Odd Balls: Crunchy Ginger Millet Muffins

By Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

Lately, I've been craving muffins. The mornings have been dark and dreary so I suppose baking something sweet smelling first thing after you wake up is the perfect pick-me-up. A muffin and a cup of coffee to start the day? Sign me up!

These muffins are ripe with a heavy one-two punch of ginger – ground ginger plus candied ginger make this a very gingerlicious breakfast. But what makes these muffins truly unusual is the millet. See those round little balls? That's the millet and it makes for an interesting texture. Lightly toasted and super crunchy, these are probably what your cranky uncle would call "hippy food". Millet is a component in birdseed after all, but it's versatile and I love to have it on hand.

And yes, these are healthy. Pretty low in fat too since the banana helps to replace a lot of oil. They are packed with whole grains from the oats and millet, so I guess this could classify as hippy food and I'm okay with that. Crunch on that, cranky-pants.

Crunchy Ginger Millet Muffins
(adapted from Kitchen Operas)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
3/4 cup uncooked millet, lightly toasted*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon roasted walnut oil (but any oil or melted butter will do)
1 ripe banana mashed
1/3 cup candied ginger, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease muffin tins with oil or butter.

In one bowl, whisk together the flour through to the spices. In another large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients - the agave to the banana. Pour the dry into the wet and stir until just combined. Mix in the candied ginger until well distributed in the batter. Spoon batter 3/4's full into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 15 large muffins.

* toast millet on a cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes until golden - make sure to give it a shake every 3 minutes for even baking.

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