Millet was my mystery ingredient of my last shopping trip. What does this mean you are asking yourself right about now and I have an answer for you. In order to stay inspired in the kitchen I always purchase an ingredient that I have never worked with before or is finally in season again. By doing this I never get tired of cooking and my meals are always allowing me to experiment and figure out what I truly do and do not like. This shopping trip it was millet and I have to say I am on cloud nine for picking up this grain.
Truth be told, millet found its way into my shopping cart because it was cheap and right next to the quinoa. I still picked up the quinoa but remembered an article about the quinoa farmers in Peru that Kevin sent me. Feeling a little guilty about the farmers I saw the millet and thought to myself: what a perfect mystery ingredient. For those of you that watch the Food Network and specifically Iron Chef or Iron Chef America you will understand what the term secret ingredient means.
If you are not familiar with either of these shows then allow me to explain for a moment. When the two chefs enter Kitchen Stadium they do not know what the main ingredient is going to be, thus the secret ingredient. The chairman does a wonderful dance and makes a large statement and the lid comes off of the secret ingredient. I imagined this happening and looking at millet and wondering: what do I do with this. I figured millet was in the grain section so it must be a grain and probably cooked just like rice or quinoa. When I got home I did a quick search and sure enough millet is a grain and cooked just like rice. I was in a comfort zone but wasn’t sure about the taste. Millet looks just like a bigger quinoa, and similar in texture to couscous. At that point I was in an Asian mood and so I decided to go with an Asian stir fry that included one of my top 5 favorite ingredients in eggs.
Some basic information on millet includes:
- Mostly cultivated species are: pearl, foxtail, proso and finger
- Top millet producers worldwide: India, Nigeria, Niger, Mali and China due to their semiarid and high temperatures.
- Millet is starchy with a protein content similar to wheat and maize.
- Rich in B Vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
I have found another item to keep in the menu when I tire of rice or quinoa. This would make a great substitute for oats in a jar of overnight ‘oats’ or even baked ‘oats.’
Have You Ever Used Millet?
What Is Your Favorite Way To Use Millet?