I had a fantastic time at the Cook’s Warehouse in E. Cobb (Marietta, GA) last Saturday morning teaching a cooking class featuring gluten-free brunch foods. They spoil me there! (My favorite question of the day from Debi the Assistant: “Do you prefer German or Japanese knives, Chef?” LOL Such a foodie thing to ask! German, thank you very much!) We had a great cross-section of students, with some folks that had been GF for a while, some brand-new to it, and some that just came for the brunch!
I featured several gluten free grain and seed dishes that included Scotch Eggs rolled in crisped rice ‘bread’ crumbs, a Baked Banana Pancake with Bananas Foster Sauce, Bacon-Fried Grits (including a last-minute vegetarian version), and these wonderful Puffed Millet Balls which are featured in Easy Gluten Free Entertaining!
These fun little millet balls are great as a brunch item or just to have around to snack on throughout the day. Use your choice of dried fruits, seeds or nuts in raw, soaked, toasted, salted or unsalted forms to suit your tastes and needs.
I am so lucky to have a great local honey vendor, and I enjoy using varieties from locally grown plants such as a mild light cotton honey all the way to a super dark and rich tulip poplar honey. The puffed millet in this recipe provides a nice light base to pair well with something heavier like wildflower, which is usually my favorite dark honey.
Sunflower seed butter is thick and rich, making it a great combination with the light fluffy little millet. It is temperature sensitive though, so make sure your honey has stopped boiling before you mix the two. Once the honey and sunbutter are blended, proceed directly to the step of mixing everything together, and make up the little balls while the mixture is still warm to the touch. Heating the honey will help set the balls so they will stay together, and once firm they can be stored at room temperature.
1 cup sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup local dark honey or agave nectar
½ cup dried cranberries or any other dried fruit (golden raisins, cherries, dates, etc.)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, sunflower or sesame seeds,or add ¼ – ½ cup of nut pieces; raw or toasted
2 ½ cups puffed millet
Mix millet, dried fruits and nuts or seeds in a bowl.
Heat the honey, watching it carefully to see that it doesn’t boil over. As soon as it is bubbling, take it off the heat and mix the sunflower butter into it. Stir well to combine. Do not heat the sunbutter.
Pour the honey and sunbutter over the puffed millet. Mix thoroughly to coat.
Roll into 1” round balls and place on a tray in the refrigerator to firm up.
This recipe makes approximately 5 dozen 1-inch balls