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Millet Cheese “Grits”

13 July

Millet Grits TextSympathy is a virtue.

And it’s an entire category of greeting cards. Sympathy is the first step to walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, and is part of what makes us human.

It’s so important that a branch of our autonomic nervous system is called the Sympathetic Nervous System. It’s the part of us that gets revved up when we’re upset, stressed out, or in danger. It sends blood and energizing hormones to our brain, heart and limbs so we can outrun a bear, narrowly miss an oncoming car, confront an irate boss, or deal with dinner at our in-laws’.

But sympathy sucks where digestion is concerned.

When your body & brain feel like your life is in danger, digestion is the least of its worries so the Sympathetic Nervous System sends blood and energy away from your GI tract. This means that when you’re keyed up digestion will not happen well {or at all}.

Enter the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which enables you to rest & digest.

It’s the counter-balance to the Sympathetic Nervous System, and it’s engaged when you’re not in danger. This is the state of the brain that gets the work of living done: digesting, recuperating from a stressful situation, sleeping. We’ve got to turn on our Parasympathetic Nervous System in order to digest our food.

It’s easy not to eat while running from a bear. But lunching in the car, eating while watching CNN, cramming food into your mouth in the 5 minutes between appointments, or just standing up, checking your phone & swallowing breakfast all turn on our Sympathetic Nervous System and {not to belabor the point, but…} stop digestion from working.

Take a page from the Southern way of living {it’s having a resurgence, once we get rid of the Confederate flags we’ll be the new, hip region}:

Slow down & focus.

When you sit down, take a breath, and quiet yourself, you are telling your body that it can relax too.

This turns on your Parasympathetic Nervous System, and will vastly improve your digestion.

Which brings us to this week’s recipe, a Southern staple with a GRUB tweak: Millet Cheese “Grits.”
Raw millet text

I checked out our friend Elena’s Southern food blog Biscuits and Such for a true Southern cheese grits recipe, and then subbed out corn for millet. Millet is a whole grain source of minerals and B vitamins, and it’s a tough Real Food to make tasty {its texture turns a lot of people off}.

But this recipe is delicious and will hopefully help you to get all Southern {ie: slow down}, focus on the tasty Real Food you’ve made, and digest it like a boss!

Go Parasympathetic! Go!

Millet Cheese “Grits”

1 cup millet
3 cups milk of your choice {I used 1 can coconut milk + 1.5 cups hemp milk}
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 Tb organic butter {or ghee or your favorite oil}
1 cup shredded cheese, I used Kerygold cheddar {optional if you’re dairy intolerant}
Topping Suggestions:
Sauteed fresh veggies {I used a mix of summer squash, kale & purple cabbage}
Browned grassfed ground beef, sliced, nitrate-free sausages, shrimp
Fried organic eggs

1. Heat milk and sea salt in pan over medium heat until just simmering, don’t let it boil!
2. Stir in millet, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until millet is tender and milk is absorbed.
3. Stir in butter and cheese until melted and incorporated.  Remove from heat.
4. Fill bowls with “grits,” and top with veggies and protein.

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Liz Flint-Somerville, Nutritional Consultant

Liz was a partner in Grub for 3 amazing years and helped author many of our most beloved recipes and posts. She is now dedicating her time to caring for her family, writing poetry, and continuing to cook delicious Real Foods.

4 Responses to “Millet Cheese “Grits””

  1. William July 14, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    So what’s wrong with real grits?

    • Nothing! But a lot of corn is now genetically modified, and since corn is also used in so many packaged foods (especially as high fructose corn syrup), we like playing with other grain options. Millet provides a lot more nutrients than corn (mostly minerals), so it’s a more nourishing choice.

  2. William July 24, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    Thanks. I will try this for sure.


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