It’s no secret that I sneak healthy ingredients into my little one’s tiffin on a regular basis. When I observed her repulsion for anything that’s good for her, I started tweaking recipes to hide the nutritional evidence. And since then, her favourites like muffins, snack bars, buns, and breads have stayed on her tiffin menu. But what has been used as ingredients to prepare them has been a secret — and one such secret ingredient is millet!
Millets are not only highly nutritious, rich in dietary fibre, B-vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, they are extremely versatile.
My cooking workshops are based on my experiments with millets and seeds. And I feel proud when my participants (especially worried mothers) tell me how my recipes have helped them reach a no-compromise deal. It becomes a fair game of good taste and healthy ingredients. A favourites from my daughter’s tiffin is this Barnyard Millet and Pumpkin Muffin which is loaded with flaxseeds and love.
You do not need to be a strict parent and say no to everything your child wants to eat; be a smart parent instead. Keep looking for healthier, tastier substitutes and keep experimenting until you get the perfect taste. Please note a little bit of chocolate or sugar is always fine as long as you are packing good health in their tiffin.
Makes 9 muffins
3/4 cup – Barnyard millet flour (Samak ka aata, Jhangora ka aata)
3/4 cup – All purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 cup – Steamed yellow pumpkin puree
1/2 Cup – Castor Sugar (or 3/4 Cup mishri powder)
1/3 vup – Melted cow ghee at room temperature
2tbsp – Flaxmeal egg replacer
Note: Flaxmeal is roasted flaxseeds powder, read instructions to replace egg
2tsp – Vanilla extract
1 pinch – Salt
2tsp – Baking powder
*To begin, pre-heat oven at 180 degree celsius and grease and dust the muffin pan.
*Flaxmeal egg replacer: Measure 2 tablespoons of flaxmeal along with 6 tablespoons of water. Stir well and let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes. This process of resting helps the flaxmeal mixture develop a gelatinous consistency similar to eggs.
Please note that Flaxmeal is pre-roasted and grounded flaxseeds.
*In a large mixing bowl, beat castor sugar (or mishri powder) and ghee until light and fluffy, add the flaxmeal mixture, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, barnyard millet flour, refined flour and beat well until combined.
*Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin pan and generously sprinkle flaxseeds. Place in the pre-heated oven to bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
*After you have removed from the oven, allow the muffins to cool completely.
Health benefits of Barnyard Millet, Pumpkin and Flaxseeds
–Barnyard Millet: Nutritionally, barnyard millet is a superior grain with copious amount of macronutrients and dietary fiber. This tiny wonder grain is a good source of B-complex vitamins, and is especially good for diabetics and elderly.
Barnyard millet is also known as shyama in Bengali, moraiyo in Gujarati, sanwa of samak in Hindi, oodalu in Kannada, kuthiraivolly in Tamil and udalu in Telugu.
-Pumpkin: It is extremely rich in vitamin A and antioxidants, and helps boost the immune system, protect eyesight, lower the risk of certain cancers and even promote heart and skin health.
–Flaxseeds: It is the best source of Omega 3 facts for vegetarians. Omega-3 fat is essential to a child’s diet as it not only acts as an antioxidant to prevent diseases, but is also used by the body to promote healthy cell growth and brain function.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.