spiced pumpkin + millet porridge {gluten-free + vegan} + pics from America!


My recent trip to America opened my eyes more than I ever could have imagined. 
Here in Australia and back home in NZ we are surrounded by all things American from a very young age, much to my Dads disgust (he wouldn't let us watch trashy US shows on telly when we were little!). I've grown up knowing all the American terms for things such as 'trunk' (boot), 'cilantro' (coriander) and 'cab' (taxi) so in many ways America already felt a little familiar to me before going (it's also the first English speaking country I've ever travelled to, other than Australia which made it nice and easy), but there was something that really took me by surprise. I'm not exaggerating when I say that each and every person I had contact with (except maybe that homeless guy in Union Square, who yelled abuse at me. I didn't take offense. He yelled at everybody) was so ridiculously polite, helpful, generous and respectful. Even the people at customs had a smile on their face and I gotta say, I kinda loved being called ma'am all the time! I only had to stop for 5 seconds on the street and look lost before someone would come up and offer help, and it was funny, even when my friend (a local) was mapping out a route for me to walk to get to dinner in a neighbouring suburb, within seconds a lovely lady had stopped to ask if we needed help! It really is so sad that the government and big corporations can taint the view of a nation.

Vegas was mad! Every bit as opulent and over-the-top as I'd imagined, and I only just got to scratch the surface in the sleepless two days I had there. I am so grateful to the team at Saveur magazine and all their sponsors for flying me all the way over from little ol' Australia for the awards and it still kinda blows my mind that I got to meet and hang out with so many of my online blogging buddies! It really was the trip of a lifetime.
I'm not gonna bore you with all my tales from afar (mostly I just ate and talked!), so instead I'll just leave you with a few photos (no really, this is only a few of the many! Haha!) that will hopefully give you a glimpse of my time in Las Vegas and San Francisco. I've also got the recipe below for this beautiful American-inspired hearty winter millet porridge. It's a riff on a lovely one I have in my cookbook with a little nod to my mate Bryant Terry (who I was lucky enough to hang out with in SF!).
Much love
xx Emm

Spiced pumpkin + millet porridge
I often have leftover cooked millet hanging around in my fridge, which is perfect to use in this recipe. You can also cook it specifically for this recipe, there's a link below for cooking instructions. Pumpkin puree is another thing that I always have at hand, it stores well in the fridge for a good few days or can be frozen in portioned zip-lock bags for later use. You can use it straight from frozen in this recipe, just allow a few extra minutes cooking time.
Serves 2 but can easily be doubled etc.

1 cup cooked millet*
1 cup almond milk (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree**
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground nutmeg

toasted pumpkin (Pepita) seeds, cinnamon + maple syrup to serve

Place all the ingredients (except toppings!) into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Cook whilst stirring for about 4-5 minutes or until creamy and thick. Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, a dusting of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple.

* See this post (or my book if you have it!) for instructions on how to cook millet. Any leftovers will store happily in the fridge for 4-5 days.
** Steam or roast chunks of peeled pumpkin (or use butternut squash for my US readers!) until soft, then mash with a fork until smooth or blend briefly in a food processor. Excess will store in the fridge 4-5 days or can be frozen in zip-lock bags for later use.

Inspired by a millet porridge recipe in my cookbook My Darling Lemon Thyme- Recipes from my real food kitchen with a nod to Bryant Terry's new book Afro Vegan (he does one with sweet potato puree).

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    June 11, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Ok, I'm hungry. Here in Italy it's 8.40 am and I have already made breakfast. Damn! 😀

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Having two breakfasts is totally acceptable in my book 😉

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday
    June 11, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I know what you mean about the friendliness of Americans. I've been twice now (the last time for my honeymoon) and everyone was just so helpful. It took me by surprise, but no place more-so than New York. I even saw on the subway a woman take someone who was clearly lost to the correct platform (rather than just pointing the way). I also couldn't get over how cheap everything is, compared to Australia.

    I'm so glad you had fun. Isn't Vegas amazing? My husband calls it adult Disneyland on steroids.

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Organic produce is SOOOO cheap in the States eh?! Wish we had those prices here, although I do love that Australia doesn't import much… which I guess is why we pay a premium for it!

  • Reply
    Sneh | Cook Republic
    June 11, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Such beautiful photos and so much emotion in some of them! I have never been to US and Australia was literally the first English speaking country I visited after Singapore, but I always wanted to go to New York and SF. Really love the pictures and your impression of people. They sound lovely! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 11, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Looks amazing! I love having pumpkin in my oats.

  • Reply
    Nicola Galloway / Homegrown Kitchen
    June 11, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Welcome home Emm, love the images of your trip. I visited San Fran many years ago and remember the houses and hilly streets. What a blast you must have had! Loving the look of this millet porridge, yummo 🙂

  • Reply
    london bakes
    June 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again – you have such a knack for capturing the real essence of a place in your photographs. They're so full of life and meaning. Beautiful xo

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Thanks SO much Kathryn! You words mean the world xx

  • Reply
    June 11, 2014 at 8:25 am

    You will cherish those memories forever

  • Reply
    Lucy Corry - The Kitchenmaid
    June 11, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Gorgeous, gorgeous pics – from the madness of Vegas to those exquisite ferns, what a ride! So glad you had a good time (though that was never in doubt, right). Hope it's nice to be home again x

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Haha, you're right, it was never in doubt! It is really, really lovely to be home again though too. I missed my babies. xx

  • Reply
    June 11, 2014 at 10:14 am

    What a lovely post! Can't wait to try the recipe.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for sharing with us. I am in the US and hope that your book comes out here soon!

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 11:57 am

      It's looking very likely it will be out in the States sometime soon! I'll keep you posted xx

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Many thanks for that!

  • Reply
    Sini | my blue&white kitchen
    June 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I loved to read this post so much, Emma! And those pics from SF really made me smile. Thank you for sharing your thought and feelings about the US.

  • Reply
    J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
    June 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I love porridge! Such a great old timey word too. I think whenever people think of porridge they think of British kids ('urchins') in a Charles Dickens novel eating their breakfast but really it's just oatmeal with not oats….

    I always buy almond milk but have never had homemade. Is it noticeably different from store bought? I always buy Silk brand because its the least grainy. But always buy loads of almonds too so wonder if its worth it to make at home in big batches (the store bought one lasts forever so I assume it wouldn't go bad for a while).

    • Reply
      June 12, 2014 at 1:56 am

      Hi J.S, store-bought almond milk cannot even compare with homemade. Homemade tastes a million times better, isn't grainy at all (if you use a fine mesh muslin or nut milk bag to strain) and works out to be much cheaper. Many store-bought nut milks also contain questionable ingredients, such as carrageenan (linked to cancer) and high-frucose sweeteners. Many store-bought almond milks also use raw/dried nuts, not soaked, so the end product is very high in the enzyme inhibitors, phytic acid. Homemade only takes a matter of minutes to prepare and will store happily in the fridge for 3-4 days. xx

  • Reply
    Cook Sophie Cook
    June 12, 2014 at 2:12 am

    The photos look beautiful! Very jealous that you were able to experience all the weird and wonderful fruit and veg we don't have here but always see on US blogs…

  • Reply
    ana @fit, fun & delish!
    June 12, 2014 at 5:06 am

    After seeing this I'm going to have to try homemade almond milk. I guess I've been too lazy up until this point 🙂

    I'm so glad you had a great time in America! It's funny how we take for granted the little things and to read the perspective of people visiting the US. Your photos are AMAZING!

  • Reply
    Amy zhong
    June 12, 2014 at 5:20 am

    lovely photos! the marketplace looks great, especially those porcini mushrooms!

  • Reply
    Clara P
    June 12, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Hi Emma, lovely post. How lucky of you that you could go to Las Vegas!!
    I was wondering where in Europe we can get hold of your book. I tried amazon uk with no success.
    Many thanks, C

    • Reply
      June 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Hey love, Fishpond.com sell my book for international orders, with free shipping. We're hoping it will be available on Amazon later in the year too, if you can wait! xx

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef ™
    June 12, 2014 at 8:14 am

    What great photos and what a wonderful experience!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and thoughts. As a Brit, I definitely relate to finding Americans super friendly! Although maybe as a nation we have a reputation for being rather cold and aloof…
    Your millet porridge looks scrumptious. I think I have a can or 2 of pumpkin hiding out somewhere.

  • Reply
    Mary Frances
    June 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Your porridge looks so warm and comforting, perfect for a rainy day! I'm so glad you had a good trip to America! We do try to be welcoming to visitors 😉

  • Reply
    June 12, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Emma,

    I had the same feeling when I went to San Diego -California- few years ago. I found everybody so nice and polite. I remember that when I came back to Italy -at that time I was still living there- I was "disgusted" from the people who was not nice at all -at least as not as the Americans-.

    I agree with you Vegas is crazy and I honestly didn't really like it! Too fake for me!

    And what to say about your recipe? GF and vegan: the best combo! I'll try to make it for sure! I love pumpkin pureee, I love millet and spices… of course I'm going to love your porridge :)!

    I just opened my blog: If could come and say hallo I would be more than happy…that's a bit different food blog! I hope you'll enjoy it!


  • Reply
    June 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I love your beautiful pictures. I am all about smoothies lately too, they are a perfect breakfast or boost in the afternoon!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Stahl
    June 16, 2014 at 4:29 am

    You got the best and the worst of America. If I never hear the words Las Vegas again I would die happy. And SF remains my favorite city in the world, but I'm biased. I grew up just 70km away. I'm glad people were so polite. And no, we are not our government here. But did everyone tell you how quiet you were? I had so much trouble hearing Kiwis when I lived in NZ. America is loud, and so are Americans, especially in the big cities. Your photos of SF are beautiful, and even the Bellagio fountains make me forget what a maddening place they inhabit. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself. Come back again! Oh, and the food looks great as well. But remember, they're cookies! 😉

    • Reply
      June 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Haha, I feel exactly the same as you about Vegas! While I'm very thankful to have experienced it at least once in my life, it's not somewhere I'd pay to go back to… SF on the other hand is somewhere I could see myself living (if I had no kids and husband that is!). That's funny you think we are so quite, I'm not sure all kiwi's are 😉
      I sure hope I get to go back to the States sometime soon xx

    • Reply
      Rebecca Stahl
      June 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Yeah, America is LOUD. But I'm so glad you enjoyed SF so much. It is beautiful.

  • Reply
    Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    June 19, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Oh, EMM. These photos are breathtakingly beautiful. The one of the crossing (with the girl in the yellow pants) and the one of that SF hill with the lights & the fog….incredible. You're so talented. Beautiful recipe, too xx

    • Reply
      June 19, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Thanks so much for your lovely words Heidi! I loved SF as much as you said I would 🙂

  • Reply
    August 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Beautiful pictures of San Francisco. I was lucky enough to live there for 4 years. It was a wonderful time in my life.

    • Reply
      August 6, 2014 at 1:34 am

      Thank you! You're super lucky to have lived there, I would so love to one day!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Can't wait to make this! Just catching up on my pumpkin pages I had pinned earlier this year, now that it's post-halloween and I have a beautiful heirloom pumpkin to cook up. I had bought it just south of SF at an organic farm. The agriculture on the coastal section between Santa Cruz and San Fran is spectacular (and mostly organic), as are the views.

    Being a California native with many a trip around the state under my belt, I really appreciate your perspective in both photos and story about your trip here. Your photos really capture the essence of moody SF… (I have yet to go to LV…I'm more of a nature or cities-near-nature traveler, but someday!). Do you mind sharing with me what type of camera/film you use?


    • Reply
      November 14, 2014 at 1:29 am

      Hi Madison,
      I shoot on a Canon 60D camera/50mm 1.4 and edit using Lightroom + VSCO xx

  • Reply
    Patty K
    January 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Hi, just a fun fact. Those ferns, that you pictured, the ones in the market? Here in Maine (USA), we call them fiddleheads. You can find them in the woods, usually near water. People here eat them with vinegar and salt. Since I am not native to this area, I really don't like them : ) But, I can say they are a staple to "Mainers".

  • Reply
    March 20, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Glad to hear you had a great trip. I agree about Vegas, seldom does an place live up to all its over the top hype, Vegas does! Great Pictures.

  • Leave a Reply