Millet is a delicious and versatile whole grain that is rich in B vitamins and numerous minerals including: iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
Millet has a similar protein concentration as wheat but, unlike wheat, it is gluten-free, making it a popular choice for those with celiac disease.
Millet's whole grain status and low glycemic index makes it an ideal choice for blood glucose control and weight management. When whole grains are refined, the bran and germ layers are removed, resulting in substantially less fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The lack of fibre means that refined grains are more quickly metabolized into sugar in the body causing more insulin to be released over shorter periods of time. This mechanism primes the body for weight gain and puts us at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Out of the hull, millet looks like tiny yellow beads that bear a strong resemblance to quinoa.
Where to find Millet and What to do with it
Hulled millet can be found in most major grocery stores and health food stores.
Like quinoa, millet is extremely versatile and can be prepared as a breakfast cereal, a simple side or dressed up in soups, casseroles and salads.
Rinsing millet before cooking will help remove any residual debris. It can then be cooked in much the same way as rice - 1 part millet to 3 parts liquid - for 20-25 minutes.
Lemon Millet with Wild Blueberries and Caramelized Pecans:
- 1 cup hulled millet
- 1 + 1/2 cups water + 1 + 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup fresh wild blueberries (or other fresh blueberries)
- 2 Tbsp grated lemon rind
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp green onion (scallions), chopped
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Heat oven to 350 F.
Place millet and liquid (water and stock) in pot on stove and bring to boil. Once mixture boils, turn heat to lowest setting, cover pot and allow millet to simmer for approximately 20 minutes (or until most of the liquid has evaporated and millet appears puffed).
Place cooked millet in a colander and allow excess liquid to drain. You can assist this process by using the back of a spoon and pressing millet against colander.
Place drained millet in a bowl and gather remaining ingredients
Add blueberries, lemon rind, lemon juice and green onion (shallots) to millet mixing gently, taking care not to mash fruit.
Meanwhile, spread pecan pieces on a cookie sheet and bake in 350 oven for 5 minutes. Remove pecans from oven and drizzle one tablespoon of pure maple syrup over them and return to oven for another 5 minutes.
To preserve freshness of pecans, add them to millet mixture just before serving.
Photos by Trinity Nutrition