Preparing Basic Millet 101
Although millet is most commonly used as birdseed here in the US, this nutrient-packed seed or “pseudo-grain” has been feeding China, Ethiopa and India for thousands of years. So vegans & vegetarians, next time you’re on the other end of an “eating birdseed” joke, please smile proudly and serve up some millet stuffed peppers to watch a pleasant surprise!
Much like quinoa, millet is gluten-free and easy on the belly. It is also more alkalizing than other non-gluten grains. It is rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Millet 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 has anti-fungal properties. This is good news for those with candida overgrowth.
Millet can be found in some grocery stores; however, you’ll most likely have to visit your natural whole foods store to find it. Look for organic hulled millet–Arrowhead Mills or Bob’s Red Mill are excellent selections. 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 millet, place in a ceramic or glass bowl (never use plastic) and soak with purified water for 12-18 hours. For optimal soaking, add 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar. See soaking instructions for more detail.
2. Place millet in small pot with water. Drain and rinse millet well. The basic ratio is 3 cups water to 1 cup millet. However, if you soak millet, you won’t need as much water when you cook it. After soaking, try 1 cup of millet to 2 or 2 ½ cups of water. You determine how much water to use depending on how soft you like your grain.
3. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low heat and let simmer for 25-30 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.
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 cold 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. If you find this post helpful, and want to spread the word about nutritious millet, especially to those with candida or gluten sensitivities, please share on FB or tweet about it!