Each month the Whole Grains Council spotlights a different grain. The first Thursday of every month we will be featuring this grain on the blog. These blog posts will include fun facts, nutritional information and health benefits, and storage and cooking tips about the grain.
November is here already, and we can’t wait to share the Whole Grains Council grain of the month – Millet!
So, what exactly is millet? Millet is not just one grain but a group several small-seeded grains that come from the Poaceae grass family.
The Most Popular Types of Millet
- Pearl millet
- Foxtail milet
- Proso milet
- Finger millet
- India is the world’s top producer of millet, followed by Africa and China.
- In some regions, millet is a staple, but in the United States it is one of the main ingredients in birdseed
- Millet grain can be popped like popcorn to enjoy as a snack
- Many bean bags are actually filled with millet – not beans!
- For those who cannot eat gluten or are trying to cut back on it, millet is a great option because it is a gluten-free grain.
- It is high in magnesium which benefits nerve and muscle function.
- Recent studies have also found that it has the potential to reduce inflammation.
- Since most millet has a mild flavor, it goes best paired with other foods.
- To cook millet, you will likely get the best results by using 1 cup of millet and 2 ½ cups of liquid.
- In your baked goods that do not require as much rising, you can substitute part of your all-purpose flour for millet flour (up to 30%).
The three main cooking methods are:
- Fluﬀy Millet – toast 1 cup millet for 4-6 minutes in a dry pan. Next, add 2 ¼ cups boiling water, simmer for 13-18 minutes, then let stand for 10 minutes.
- Sticky Millet – Boil 1 cup millet in 2 ¾ cups water, simmer for 13-18 minutes, then let stand for 10 minutes. You can easily mold the sticky millet into patties.
- Creamy Millet – Grind 1 cup millet in a spice grinder. Bring 5 cups water to a boil, then gradually whisk in millet. Cover, lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 to 30 minutes until grits are tender. Creamy millet can be used for porridge or polenta.
Now that you know more about what millet is, some of its benefits, and how to cook it… Go try out one of these great recipes!