Monday, September 26, 2011

Millet

Millet is an ancient grain (technically, a seed). Records indicate that it was cultivated in China over 6,000 years ago; but somehow it’s never been popular in the Americas (except as bird seed). Those trying to improve their diets, though, would do well to add millet to the pantry and to their long-term food storage. We store hulled millet, but it is also available as whole millet (the form typically used as bird seed), millet grits, millet flakes, and millet flour.

Millet is gluten-free, and therefore, a good choice for those with gluten-intolerance.

Millet has significantly more fiber and niacin than white rice, couscous or quinoa, so it would make an excellent side dish for tonight’s dinner. You can also add millet to soups and stews, or grind it into flour and add to bread, cake, puddings, etc.




Major Nutrients in 1 cup

Uncooked Millet
Dry couscous
Uncooked Quinoa
Uncooked White long grain enriched rice
Calories
756
650
626
675
Protein (g)
22.04
22.07
24
13.19
Fat (g)
8.44
1.11
10.32
1.22
Carbohydrate (g)
145.7
133.95
109.07
147.91
    Fiber, total (g)
17.0
8.7
11.9
2.4
Calcium (mg)
16
42
80
52
Iron (mg)
6.02
1.87
7.77
7.97
Magnesium (mg)
228
76
335
46
Phosphorus (mg)
570
294
777
213
Potassium (mg)
390
287
957
213
Sodium (mg)
10
17
8
9
Zinc (mg)
3.36
1.44
5.27
2.02
Copper (mg)
1.5
.427
1.003
.407
Manganese (mg)
3.264
1.349
3.456
2.013
Selenium (mcg)
5.4
N/A
14.4
27.9
Niacin (mg)
9.44
6.038
2.584
7.755
Pantothenic acid (mg)
1.696
2.150
1.312
1.876
Folate (170 mcg)
170
35
313
427
Lutein & zeaxanthin (mg)
N/A
N/A
277
0
Vitamin K (mcg)
1.8
N/A
0.00
.2

Per USDA standard reference




Cooked Millet
2-1/2 cups chicken stock, water, or a combination or both
1 cup millet
1 tablespoon butter
  1. Place the chicken stock, water (or both) in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Rinse the millet and then stir it into the liquid. Add the butter.
  3. Return the mixture to a boil; then cover and reduce heat.
  4. Simmer the millet for at least 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat; fluff. This step is important because millet can get gummy quickly if not fluffed.

Variations:
  • Add chopped vegetables (onion, celery, carrots, cauliflower, chunks of winter squash) to the liquid before cooking.
  • Add herbs, such as Italian seasoning, basil, or thyme.
  • Add some dried fruit bits (apricots, apple, or pineapple) to the liquid before cooking.
  • Substitute brown rice or quinoa for half of the millet.
  • For a richer taste, brown the uncooked millet for a few minutes in a non-stick pan before cooking.
  • Add sautéed mushrooms to the mixture before cooking.
  • Use cooked millet along with cooked brown rice, bread crumbs, veggies and flavorings to make “meat balls.” Scoop into a ball, cover with sesame seeds and bake at 400 degrees until brown (approx 30 minutes)
  • Combine cooked millet with garbanzo beans, a little chopped onion, black olives, and Italian dressing for a tasty side salad.
  • Saute some garlic and onions, add some chopped tomatoes; cooked until tomatoes soften then add cooked millet and top with cilantro.




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