Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Eating Like A Bird

Millet Muffins with Blueberries
Everyone used to tell me when I was a young'un that I "ate like a bird". I always thought they were referring to how little I ate. Now that we have a bird-feeder in the front yard and can see just how much birds actually consume… I'm wondering what everyone was thinking! Watching the way they plunder our bird feeder, I can only come to the conclusion that birds eat like pigs. Little itty bitty piggies... with feathers.

The "eating like a bird" reference perhaps then had to do with how I ate, not how much. As a child, I used to pick (peck?) at my food. Maybe that's where the similarity with bird-like table manners comes into play. I also ate really slowly. Birds are not exactly known for eating slowly though, come to think of it. Constantly, sometimes messily, noisily and amusingly... sure, but never slowly. So perhaps I never actually "ate like a bird" at all.

Of course, there's another way to eat like a bird, and that's to eat what birds eat. The other day I made some Millet Muffins, tossing a big handful of blueberries in the batter at the last minute. The first time I'd made these, my Hubby said, "Millet? Isn't that bird seed?". Well, it is... and it isn't. You'll want to buy your own millet from the baking/grains aisle (and not from the pet store), but it is essentially the same grain. When added to baked goods, millet brings a lovely bit of texture, pop, and crunch to the finished treat.

From a bird's viewpoint, the only thing these muffins are lacking is a nice scattering of sunflower seeds on top... maybe I'll try that next time. And Hubby? He likes the Millet Muffins just fine—especially the ones with the blueberries. While we're on the subject of who-likes-what, blueberries are also something that certain birds really go for.* These tender, texture-y, berry-ful muffins are for human-consumption only though... (sorry little peeps!).

Millet Muffins (with Blueberries) from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day cookbook (pg. 41)
The link will take you to a free PDF recipe sampler that includes the Millet Muffin recipe. How cool is that?

My Notes: Just before scooping the batter into the muffin tin, add a cup or so of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter and gently stir them in. Use a toothpick to check for done-ness: the berries (especially frozen ones) may make the batter a bit wetter which might require a few more minutes of baking time.

*I'm looking at you Mr. Scrub Jay... I see you checking up on the ripening blueberries in my back yard.
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