Say hello to your new best friend,
Millet is most often associated as the main ingredient in bird seed. But it’s not just for the birds! It can be made creamy like mashed potatoes, fluffy like rice, or crispy like seeds! Millet is tiny in size and round in shape. The most widely form of millet found in stores is hulled. It’s a great source of very important nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.
Because of it’s high magnesium content, it’s very heart healthy! Magnesium has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack. Magnesium also helps reduce the severity of asthma attacks and migraines. Since millet does not contain gluten, it is a wonderful grain alternative for people who are gluten-sensitive.
Like all grains, make sure you rinse millet thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris that you may find. After rinsing, add one part millet to three parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. The texture of millet cooked this way will be fluffy like rice. If you want the millet to have a more creamy consistency, stir it frequently adding a little water every now and then.
[Tweet “Millet isn’t just for the birds! Make a pilaf out of millet for a nutty, warm, chewy pilaf! https://wp.me/p4osPf-1vW @zenandspice”]
To impart a nuttier flavor to the cooked millet, you could roast the grains first before boiling. To do this, place the grains in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir them frequently. When they have achieved a golden color, add them to the boiling cooking liquid.
I’ve only recently started experimenting with millet. The first thing I ever made were millet buckeyes– I toasted the millet with olive oil until it was crispy, then combined with peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, etc then covered in melted chocolate. It tasted like a Crunch bar– the millet is nice and crispy and adds a huge crunch.
[Tweet “Tired of couscous, quinoa or rice? Try cooking millet in this tasty pilaf from @zenandspice https://wp.me/p4osPf-1vW”]
I also wanted to experiment with actually cooking it like a grain, so when my family came over for a blog taste-a-thon, I decided to give it a whirl! We all loved it. The millet tastes like a combination between brown rice, quinoa and couscous. It’s definitely nutty and has a warm, toasty flavor. The texture is coarse, not smooth like couscous or rice. It has a really nice bite to it!
So if you’re getting tired of the usual rice, quinoa, or couscous, give millet a try!
Here’s the recipe!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup millet
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- Large pinch of sea salt
- 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
- Add the carrots and onion to a food processor- pulse until finely minced.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Add millet and toast for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden.
- Add onion and carrot, cook two more minutes, and add sea salt and broth.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
I LOVE millet! Obviously as a Celiac, this was one of the new grains I tried and I loved it ever since! Haha, I didn’t know it was used in bird seed :P
This pilaf looks so yummy though! AH!
Emily Hein, RDN, LD says
I’m a newbie to millet and so far I like it a lot! :)
Deanna Segrave-Daly says
Thanks for reminding me about millet – I’ve cooked with it once (made Serena’s banana millet bread) but love the idea of a pilaf.
Emily Hein, RDN, LD says
Let me know if you try it! Love switching to something new after using brown rice, quinoa and couscous all the time!