December 08, 2008
The other day I was telling a coworker about some of the grains I have in the pantry and her eyes grew wide at words like "amaranth" and "millet." And well they should. I lived a good long time on this earth and had never heard of eating these things until recently. What a shame! Millet has a particularly useful texture that makes it great for forming things like cookies (yes, I've made millet cookies! i have to post about those!) and patties like the ones I made for dinner the other night.
Here's a bit more about millet: Sure, it's known as bird food. But millet is also a grain our ancestors ate. So, if you are looking to eat more naturally or more like our bodies were intended to eat from the earth, millet is a good choice. Plus it's got great nutritional value: magnesium, manganese and phosphorus abound. From Whfoods.com:
Millet is thought to have originated in North Africa, specifically in Ethiopia, where it has been consumed since prehistoric times. There is even mention of millet in the Bible as an ingredient for unleavened bread.
Millet is still an extremely important food staple in Africa where finely ground millet is used to make a traditional flatbread known as injera. Since ancient times, millet has been widely consumed in Asia and India as well. The Indian flatbread roti is made from ground millet seeds.
The millet cakes I made for dinner were a mixed with kale, tofu a little flour and seasoning. The recipe can be found in The Yoga Cookbook: Vegetarian Food for Body and Mind, although I used kale instead of zucchini. I made patties and fried them in my cast iron pan. (This technique always strikes me as interesting and always takes a lot longer than I want it too. Usually sets off the smoke detector too. Have I mentioned I am NOT a trained chef?) But the result was pretty good so it was worth the effort. For the topping, I pimped out a jar of salsa with fresh veggies and more spices. There's really no right or wrong way to do this, I just go cupboard crazy. So try some millet and if you don't like it you can feed it to the birds.
So what new grains have you tried lately?