Millet is not just for the birds! Human consumption of this powerful grain goes back as far as 4500 BCE in China. Millet was considered one of the five sacred crops by the ancient Chinese. It then became a staple throughout the Middle East and northern Africa. It’s mentioned in the Old Testament as one of the treasured plants. Millet is also a staple for The Hunzas, who live in a remote area of the Himalayan foothills and are known for their excellent health and longevity.
It’s a shame that in America, millet is mostly grown just for cattle and bird feed. It is now making a comeback for humans and the type best for human consumption is called “Pearl Millet.”
Millet has a fluffy, nutty taste, and is filling and nutritious. It is a great warming grain for the winter.
It’s health benefits are many :
- Rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B17, B6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
- Contains no gluten
- Alkaline food (non-acidic)
- Low in fat
- Has heart protective properties and helps to develop and repair body tissues.
- High in protein
- Rich in phytochemicals (wards off disease and cancer)
How to prepare:
(Cooking time: 30-35 minutes)
- Measure out 1 cup (which grows to 3 when cooking)
- Quickly rinse
- First roast with some olive oil for about 2 minutes until you smell a nutty smell
- Add 3.5 cups water to 1 cup millet
- The grain has a fluffier texture when less water is used and is very moist and dense when cooked with extra water.
Can be used for breads, stuffing, muffins- just about anything!
I hope this helps motivate you to introduce this hearty addition to your dietary life!