The Grillmaster is a sucker for anything with “rum raisin” in the title. Favorite ice cream? Rum Raisin. Favorite bread pudding? Rum Raisin. You get the idea. As I read through Annie Mahle’s book Sugar & Salt: A Year at Home and at Sea marking recipes I wanted to try, I knew what I’d be making first as soon as I hit page 99 – Millet Rum Raisin Muffins.
If you aren’t familiar with millet, it’s a nutty-flavored grain that is gluten-free. It’s a good source of protein, B vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. One-quarter cup of millet has approximately 33g of carb.
I made these delectable muffins twice ‐ once with still-crunchy millet and bananas and once with creamy millet and apples. Both versions were bursting with raisin goodness, but I think the rum flavor was more prominent in the apple version. The banana muffins had some crunch due to the millet and the apple muffins had texture because of the apple chunks.
Here are the very minor changes I made to Annie’s recipe:
- I reduced the amount of sugar by half.
- I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose.
- I used jumbo raisins, instead of regular raisins.
- I mixed the wet ingredients – oil, sugar, egg and rum/vanilla mixture (minus raisins) – in a separate bowl and then added that all at once to the dry ingredients.
- In the banana version, I substituted 2 mashed, ripe bananas for the apples.
- In the apple version, I cooked the 1/3 cup millet with 1-1/3 cups water (ratio of 1:4) for about 35 minutes until it had a creamy texture.
The Grillmaster liked the apple version the best; he wasn’t a fan of the crunchy millet bits. I would eat either version of the muffins again anytime.
Make these muffins gluten-free: Substitute gluten-free baking mix for the flour.
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Millet Rum Raisin Muffins
Reprinted with permission from Sugar & Salt: A Year at Home and at Sea by Annie Mahle
Because I make my own vanilla, I’ll sometimes use homemade bourbon vanilla in place of the rum and vanilla in the recipe.
On the boat I’m often cooking for folks who are gluten-free; even oatmeal (unless specifically labeled) is verboten, so for breakfast on the day I serve oatmeal, I’ll make my gluten-free passengers either grits or millet with butter and then have extra for these muffins another morning. Millet is one of the ancient grains so important to early civilizations; nowadays it’s making a comeback in the U.S. Millet has a nutty, corn-like flavor which works well as a side dish or in breads and pastries. These are the favored muffins for Toni, my assistant cook of five years, and she asks me to make them every week. Mmmmm. They are delicious. Gluten-free baking mix is easily substituted for the all-purpose flour in this recipe.
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup rum
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup water
1/3 cup millet
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the millet
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 small apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
Soak the raisins in the rum and vanilla for at least 1 hour, or as long as overnight. Bring the water to a simmer in a small pan. Add the millet and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tins or use muffin liners. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix until just incorporated into the dry ingredients. Stir in the apples, raisins and millet. The batter is thicker than most. Fill muffin cups with the batter.
Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Let rest in the tins for 5 minutes and then remove to cool the rest of the way.
Makes 12 muffins
Per muffin: 346 calories, 15g fat (1g sat), 18mg cholesterol, 156mg sodium, 47g carb, 2g fiber, 25g sugar, 4g protein
Banana version (with my modifications)
Makes 12 muffins
Per muffin: 313 calories, 15g fat (1g sat), 18mg cholesterol, 157mg sodium, 39g carb, 4g fiber, 17g sugar, 4g protein
Apple version (with my modifications)
Makes 12 muffins
Per muffin: 306 calories, 15g fat (1g sat), 18mg cholesterol, 157mg sodium, 37g carb, 4g fiber, 16g sugar, 4g protein
Nutritional Analysis: All versions of these muffins are low in Saturated Fat, Sodium and Cholesterol.(Source: nutritiondata.com)