How to cook millet

IT’S NOT JUST FOR BIRDS, but that’s probably where you’ve heard of millet. As birdseed. Unless you were in the Peace Corps like my friend Molly who said, “Oh. That was a staple for people in Niger when I was there.”  It makes sense though, because millet is easy to grow in places with extreme heat, eaten in many cultures and apparently one of the oldest grains grown in China where they’ve been cooking it for nearly 5,000 years.

But enough of the history and onto the benefits…and the recipes. Millet is a small golden seed with a nutty flavor, one that’s packed with iron, calcium, potassium and B vitamins. Some people consider it a rice substitute but millet can be used in sweet or savory dishes, in place of flour (once you grind it up), even an alternative to your morning oatmeal.

The ratio for cooking millet is simple: 1 part millet, 3 parts water. Be sure to rinse the millet first then simply add it to a pot with the water, chicken stock or milk. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for about 30 minutes until the water is fully absorbed. One cup of millet plus three cups of water will feed approximately 2 1/2 people so adjust according to your household and your appetites.

Tips:

  • Soak the millet for 2 hours or up to overnight in order to reduce cooking time.

  • If you leave the millet to simmer without stirring often it’ll soak up the liquid and end up fluffy like rice or cous cous.

  • If you add more liquid and stir a lot the result will be closer to risotto (which is basically rice with lots of liquid, constantly stirred…)

  • Millet is available at health food stores.

Recipes from delicious sources:

>> Millet recipes from {101 Cookbooks}

>> Millet salad from {Gluten Free Girl}

>> Millet-stuffed tomatoes from {Emeril Lagasse (Food Network)}

>> Millet pie with spinach and feta from {Serious Eats}




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