has been so hot here, I can’t imagine turning on my oven to bake banana bread right now!


These Almond Butter-Millet Blondies are a new favorite around here.  Don’t automatically say “my kids would never eat those!”  Guess what?  Your kids were probably at my house in the last 6 months and did eat these.  Did I say, “Jimmy, would you like an almond butter-millet blondie?”  What am I, a rookie?  Of course, not.  I ask the kids, “would you like a chocolate chip blondie?!”  Only people that do not like chocolate ever say no.

wet ingredients

Blondies are similar to a non-chocolate brownie.  They are less spongy and a little denser than cake.  I love them right out of the fridge so you can really sink your teeth into them.  Because blondies don’t have the same lift and airiness of a cake, I tried these with two gluten-free flours, millet and quinoa.  Even if you’re not gluten-intolerant, it’s a great idea to not overdo wheat and other gluten-containing grains.  Gluten is not only hard to digest, but acid-forming and pro-inflammatory.

ready to be baked

The quinoa blondies were not a hit because they totally tasted like quinoa.  I love quinoa, but not as much in dessert form.  Millet is much blander and really has no flavor to fight with chocolate.  My kids and I had no idea the millet blondies weren’t made with wheat flour.   I also tried the recipe separately with peanut butter and almond butter and not only were they both delicious, the blondies kind of tasted the same, as in both tasted a bit like peanut butter.  Even though I give my kids peanut butter now and then, it’s actually not a fantastic choice.  The fats in peanut butter are very pro-inflammatory and if you don’t buy organic, you are also consuming a lot of pesticides and fungicides since peanuts are very heavily sprayed.  Even organic peanuts have a tendency to develop a mold called aflotoxin.  In moderation, fine, but almond butter is far and away a better, more healthful choice.  Did you know almonds are the only alkalizing nut?  And if you have a solid food processor, you can make your own almond butter!

almond butter - millet blondies

These blondies are awesome the next day, which is so nice if you have to bring a dessert to a potluck.  If you have leftovers more than a couple days, it’s best to keep them in the fridge.  And if you have no self control like me, you may want to just keep out what you need for the day and freeze the rest.  Happy baking!

almond butter-millet blondies | pamela salzman

Almond Butter-Millet Blondies
Serves: makes 16 2 x 2-inch blondies
  • ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter or organic Earth Balance, softened + additional for greasing pan
  • ¾ cup creamy or crunchy almond butter or other natural nut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup millet flour*
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper so that the bars are easy to take out.
  2. Beat butter and almond butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, coconut sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the millet flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes before cutting into 16 squares. Leftovers can stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. These also freeze beautifully.
*Look for millet flour in the baking section or near gluten-free flours. Or, to make your own, grind whole grains of millet into a powder in a clean coffee grinder.

Warm coconut millet porridge recipe

warm coconut millet porridge by

I don’t know what has taken me so long to share my favorite breakfast with you.  Although I haven’t really been holding out on you since I did snap a picture of this delectable millet porridge a few months ago and posted it on Facebook.  But I know most people want a recipe, they want DETAILS.  So here it is – my most favorite, comforting, hug of a breakfast, made with a grain (really a seed) that is so underappreciated and low profile that I am ready to shine some more light on it.

creamy coconut millet porridge by Pamela Salzman

I have posted two other millet recipes on this site, a pilaf with mushrooms as well as a mash with cauliflower.  Neither of which has received much love in the way of comments even though I promised deliciousness, but I’m back to try again.  Coincidentally, Phoebe Lapine posted a lovely millet salad with fennel and tomatoes on her site this week and I thought this is the time.  Millet’s got some buzz.

warm coconut millet porridge by Pamela Salzman

warm coconut millet porridge by Pamela Salzman

I know it’s a risk to try something new, but millet is easy, non-offensive, as well as super nutritious, gluten-free and alkalizing.  And when you make it taste like dulce de leche meets horchata meets chai tea, I know you’re going to love it.  LOVE.  I actually make a big batch of millet every Sunday so I can have this yumminess every morning no matter how busy or time-crunched I might be.  Just like any other grain, you can freeze millet in batches and defrost whenever it strikes your fancy.  I have a feeling most of you aren’t big on over-the-top desserts or sweets, but with a little extra sweetener I think this could even pass for a dessert, like rice pudding.

warm coconut millet porridge by Pamela Salzman

I absolutely must top something creamy with something crunchy, so a nut of sorts is always in the picture.  And I am mad crazy for toasted coconut so I’ll add that too, if I have some.  I wrote “optional” in the recipe next to the pistachios and toasted coconut so that you wouldn’t freak out over so many ingredients for a breakfast dish, but people, live it up and add them on!

warm coconut millet porridge by Pamela Salzman

Today’s the day to give millet a shot.  No more excuses.  If you don’t live near a natural foods store, you can order it from Bob’s Red Mill, Amazon or Vitacost.  And if you do try this creamy, dreamy porridge, make my day and let me know about it!

warm coconut millet porridge by Pamela Salzman

warm coconut millet porridge by

5.0 from 2 reviews
Warm Coconut Millet Porridge
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or if you prefer to use sweetened almond milk, you can lessen the added sweetener)
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (I use full fat Native Forest)
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons – 1 ½ Tablespoons raw honey (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons – 1 ½ Tablespoons Grade A maple syrup (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (this is amazing here)
  • 2 cups COOKED millet*
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped pistachios or almonds or walnuts (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted unsweetened, flaked coconut (optional)
  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla, honey, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in millet and 3 Tablespoons coconut flakes, breaking up any clumps of millet.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, and lower to simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, breaking up any remaining clumps of millet, until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and serve with pistachios and toasted coconut flakes, if desired.
*I cook millet in a ratio of 1 part millet to 2 ½ parts water for about 30 minutes.

You can really adjust the amount and type of sweetener to your liking.  For breakfast, I am fine with no sweetener or just a smidge of raw honey and maple syrup.  You should try it with a little at first and then increase only if you need it.  Or use your sweetener of choice, such as stevia if that suits you.  I also very often eat this with goji berries and/or raw cacao nibs!

Millet-Cauliflower Mash Recipe

millet-cauliflower mash | pamela salzman

Don’t change that dial!  I know what’s happening here.  You see the word “millet” and all of a sudden you need to go wash your hair instead of reading the rest of this post.  You think it’s bird seed or that you’re family will think it’s bird seed.  Ok, you’re not far off, but this is incredibly tasty birdseed, people!  I know you established some hardcore resolutions last week and I am here to help.  This millet mash is delicious, creamy, comforting, and incredibly nutritious AND alkalizing and gluten-free and dairy-free and vegan and everything else you want to be right now.  Still with me?

Millet is such an under-appreciated seed.  It’s very easy and quick to prepare and has a very mild flavor.  I posted a millet recipe last year and discussed the myriad benefits of millet there.  Do check it out if you’re new here!   I also made a scrumptious millet porridge the other day with coconut milk, almond milk and no additional sweeteners.  I think I like it better than my brown rice pudding.

Last year I taught this Millet-Cauliflower Mash with hesitation.  I always have a few risky recipes which make me worried people will think they’re too “out there.”  But deep down I knew this dish was amazing and it ended up being a huge hit.  Millet-Cauliflower Mash is my mashed potatoes without the potatoes and without the butter and cream.  I actually considered serving this for Thanksgiving, but my husband thought I was getting carried away.  Truthfully, I serve mashed potatoes once a year (on Thanksgiving) and Millet-Cauliflower Mash practically once a month the rest of the year.  I won’t lie and tell you it tastes exactly like mashed potatoes.  Millet is slightly nutty and corny tasting and this puree isn’t baby-food-smooth like mashed potatoes, but instead feels a little like polenta.  The flavor is definitely very mild and neutral, though.  I love it with anything saucy like Baked Chicken with Artichokes or Orange and Rosemary Glazed Chicken.  You can even serve it with meatballs or a vegetable stew.  If you have leftovers, the mash will firm up in the refrigerator and you’ll need to add a bit of water or broth to reheat it.  Alternatively, you can treat it like leftover polenta and slice it up and then bake it or fry it.  Still with me?  Great!  Now go get thee some millet!

Millet-Cauliflower Mash
Serves: 6
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined olive oil, unsalted butter or unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 cup millet, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives, optional (I didn't have any the day I photographed this.)
  • unsalted butter, optional
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until tender and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the millet, water, cauliflower, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the millet is cooked.
  3. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth or mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is achieved. The food processor will make this much smoother.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives, if you like. You can also stir in a little unsalted butter for a creamy finish, but it’s delicious without.


Gluten-Free Millet and Shiitake Pilaf Recipe

I waited several years before I taught a recipe with millet in my classes.  Why?  Because I was afraid.  Afraid my (adult) students wouldn’t like it.  Afraid I would turn them off to millet forever.  Afraid I would lose credibility as someone who could offer them nutritious food that tasted great and that their families would probably eat.  And then I realized this is exactly the attitude I am trying to teach my students to avoid.  It’s such a mistake to fear introducing new foods to your family because you’re not sure if they’re going to like them.  So it was really silly of me to be reluctant to teach Millet and Shiitake Pilaf, which I absolutely love, love, love.

First off, let me introduce you to this fantastic seed.  Millet in this country is used more as bird feed than a nutritious and tasty side dish, which is nuts because it has been cultivated for many thousands of years.  I know millet looks like a grain, tastes like a grain, and cooks like a grain, but it is actually a seed.  Millet is gluten-free and kind of similar to quinoa, but a bit drier and it has a slightly nutty, corny flavor.    It is naturally alkaline, which is not easy to come by in a grain or seed, as most are slightly acid-forming.  Millet is also considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains/seeds.  It is nearly 15% protein and rich in B-complex vitamins, as well as iron, magnesium and potassium.  Wow!

Are you wondering why you have never tried it, let alone heard of it before?  Crazy, I know.  I buy millet in the bulk section at my local natural foods supermarket, but there are several manufacturers including Eden, Bob’s Red Mill, and Arrowhead Mills which sell it packaged.  I use it the way I would any other grain, in a pilaf, a salad, in soups, even pureed with cauliflower for an awesome mashed potato substitute.   One of my favorite breads is a millet bread by Food For Life.  I’ve seen many recipes for millet porridge which call for doubling the liquid and stirring the millet constantly to make a super creamy, hot breakfast cereal.  Personally, I prefer millet in a savory preparation, but many people love millet this way.  Besides the cauliflower mash which I’ll show you how to make one day, a pilaf is my favorite way to eat millet.  I especially love the soft texture of the mushrooms and onions with the dry millet.  But if you aren’t a fan of mushrooms or your kids won’t just pick the mushrooms out like Mr. Picky, leave them out and use something else like peas or asparagus tossed into the pot with 5 minutes to go.  Just like my students last year, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you like millet and that it’s not for the birds!

Have you tried millet before?  I’m always on the look-out for delicious ways to prepare it, so please share!

Millet and Shiitake Pilaf
Serves: 6
  • 1 ½ cups millet, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons unrefined cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps wiped clean with a damp paper towel and chopped into 1 –inch pieces (you can use any mushroom, but shiitakes are so much more nutritious!)
  • 3⅓ cups water or homemade chicken stock (use 3½ cups liquid if you're NOT going to eat it right away since the millet will dry up as it sits)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • a little chopped parsley or shaved parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  1. In a 2-3 quart saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened.
  2. In the meantime, place the millet in a heavy skillet over medium heat and roast until dry with a toasty aroma.
  3. Transfer the millet to the saucepan with the onion mixture and stir to coat. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
Millet dries up and gets fluffier as it sits. Leftovers will firm up considerably in the refrigerator, so add a little liquid when reheating.