Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Do I Do With This Millet?

You don't read this blog to hear all about my glorious kitchen successes, where my teeth shine and my hair blows and my children eat everything and say please and thank you. You read this blog to hear my real accounts of my kitchen near misses. My not so great kitchen disasters. And of course my stories of thrown food and kids screaming is enough to make any parent feel good about themselves. This is one such story. And if you are looking for an answer to the question of what to do with millet, I am not sure you will get one from this post. But I did recently buy millet and I did recently cook it, and we all did recently eat it. But what to do with it? Your guess is as good as mine at this point.

Millet is a small but mighty grain. It is completely gluten free. And it is believed that it was the staple grain in China before the cultivation of rice took hold. Even the package told me that. And I was kind of intrigued by the ancient grain thing. I like traditional foods. The site that I just linked to has some really cool info, like that millet is mentioned in the Bible. It is the sixth most important grain in the world serving as a staple grain in countries like China, India, Japan, Egypt and others. Millet is often used to make the very tasty Indian bread roti. It is a very cool site. And the article is not too long--give it a look-sy. Millet is also a good source of protein and iron, b-complex vitamins and it is easily digestible.

I bought whole millet last weekend because I had visions of making a porridge in the morning. I love the way Israeli cous cous is so big and globular and fluffy, but I have issues with it, because I am not sure there is such a thing as whole grain cous cous. Plus it is wheat. I imagined that when millet sucked up enough water that it would be soft and fluffy. So one morning I followed the package directions and sauteed a cup of millet in some butter and then added two cups of water. I was so excited! Here we embarked on our gluten free experiment!

But after 30 minutes, I knew I needed to add some rapadura, or whole cane sugar. So I did. And then I realized that I needed to add some more water. So I did.

The millet tasted a bit like underdone rice. But I was out of time. I had to pack up to get to work on time, put it into bowls for the kids and pack some for myself to eat in the office. I added some cream to mine.

DH said that Thing 1 ate one bite but didn't care for it and Thing 2 ate a few bites before it turned to glue. He said it was positively awful and the kids ended up eating toast with jelly (homemade) for breakfast. Once I got to work, I reheated my millet in the microwave. It was like a brick by the time I got to the office. I added more water and thinned it out. It was still a little underdone, nothing I would serve to guests. But it was kind of a good breakfast. It had some protein (a little, 6-8 grams) and it was very filling. The flavor was decent. But if I had it all to do over again I would take the one cup of millet and boil it in 4 or 5 cups of water. And I would boil it for 45 minutes or an hour.

The bag I bought was a pound of millet, so needless to say I have some extra in the house. The general consensus was that this was a miss. Not a near-miss and not a total disaster. I will make this again. But the next time I would make it correctly. Even the website that I linked to says millet cooks in a ratio of 1 to 3 of grain to water. So to make a porridge you'd need even more. So there you go. Once I get it right though, millet porridge will be a nice breakfast. It will diversify our diet nicely. Plus because it has the protein and no gluten it left me feeling good and solid, not like the blood sugar spike from wheat.

What do you know about millet? Have you ever cooked it? What else should I do with my millet?

The Post is shared with Friday F*#@ Ups and Triumphs


  1. LOL - I bought some of this 6 months ago and still haven't figured out what to do with it. Hopefully some others have good ideas. :)

  2. I have used Gary Null's recipe for millet porridge with mushrooms and peppers and love it. My family even enjoyed it.