On these cool, damp winter mornings, a warm whole-grain cereal is just the thing to keep you fueled up. For a change of pace, why not try some millet?
Now we often think of millet as bird food, but did you know that millet was the chief grain in China generations ago, before rice became so popular? It continues to be a great source of nourishment for people in Africa, China and Russia.
And millet is good for more than just the birds. Millet is packed with nutrients. It is high in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and silica, which helps keep our bones flexible through the aging process. It has anti-fungal properties for those who are dealing with yeast overgrowth, otherwise known as Candida. Finally, because of its mineral content, it helps the functioning of the kidneys and stomach.
It is gluten-free, so it can be enjoyed even by those avoiding other grains. And, it’s known to be soothing to the stomach, making it a perfect cereal for anyone suffering from morning sickness or anyone with a delicate stomach.
Millet can be used as a hot cereal either on its own or combined with buckwheat, amaranth or rice. You can use it in soups as a way to add protein and it can be used as a wheat-free for substitute for couscous, as it has a similar consistency.
Millet is easy to prepare. You just rinse it before cooking, and use a ratio of one part millet to two parts liquid. You can also toast it prior to cooking, to give it a richer, nuttier flavor. To toast millet, place it in a pan over medium heat and lightly brown, shaking the pan as necessary, so as not to burn the grain.
1 cup millet
2 cups water
few grains sea salt
Rinse millet and place in a pot with the water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. More water can be added if you desire a softer consistency.
To serve, let your imagination and taste buds guide you. For a breakfast cereal, add raisins and cinnamon for a sweeter flavor. For a side dish for lunch or dinner, try adding cooked carrots, onions, or parsnips.