Kristina over at Pioneer Woman at Heart mentioned in a recent post that her husband's blood sugar levels tested out a little high. So she decided to incorporate into their diet a grain that is said to maintain and/or lower blood sugar levels. That grain? Millet.
I used to cook with millet much more often when we were following a vegetarian diet. Kristina's post reminded me of how much I really like millet, and it's high time I started using more of it again.
Are you familiar with millet? Some people think it tastes like rice, others liken it to cornmeal. I think it has a rather bland but pleasant, nutty flavor. Nutritionally speaking, it contains more essential amino acids than the more popular grains such as wheat, oats, rice, barley and rye. It's also believed to be an outstanding anti-acid grain. Most grains form acids in our stomachs, but millet with its high alkaline mineral content counteracts acids and is more easily digested. Because of this quality it's a desirable food for people with ulcers or sensitive stomachs.
Back in 2010 I did a blog post on a Millet Loaf I make that is a favorite meal of my husband's. Click here if you want to take a look at that recipe.
This morning while I was making a pot of potato soup, I cooked up enough millet to make some of my Millet Burgers. (Recipe to follow.)
You may recognize these little pearly seeds as something you see in the bird seed mix you put out for the wild birds. Despite millet's shining virtues, it's long been a neglected grain in the United States. We grow it chiefly for hay or pasture . . . and bird food!
So here's my recipe for:
1/2 cup uncooked millet
1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Good sprinkle pepper
To cook the millet, gradually add 1/2 cup millet to 2 cups of boiling water, stirring constantly. Cover and cook over low heat about 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.
The millet will be cooked when there's no more water in the bottom of the pan. Just be careful not to cook it too long . . . or you'll have burned millet and a nasty pan to clean.
Combine remaining ingredients with the cooked millet and mix well.
Form into patties and fry in oil (don't skimp or the burgers will stick to the bottom of the pan) in skillet until nicely browned on both sides. Makes about 6 medium-sized burgers.
I cooked up two of the burgers for our dinner last night. Neither of us were very hungry so we just had a Millet Burger and a big helping of green beans per Krazo Acres' way of fixing them. (Carolyn, I never make beans any other way anymore. Mmmm, so good!)
The patties are a little delicate to handle, but not a problem if you're aware of that. We had two for dinner last night, I made another couple of them to have with our eggs this morning and froze the last two for a quick meal at a later date.
You can change the flavor of the Millet Burgers by adding different seasonings other than the thyme. I like them with the seasonings you would put in a sausage mixture. I've also added some BBQ sauce to the pan after frying the patties and let them simmer in that for a couple of minutes. Or after turning to brown the second side, put a slice of fresh tomato and slice of cheese on top to melt a bit before serving.
Cooked millet is also great as a hot breakfast cereal. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, sunflower seeds, raisins and milk or cream.
There are probably endless possibilities for incorporating millet into your diet. Why not hop on the millet bandwagon with Kristina and me and share your recipes!