Millet - A Gluten Free Food

Looking for another gluten free whole grain to add to your repertoire? Have you tried millet? Yes, millet is a common ingredient in bird seed, but it is not “for the birds”. Millet is a tiny yellow circular grain. It can be creamy like mashed potatoes or fluffy like rice.

Before cooking millet, like all grains, it is wise to rinse it under running water in a fine meshed sieve. The holes in most colanders are too big and the grain will be washed down the sink. Be sure to select your kitchen tool wisely. Cook one part millet with 2.5 parts water in boiling water. Turn down the heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes. This makes a fluffy version of millet. To make a creamier version, stir the millet frequently, adding a little more water each time.

Like most grains, it is useful to cook up a larger batch and use the leftovers during the week. Consider cooked millet as a breakfast porridge along with nuts and dried fruits. Add chopped veggies, perhaps some chicken or tofu, and a dressing to create a simple salad, or perfect recovery meal.

Use the following recipe as a starting point for a wonderful one pot meal.

Eggplant Coconut Curry

  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 1 can garbanzos, drained
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/3 cup dried prunes (or raisins or apricots)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or garam masala would be great too)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. Heat pot to medium high.
  2. Add oil and brown eggplant for 5 minutes. Add water to slightly steam if necessary.
  3. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Add garbanzos, coconut milk, millet, prunes and spices. Stir.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Originally published in the West Hartford Fleet Feet newsletter, "The Extra Mile" (January 31, 2012, Issue #96)

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