Millet…A Gluten-Free Whole Grain
The term millet refers to various grasses that grow in semi-arid regions of the world. Most varieties of millet are used for animal or bird seed, however, pearl and finger millets are used for human food consumption. Closely related to corn, millet seeds are very small, round in shape and can be yellow, white, gray or red. The most common variety in North America is the light yellow millet that has a slight corn-like, sweet nutty flavor. A good source of easily digestible protein, millet is also a source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, fiber, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Millet is hulled and the inner seed is sold as a whole seed, ground into grits or finely ground into flour.
It can be cooked in water or broth and eaten alone as a cereal, as a side-dish such as pilaf or used for poultry stuffing or as a salad. Rinse the millet seed in cold water and drain. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight fitting lid, bring 1 cup of millet and 2 1/2 cups of liquid to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Be careful not to overcook as it can become mushy. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
This can be used as a cold cereal or crush it for a breading.
Similar in texture to rice flour, it produces a delicate, dry crumb with a pale yellow color in baked products. Millet flour is best combined with other gluten-free flours. It can become rancid easily, therefore, purchase in small amounts or grind millet in a grain mill and use as needed. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Apple Spice Muffins with Millet
Makes 12 regular muffins or 6 large muffins
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups gf flour mix
- 1/2 cup millet
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup milk (substitute with soy milk for dairy-free)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat muffin tins with gf non-stick cooking spray or use non-stick muffin tins.
Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, millet, baking powder, soda salt and spices; blend together.
In a separate bowl combine, milk, oil, eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to blend.
Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly on top of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes for regular muffins and about 30 minutes for large muffins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Article by Shelley Case, RD
Shelley Case, RD is a consulting dietitian, speaker and author of the national best seller Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. See www.glutenfreediet.ca