Preparing Basic Millet 101
Millet is very much a staple in my pantry and I’m always eager to inspire others to start cooking with this marvelous pseudo-grain, which is actually a seed. Much like quinoa, millet is gluten-free and easy on the belly. It’s also more alkalizing than other non-gluten grains. It’s rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Millet also has an impressive amino acid profile, including the essential amino acid methionine, making it an excellent source of protein. Perhaps the thing I love the most about millet, other than its taste, is that it is a prebiotic, making it an excellent “food” to feed the friendly flora in our guts.
Millet can be found in some grocery stores; however, you’ll most likely have to visit your natural whole foods store to find it, or you can purchase it here, here and here. With its mildly sweet, nutty flavor, millet is a delightful alternative to rice and other commonly used grains.
Preparing Your Millet
1. Measuring & soaking your millet. One cup of dried millet generally yields about 3 cups cooked. Measure out the desired amount of millet you want to cook, place in a ceramic or glass bowl (never use plastic) and soak with purified water for 18-24 hours. For optimal soaking, add 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar. See soaking instructions for more detail.
2. Drain and rinse millet well. The basic ratio for cooking is 2 – 2½ cups of water to 1 cup millet, depending on how creamy you want the texture. I recommend starting with 2 cups of water if you soaked the millet.
3. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. The less you stir, the fluffier your millet will be. This is why it’s important not to cook it on high- you want a nice low simmer. You will know your millet is finished because the dark yellow color will become opaque. I never cover my grains when cooking them. As long as you use a nice low simmer with minimal stirring, your grains should come out nice and fluffy. If the texture is a little drier than you like, next time start with the ratio 2½ cups of water to 1 cup millet. The more you cook with millet, the better you’ll get at decided the exact ratio of water to millet that you prefer.
4. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff well and serve.
5. Serving your millet. Millet can be used in a variety of ways. When cooked, it provides a light, dry texture that sticks well. This makes it a perfect for hearty stews, vegetable patties, stuffing, porridge, and salads.
Have you cooked with millet before? Millet is so versatile, and I have a million recipes I want to try. If you have any please do share in the comments section below. And as always, if you enjoyed this post and would like more cooking tips like this, please join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.