Thursday, April 8, 2010

So what's the big deal about millet?

We in America think of millet as only a great bird seed or cattle feed but it is a dietary staple in India and Africa! However, we have been missing out as millet is very close to being a complete protein and excellent for those with gluten allergies! Millet has a very hard indigestible hull therefore, this grain must be hulled before it can be used for human consumption. Hulling does not affect the nutrient value, as the germ stays intact through this process. What you find in the store is hulled millet.

When cooking with millet here are some tips:

Before cooking millet, rinse thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris. After rinsing, add one part millet to two and a half parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. The texture of millet cooked this way will be fluffy like rice. If a more creamy consistency is desired, stir frequently adding a little water every now and then. Note: If millet is presoaked, it will cut your cooking time 5 to 10 minutes. Some cookbooks will tell you to soak the grain overnight.

Some cookbooks will tell you the flavor of millet is enhanced by lightly roasting the grain in a dry pan before cooking. You would stir constantly for approximately 3 minutes or until a mild nutty aroma is detected. Not sure I would have the time to worry about that extra flavor! :)

I have never tried it but have read that you can sprout millet! Would be great addition for sandwiches and salads if you like sprouts.

Nutritional Profile
(based on ¼ cup dry grain)

* Calories = 189
* Total Fat = 2 g
* Saturated Fat = 0.25 g
* Cholesterol = 0 mg
* Sodium = 2.5 mg
* Carbohydrate = 36.5 g
* Dietary Fiber = 4.25 g
* Protein = 5.5 g
* Gluten Free

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