Grain Focus: Millet

Part 2 in the grain study: millet! Millet is a grain that is a bit less familiar for me, I confess. I made it once. So I was excited to research this grain and find out more about it!

What is it?

Although millet is technically classified as a whole grain, it’s actually a seed. It’s very small, and is a mild yellow color.

What does it taste like?

Millet has a mild and slightly nutty taste. It can be given a depth of flavor by toasting before cooking it.

What are the health benefits?

Millet has a uniquely high content of nutrients! It’s high in starch, vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, protein, and fiber. Because it’s high in magnesium and potassium, both of which work to lower blood pressure, millet is one of the best possible grains to eat for heart health. It also reduces chances of type II diabetes, again thanks to magnesium. Since it’s so fiber-rich, millet can help move things along in the gastrointestinal system and eliminate digestive problems. An added bonus of millet is the rich source of phenols and antioxidants it contains, which help clean up toxins in the body.

What is the best way to cook with it?

One cup of raw millet makes around 3 1/2 cups. Toasting millet is optional, and here’s how to do it. Toast the millet in a large dry saucepan for 4-5 minutes, stirring often and paying attention that it doesn’t burn. Once the toasting is done, pour two cups of either water or broth into the hot pan. Sprinkle with some salt, stir, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, drop a tablespoon of unsalted butter in the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer while covered for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let it sit for 10 minutes to soak up the rest of the liquid. Fluff with a fork and serve!

Where can I find it?

Again, I’ve found millet easy to find at Walmart or County Market. It’s also available at Amazon here.

What are some good recipes?

Millet lends itself well to breakfast porridge dishes, and can be used as a substitution for rice. Here are some great recipes:

  1. Banana Millet Breakfast Porridge

  2. Toasted Millet Pecan Granola

  3. Moroccan Carrot Salad With Millet

  4. Cauliflower Millet Soup With Lemon

  5. Vegetable Fried Millet

  6. Millet With Roasted Tomatoes and Chickpeas

  7. BBQ Lentils With Millet Polenta

  8. Lemon Millet Bliss Balls

  9. Millet, Almond, and Pistachio Cookies

  10. Mango Millet Lassi (This recipe calls for mango nectar, which you can find on Amazon here.)