Millet, The Frugal Grain
The chief carbohydrate food of the Northern Chinese, the grain, millet is one of the oldest foods known to humans. People in Africa and India use it in many of their recipes. Although millet is one of the world's most important food crops, it is cultivated mostly in the Eastern hemisphere and particularly in regions with primitive agricultural practices and high population densities. Its ability to grow on poorly fertilized or watered soils, has led millet to be labeled as a food for the poor. In the USA, millet is produced mostly for bird seed or cattle grain. So for those vegans who are frugal, this is an excellent choice in grains.
How to Use Millet in Vegan Recipes
Millet is cooked in the same way as most grains, with 2 parts water or stock to 1 part grain, taking about 20 minutes to cook in a rice cooker.
Pan Roasted Millet
Measure out the millet that you plan to use and put it into a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat and dry roast the grains until toasted and fragrant. Place the millet into the rice cooker, add water or stock, pinch of salt and start the rice cooker.
Presoaking millet in water overnight adds a wonderful flavor and texture to the cooked grain.
Sprouted millet makes a good base for cereal. Harvest the sprout when the shoot is the same size as the grain.
Millet flour can be made by grinding millet seeds in a BlendTec Total Blender. The flour can be used in breads and other baked goods such as crackers and pie crusts.
High in B-complex vitamins, millet is packed with more than most grains. It is rich in protein, minerals, and lecithin. And for those with allergies, millet is the least offensive of all grains.
In a study at Yale University, millet was found to be the only grain able to supply experimental animals with all the essential amino acids and vitamins when fed as the exclusive food. Millet is deficient in the amino acid lysine, but lysine is available from legumes, seeds, and dairy products.
Millet is very high in potassium and low in sodium. It picks up trace minerals from the soil when available. Most grains form acids in the body's system, but millet, because of its high alkaline ash content, actually counteracts acids.
When cooked a mucilaginous substance rises to the surface of millet. It appears that this substance has some healing action in cases of gastrointestinal inflammation and ulceration. Millet is one of the most easily digested and handled of all grains.
How to Store Millet
If it is kept dry and way from mice or birds, millet can be stored for two years. Insects and rotting seems to be be little threat to millet. Simple keep millet in a dry, cool place in a closed container.
Basic Millet Recipe
1 tablespoon organic olive oil
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Hulled Millet
2 cups boiling water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Heat oil in a heavy skillet.
Add millet and sauté over medium heat until it turns a golden brown and gives off a fragrant aroma.
Stir vigorously to prevent scorching and to insure an even toasting.
Scrape the millet into a rice cooker.
Add water and salt.
Start the rice cooker and in 20 minutes you'll have fluffy cooked millet.
Use the cooked millet as you would rice in any recipe... breakfast hot cereal, salads, breads, casseroles, stuffings.
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Bob's Red Mill
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