Millet, which for millennia was treasured as a prized crop by our ancestors, is so misunderstood today. Most people will smile and say ‘bird food’ at the mere mention of the word!

And even though they are not that far off, in that it is actually a seed and not a grain, millet is a food that is so highly packed with nutrients, it really should, once again, be a staple in every healthy diet.

The Value of Millet

Millet originated in China, but has been used for centuries in many countries such as India, Greece and Africa and is even mentioned in the Old Testament. It comes in white, grey and red, or as is most commonly found, in yellow. So what secrets did our ancestors know about this tiny grain- like seed? Well, first off millet is gluten free, non–allergenic and highly digestible. It is also alkalizing and stimulates the colon and provides the much needed fibre that helps the friendly bacteria in your gut. Millet is also a ‘smart carbohydrate’, meaning it contains lots of fibre and is very low in simple sugars. What this tells us is that it doesn’t mess around with your blood sugar levels, avoiding the ‘highs and lows ‘associated with simple carbs. It has an average of 15 percent protein, making it invaluable to anyone who’s a vegetarian, or even those who are trying to cut down on meat.

Haven’t you rushed out to your local grocery store yet?

Well, there’s more!

Millet is also high in the following nutrients:

  • Protein
  • Antioxidants
  • B Vitamins
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
Millet can be enjoyed with many foods and can be eaten for breakfast like for example porridge instead of oats, with lunch in salads and of course with dinner in numerous ways… so what’s not to love about it! Now you just need to know how to prepare it.

How to Prepare Millet

Some people including myself, think that all grains (or as in this case seeds!) should be sprouted before cooking. This isn’t always practical though, so a good overnight soak will do if you haven’t started sprouting.

Rinse well first, and then leave to soak overnight or at least for four hours. Once soaked, very simply just cook like rice - one cup millet to two cups water – however a good tip that I’ve tried, is to pop in a knob of butter with the water before cooking, this stops the grains sticking together.

If you have decided not to soak your millet, you will need three cups of water. Once it has turned opaque, you know that it is done.