Millet not only makes for a nutritious accompaniment to a healthy lifestyle, it offers some creative alternatives to the dinner plate.
This heart healthy, gluten free, whole grain food has a naturally sweet, earthy taste. It comes in yellow, red, white or gray and can be served fluffy, like rice, or creamy like mashed potatoes.
History of Millet:
It has been called the 'one of the oldest human foods'. With a recorded history dating back thousands of years, it fed several different cultures. Currently, it sustains over one-third of the global population and is considered one of the most nutritiously important cereal grains in the world.
Health benefits of Millet:
- Gluten-free: Because millet is not wheat or grain, it is safe for gluten sensitive diets.
- Nutrients: Millet is one of the least allergenic grains and an excellent source of magnesium, making it helpful in reducing the risk of heart attacks, lowering symptoms associated with migraines, diabetic heart disease, atherosclerosis, and asthma.
- Other benefits: helps destroy bacteria and harmful yeasts in the gut once it has been consumed.
How to make Basic Millet:
- 1 cup millet
- 2 – 2 ½ cups water (or broth)
- pinch sea salt
- Wash millet well with water; drain through a fine-weave strainer.
- Place rinsed millet, water, and sea salt into a medium pot with a tight-fitted lid. NOTE: use more water for creamier grain and less water for a fluffier consistency.
- Bring all ingredients to a full boil; reduce heat to low. DO NOT stir.
- Simmer 30 - 35 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.
- Sorting: Look for (and remove before cooking) any tiny, hard stone like particles; quinoa, millet and amaranth are the worst culprits. Pour onto flat surface such as flexible cutting board or a plate and sort with your fingers; excellent project when cooking with kids.
- Washing: Not all grains need to be washed, however if there is any chaff, dust, or debris they will need to be removed prior to cooking. Either put them in a pot, fill with water, swirl, rinse, and re-peat until the water s clear or place them in a strainer, run warm water over them, and lift with your fingers until the water runs clear.
- Cooking: For the best results use a stainless steel pot with a thick, aluminum core bottom for even heat distribution and a tight-fitting lid. Bring both the grains and water (liquid) to a boil together in the pot; once boiling lower heat and simmer. NOTE: If tough and chewy, you may have boiled them too long. If mushy or clumped, the initial heat may not have been high enough or perhaps you added too much liquid.
- Stirring: Never stir while the grains are cooking. Whole grains are unique in that they arrange themselves so that the bottom layers cook as evenly as the top to create steam holes. By stirring you destroy the steam holes and all of the grains never fully cook.
- Salting: Amaranth, wheat berries, kamut berries, and spelt berries should NOT be cooked with salt because it inhibits the liquid absorption. All other grains cooked with a pinch of salt will open them up and bring out the sweetness rather than leaving them tasting flat.
- Always consult your physician if you have special diet or *health related issues.
For additional information and local places to shop for healthy foods, click on any of the following links:
- For * thyroid concerns associated with millet, click on the link in this sentence.
- For more information on the health benefits of Millet, click on the link in this sentence.
- Boise Co-Op
- Whole Foods Market
- Brown Box Organics
- The Organic Store Locator
From my home to yours, another favorite recipe - enjoyed with nutrition in mind.