What is Millet

The short answer is millet is a seed. In fact, you may recognize it as a primary ingredient in bird seed. Millet is also a good seed to cook with for human consumption. It is nutritious and acts more like a grain than a seed, making it versatile.

I’m sure you are wondering what the difference is between couscous and millet. Wonder no longer, my friend. Couscous is simply cracked millet with a fun name. If you are in a rush, opt for couscous; it has a shorter cook-time.

Flavor of Millet

Millet has a mild, nutty flavor.

Millet absorbs other flavors well. Use vegetable broth to cook millet to put that to the test.

Health Benefits of Millet

Millet contains several excellent nutrients, including some that vegetarians should be happy about. Millet is a good source of…

  • dietary fiber, with 2 grams per cup of cooked millet. Fiber has many important functions. It lowers the risk of heart disease. It also helps control blood sugar, reducing the risk of diabetes. Fiber helps with bowel health and helps maintain a healthy weight. Fiber also reduces the risk of stroke and certain intestinal problems, such as diverticulitis. Soluble fiber acts to lower cholesterol levels.
  • protein, with 6 grams per cup of cooked millet. Protein is good for your heart, bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
  • iron, with 6% of the recommended daily value per one cup of cooked millet. Iron helps our brains function and helps carry oxygen through our bodies. In fact, an iron deficiency can result in the development of anemia. Iron also plays a role in the maintenance of skin, nails, and hair.
  • vitamin B6, with 9% per cup of cooked millet. Vitamin B6 is good for heart health by preventing plaque build-up in arteries. Vitamin B6 also plays a role in maintaining a healthy brain.
  • niacin, with 12%  per cup of cooked millet. Niacin, which is vitamin B3, is responsible for the production of certain hormones. Niacin also helps control blood sugar.
  • choline, with 19.5 mg per cup of cooked millet. Choline can help in cancer prevention. It can also help to lower cholesterol.
  • copper, with 14% per cup of cooked millet. Copper is good for your heart, brain, and bones.

Uses for Millet

Millet is grain-like and can be used as you would use other grains. Try millet in this mushroom and spinach millet recipe.

Depending on how it is cooked, millet can have a creamy texture or a rice-like texture.

Millet can also be ground and used in baking.

How to Cook Millet

Rinse millet well before cooking.

Use one part millet to two parts liquid (water or broth) for a rice-like texture. If you prefer a creamy texture, use the same measurements initially, but have additional liquid nearby to add throughout the cooking process.

For a rice-like texture

Bring the liquid to a boil. Add millet and return to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer until done, approximately 25 minutes.

For a creamy, mashed potato-like texture

Bring the liquid to a boil. Add millet and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer. Occasionally stir in additional water. Cook until done, approximately 25 minutes.

Where to Buy Millet

Millet can be found at grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

Check the grains aisle, where rice is sold. It is also available in some bulk foods sections.

Millet was last modified: February 1st, 2015 by Audrey

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