Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creamy Coconut Millet Porridge with Cinnamon Vanilla Poached Pears



Oh my goodness. Am I ever excited to share this recipe with you today! Not only is this recipe perfect for fall but it also features one of my favorite foods I've come to love this past year- pears!

Apples get all the limelight when it comes to the best option in the fruit department, and while I enjoy my daily Granny Smith or Gala, pears are actually superior to apples in their fiber and Vitamin C content. Pears are also sinfully sweet but so darn good for you that's there's no guilt needed!

5 Fast Facts About Pears:

  1. Per fruit, pears have right around 5.5 grams of fiber (as much as a bowl of oatmeal!)
  2. Pears contain the fiber known as pectin (just like apples), which is a soluble fiber versus insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the type linked to lower cholesterol and enhancing digestive health. 
  3. Pears are a great source of Vitamin C.
  4. Pears are an alkaline fruit, unlike more acidic types such as citrus fruits, pineapple, and mangoes.
  5. Pears are one of the easiest fruits to digest and aren't prone to cause digestive upset as much as other fruits. 
Pears are also great for kids, great for moms, great for students, people at work, or really, anyone on the go. Whether on the counter or in the fridge, they're great to have on hand all year round. But, since it's pear season, now's the best time to enjoy them of all! 



Source: USA PEARS


There are over 10 varieties of USA Pears being harvested right now. I've been munching on Comice (my fave!), Red Barlett, and Green Anjou pears the last several months ever since I started using Mother Earth Produce, who delivers them straight to my home each week. I also love picking up new varieties anytime I visit the supermarket. I recently picked up some USA pears and have been having one each day for a snack, usually in the morning right after breakfast (I like to eat a lot of food in the morning:)

However, pears aren't just for munching on. They also make fantastic baking ingredients (and even as smoothie ingredients too!)

Pear Almond French Vanilla Smoothie


Pears are also AWESOME for poaching, which is a way to slow cook them and bring out their natural sweetness on a whole other flavor level. Something about fall just makes me crave hot, cozy sweet foods. So, I got to thinking that maybe it would be fun to add some warm, poached pears to a brand new morning porridge recipe.

 I've made stewed apples before, but never poached pears, so I figured, why not? I'm all about trying something new made from healthy foods, pears included.

Poaching pears is easy. Normally, it's done by slowly cooking pears with wine and sugar until the pears caramelize. But since sugar isn't in this gal's radar (and I'm not a drinker), I made a recipe completely sugar-free and alcohol-free, but still with plenty of flavor, sweetness, and richness.  I used USA Comice pears, which are divinely sweet and a very secretly healthy liquid base: coconut milk. 




I normally use almond milk for most all my recipes but thought coconut milk would make it a bit more decadent.

This recipe also uses millet, which is a grain-like seed with an incredible sweet, nutty flavor. Millet is an alkaline grain (unlike other grains) and it's one of the easiest to digest as well. It also requires no soaking and cooks up fairly quickly. I made this recipe in my slow cooker in just two hours and it made for the most delicious smelling kitchen you could have imagined!

Enjoy this recipe on a chilly fall morning or even for dessert on a cool, crisp night.
Creamy Coconut Millet Porridge with Cinnamon Vanilla Poached Pears
Serves: 1

Ingredients:


For the millet:
For the Poached Pears:
  • 1 chopped pear ( I used a USA Pear Comice variety for this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
  • pinch of salt if desired (I didn't use)
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
Directions: 
  1. Prepare the millet in a pot by adding the liquid, then the millet and additional ingredients. 
  2. Cook on medium high heat, uncovered for fifteen minutes. Stir every few minutes to prevent sticking. Place the lid on after it's finished (when it gets fluffy) and let it steam up. I actually cooked mine in the slow cooker in just two hours the night before and reheated in the morning. (Coat your slow cooker with coconut oil if you go this route so it doesn't stick).
  3. As your millet is cooking, prepare the pears. 
  4. Grab a skillet, and heat the stovetop to medium high heat. Add the chopped pears, then the liquid, and cook on low for ten minutes to soften. 
  5. Add the cinnamon and vanilla, then reduce to low heat and cook an additional fifteen minutes until the pears get really soft and tender. I put the lid on my skillet for five more minutes to make them even more moist, which also added flavor. 
  6. Top your millet with your pears and additional seasoning if desired. If you need a healthy sweetener, be sure to use some NuNaturals pure stevia extract instead of processed or natural sugars. 
  7. Enjoy this on a cozy fall morning or even at night for a warm, comforting dinner.
How to Choose the Perfect Pear for Your Recipes:

For snacks, go with a ripe pear, which will have a gentle pressure at the neck of the pear. If the fruit yields when you touch it, it's perfectly ripe. If your pears are not ripe when you buy them, that's okay!

Slightly under ripe pears make the best poaching pears since they're slightly crisp and will soften a bit once they cook down.

Have you ever made poached pears before?





I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.