What is millet?
Millet is an annual herbal plant whose seeds are millet. Note that despite the name, millet has nothing to do with wheat. In fact, millet is a pseudo-cereal that does not contain gluten . Due to its high yield, millet is one of the cheapest pseudo-grains, not inferior in nutritional characteristics and the content of vitamins buckwheat and quinoa.
Since millet is an extremely variable plant, millet can vary both in color (most often it is yellow or red) and in grain size. In addition to cereals (millet itself), millet is found in the form of flakes, as well as flour, which can be successfully used for baking. In some cases, sorghum is also included in the millet plant group.
The key recipe for making millet is considered to be cooking millet porridge (“millet”) - both in plain water and in milk with the addition of various ingredients. The main country that grows millet is India, so there are many recipes for Indian cuisine using millet - cereal goes well with both vegetables and all kinds of spices (primarily turmeric ).
Millet - benefit and harm
As in the case of green buckwheat and quinoa , millet grain during processing retains a shell that contains healthy nutrients. The key advantages of millet are its low glycemic index, low fat content, high fiber content, a complete amino acid profile, and the presence of a number of important vitamins and microminerals.
The key disadvantage of millet is that it contains goitrogen phytonutrients that can suppress the thyroid gland and reduce the production of thyroid hormones. This effect is called the “strumogenic factor” ¹. Similar substances are also found in soy, cabbage, sweet potatoes and flaxseed. If you have problems with the thyroid, these products should be used with caution.
Why millet is useful:
Millet - properties and composition
Note that the properties and composition of millet are extremely close to the aforementioned buckwheat and quinoa. The only difference is the lower protein content. If in 100 g of dry buckwheat it is 14 g, then in 100 g of dry millet protein is about 11 g. Also, since the color of millet is determined by phytonutrients, reddish grains may contain slightly more useful substances than yellow ones - however, the difference is not fundamental.
The positive effects of cereals (including normalization of blood glucose levels, lowering bad cholesterol and “cleansing blood vessels”, lowering blood pressure levels, and so on) are the result of high amounts of fiber in millet. It accounts for about 9-10% of dry weight. The mineral content is also similar to other pseudo-grains, although slightly lower.
Composition and calorie content of millet (per 100 g) ²:
- Calories - 378 kcal
- Carbohydrate Content - 73 g
- Of which fiber - 8.5 g
- Protein Content - 11 g
- Fat Content - 4.2 g
- Of these, vegetable omega-3s are 118 mg
The effect of millet on the thyroid gland
As we mentioned above, millet contains harmful goitrogens. With the daily use of large quantities of millet, the thyroid gland can be suppressed and the production of thyroid hormones can be reduced. People whose diet is poor in iodine fall into a special risk group - there is scientific evidence that millet consumption is associated with the development of goiter.
However, we are not talking about the fact that a plate of millet porridge can break the metabolism of a healthy person. Scientists emphasize that millet is dangerous only if it acts as the main source of daily calories. At the same time, popular mono-diets based on millet, theoretically, can be considered dangerous. In addition, this cereal is prohibited in gastritis with low acidity.
How to cook millet?
Most often, millet porridge is cooked from millet grains, and they are also crushed into flour, which is used for making bread and various pastries (primarily fritters and pies). In many eastern countries, millet (steep-brewed porridge) is prepared from millet, which is cut and eaten with salted cheese. Among other things, kvass and other low-alcohol drinks are made from millet.
It should be noted that due to the special profile of fatty acids, millet oxidizes quite quickly and becomes bitter. To avoid this, you should buy millet in small quantities, store it in a tightly closed container in a dark and cool place, and also observe the correct cooking technology. The most delicious is usually considered bright yellow millet.
How to cook millet porridge?
Before preparing millet porridge, millet should be carefully sorted and washed several times in running water. The last rinse should be carried out with hot water to dissolve the fat film formed on the surface of the grains. To get rid of the bitter aftertaste, porridge is cooked until half ready in a large amount of water, then the water is drained, milk is added and boiled until cooked.
- Rinse cereals thoroughly before cooking
- 3 parts liquid to 1 part cereal
- Cooking time - about 20-25 minutes
- Add 1 part milk and butter at the end.
Millet is a herbal plant whose seeds are millet. Like other pseudo-grains, millet does not contain gluten (however, it can get into cereals during processing and packaging). The health benefits of millet are based on a high fiber content and a complete amino acid profile. A possible harm when consuming millet is the development of goiter, but only against the background of an acute lack of iodine in the diet.
- Antithyroid and goitrogenic effects of millet: role of C-glycosylflavones, source
- Millet, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories, source