You’ve probably heard of millet; it’s a staple food in Africa and Asia, and is best known in the U.S. for being the main component of birdseed. What we call “millet” is not technically a single grain, but the seeds of several different grasses that come in a variety of colors. The most recognizable millet in North America is probably the tiny yellow Proso variety.
While millet is an “ancient grain” and has been cultivated for the past 10,000 years, it hasn’t quite caught on like its trendy cousin quinoa. I tried it for the first time last week and was pleasantly surprised. The texture was light and fluffy, similar to steamed rice, and it tasted a bit like corn tortillas. And yes, it was delicious mixed with beans and topped with cotija cheese. But millet has a lot more going for it than just the taste. Here are four reasons to make it a regular on your plate.
1. It’s healthy.
It’s a new year, which means many of us are trying to eat healthier. Eating more whole grains like millet is a great place to start. It’s higher in protein and fiber than wheat or corn, and contains antioxidants and essential minerals like magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.