[Post #7 for 365 days of Portable Power Pucks]
Confession: I eat and average of three breakfasts. Every day.
For years, I thought there was something terribly wrong with me. I’d get up, eat a healthy breakfast–for example, oatmeal, yogurt, whole grain toast with peanut butter, a big bowl of cereal, or scrambled eggs. I don’t have a huge appetite in the morning, but I have to eat something satisfying or else I quickly morph into a raging beast (to which Nick and Kevin can testify).
All was good for an hour. Perhaps two. But then, without fail, I was starving. I quickly became cranky, irritable, and unable to focus, but, most all, I was mad. Why me? I already ate a great breakfast, so what gives? I’d try to ignore the feeling, but by lunchtime my appetite was raging like an Orc on the trail of a band of hobbits.
It’s remarkable how we blind ourselves to the truth. The solution to my “problem” was plain: my body was screaming, “for heaven’s sake woman, you need more fuel!!!” The 100-calorie yogurt commercials and “200-calorie breakfasts!” articles in my fitness magazines had seeped into my consciousness. Granted, my breakfasts were more than 100 and 200 calories, but I had nonetheless convinced myself that my initial repast should be more than enough to keep me energized and satisfied all morning long and that there was something “wrong” with me if it didn’t.
It only took 20 years to figure it out.
These days, I eat all morning long. At LEAST three mini meals. And guess what? I feel happy, energized, and focused all morning long. I am a better athlete than I was 10 or 15 years ago. And best yet, no cravings and crazed hunger.
These millet pucks are a perfect example of one of my “mini meals.” 100% delicious, fruit-sweetened, perfectly portioned, portable power!
I am going to say it now, and will say it again: you need to eat carbohydrates, especially if you are engaged in any kind of endurance training! Your muscles are fueled primarily by carbs when you are doing sustained cardio work–being in short supply is a recipe for misery and fatigue. Who wants that?
The key is eating high-quality carbohydrates. The millet, apples and raisins in this recipe will make you feel like a superstar. Millet is a naturally gluten-free grain (technically, a seed) that is rich in dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, manganese, niacin and magnesium. Unlike many other grains, millet is alkaline-forming. Acid-forming foods are not “bad” per se, but the typical Western diet is heavily weighted towards them already; adding more alkalizing foods, like millet, to your eats is an easy way to create much-needed balance.
These power pucks are easy-peasy, too. Check out the minimal ingredients:
The millet gets partially cooked on the stovetop before heading to the oven, which results in tender grains that still have a bit of crunch (especially at the edges of the pucks). Yum! If you want to cut the (natural), you can sub water for the apple juice–the apples and raisins still provide ample sweetness, or you can augment to sweetness with some stevia.
The mixture should be thickened, like the above photo, before the mixture heads to the muffin cups.
Don’t forget to grease or spray the muffin cups. Be generous! These will stick like nobody’s business if you forget.
Here’s to mornings free of crazed hunger and, for heaven’s sake, eat your (portable power puck) breakfasts!
- 1-1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
- ½ cup water
- 2 large tart-sweet apples, peeled and shredded
- 1 cup millet
- ¾ cup raisins or other chopped dried fruit
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup chopped toasted nuts or seeds (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, bring the apple juice and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in apples, millet, raisins, salt and coconut oil; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until until thickened and sticky (add some water if needed) Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir in nuts, if using. The mixture should definitely stick together (like sticky rice) at this point,
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease (or spray) the cups of a 12-count standard muffin tin.
- Divide millet mixture equally among prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden and slightly puffed. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool completely before removing from the pan.
* An equal amount of olive oil or melted unsalted butter can be used in place of the coconut oil.
* An equal amount of amaranth seeds or quinoa, rinsed, can be used in place of the millet.
* Store the cooled “cupcakes” in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before serving.