Millet — What is Good About It & How Do You Cook and Eat It?

millet world map

Have you heard of millet? Ever wonder what it’s good for and how to eat it? Here are a few pieces of information on millet and a few ideas of how to cook and eat it.

When I was a child, our family ate a lot of millet. Most often, we had millet cooked with large splashes of olive oil and Bragg liquid aminos. Simple, and, as my mom said, “a complete alkaline protein.”

I found out later that this comment was due to the alkaline balance in the amino acid chains. In other words, millet keeps the body nourished but not overly acidic as meats and other protein-rich foods do.

There are numerous ways to eat millet. You can eat it the simple way I described above, or add some chunks of tofu, lentils, black beans, or some other bean of your choice. You cook it basically as you do rice.

At times, my mom made simple cream of millet for breakfast when we were young. And I’ve now discovered that this is quite popular over here in Poland, with some raisins, seeds, and nuts thrown in.

So, you have the choice of sweet millet or salty millet, breakfast millet or lunch/dinner millet!

What’s Millet Good For?

In Chinese medicine, a key focus is eating food for your own imbalances — whether they be too much dampness in the system, too much dryness in the system, or too much heat in the system — to offset health problems prophylactically. Millet and other foods such as barley and quinoa support the spleen and eliminate dampness in the system. Millet also supports the kidneys which is necessary for the health of the whole system, according to Chinese medicine. We once watched a national geographic special on a nomadic tribe in Africa and I was surprised that everyone in the tribe had such perfect-looking teeth. Their staple food was millet (also the grain the Africa is made of in the world map above). With this strong grain as a major component of their diet, their whole bodily systems were relatively healthy (I’m sure there was more at work here, too).

Some Recipes for Eating Millet

For a good dinner/lunch, try this one out:

  • Cook 1 cup millet in 3 cups of water.
  • Add some chunks of tofu at the end (just before it is done cooking) — if you’re into tofu, that is.
  • After cooking, add curry or turmeric (known as curcumun in the East) to support liver health.
  • After the food has cooled a bit (but just a bit), add flax oil for those good omega 3s and Bragg liquid aminos (we always just called it “aminos”) or tamari or some good sea salt.
  • And then, add some fresh oregano to support immune system health

For a nice breakfast dish:

  • Get some baby fresh millet and grind it in a seed grinder or blender very fine.
  • Simmer slowly in water until soft (3 cups of water to 1 cup of ground millet).
  • Add fresh Cinnamon and maple syrup/agave nectar/local raw honey and a touch of sea salt.
  • Add some dried fruits and seeds/nuts of your choice.

If you try these recipes out, let us know what you think! Or, if you have other millet recipes you love, share them in the comments below!

Photo Credit: ishmael78 via flickr

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