I get a lot of emails about millet. Most of those questions revolve around how to cook it. Seems that much like rice, people seem to have a hard time cooking millet. I think the biggest trick to anything like rice, millet or quinoa is to leave it alone!
Now I know some of my readers know what millet is. However there are quite a few of you, if not most of you, who have no clue what millet is. So I will explain….
Millet is actually a seed from a grass species of the same name. Although it is a seed, it is referred to as a grain. It is seriously healthy as it is high in magnesium, vitamin B, folate, calcium, iron and phosphate…to name a few. It is gluten free and very easy to digest, so it can be used for many restricted diets as well.
Millet has actually been a staple food in Africa and India for thousands of years and once was the prevalent grain in China before rice became the staple. Millet was even mentioned in the Bible (Ezek:4:9-17).
So if millet is so healthy and has been around since the years of B.C, then how come you’ve never heard of it before? Well where you may not have heard the actual name millet, most likely you have seen it before in the U.S., in the form of bird seed that is. Yep, in the United States millet is primarily used in bird seed and animal feed. And this is a shame because millet is so very healthy and can be used in a number of different ways. Besides being a great food, it can also be made into flour and used in cakes, cookies…etc. I personally think millet should be used as filler for less nutritional foods in place of the junk that manufactures put into their products. This of course would up the nutritional value of these foods. I also like the idea of millet as a filler in foods over soy which is in way too many products and I am personally against…but this is a conversation for another time.
So now you know what millet is and how great it is for your health. Let’s get on with taking care of those questions I have been getting about how to cook millet and showing you how to make delicious dish with it!
HOW TO COOK MILLET:
First off, there are two great ways to have millet. One way would be as a “savory” dish (dinner time type dish) and the other way being for breakfast.
You will find that if you look up recipes for basic millet for a savory dish on the internet, that everyone seems to say it is 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup uncooked millet (3 to 1ratio). I am here to tell you that this is WRONG. I have yet to make a light and fluffy version of millet (like a light and fluffy rice or couscous) using these ratios. When I cook millet for a savory dinner type dish, I do what I call “starving” the grain and it comes out light and fluffy every time. For this article though, I want to show you how to make breakfast millet by way of my “Coconut Raisin Millet Breakfast Bowl.” We will do a different article soon on a killer savory millet pilaf…promise.
So millet for breakfast it is. And what is great about this, is that pound for pound millet rivals that of the nutritional value in oatmeal and is easier for your body to digest. Of course we don’t want our breakfast millet to be like a plain bowl of fluffy rice, so to make this into more of a porridge-like consistency, I follow a simple rule to cooking millet for breakfast. And that is:
- The amount of liquid needed to cook the grain depends on your desired outcome of the dish.
So by following this rule, I know I need to add more liquid than I typically would for a savory dish to make this millet into more of a porridge-like consistency. And here is how to do it!
Coconut Raisin Millet Breakfast Bowl
- 1 cup of uncooked millet; thoroughly rinsed
- 3 ¾ cups of coconut milk (we use So Delicious Coconut Milk)
- 1 ½ tbsp light brown sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- 3 tbsp agave
- a pinch of salt
- In a pot, bring the coconut milk, brown sugar, vanilla, raisins and a pinch of salt to a boil.
- When mixture boils, add the rinsed millet, return to a boil and then reduce all the way to low (you only want a simmer).
- Cover the pot and let simmer for 25 minutes; DO NOT UNCOVER POT OR STIR MIXTURE.
- After 25 minutes turn the heat off, add the agave and shredded coconut, stir to combine and serve.
I kid you not, this makes a delicious breakfast! I get a creamy, delicious, satisfying hot bowl of millet-coconut goodness with perfect results every time.
Check out these delicious looking pictures:
Cooking Tips: like all grains, it is important to rinse your millet thoroughly before you cook it. Your end result will turn out a whole lot better and be easier to digest.