There’s a whole world outside of oats and wheat to nosh on. If you’ve already tried bulgur and added amaranth to your mix, check out millet. It can sometimes be mistaken for bird seed, but these small golden pearls are rich in antioxidants, contain about six grams of protein per cooked cup, and are a great gluten-free psuedograin (AKA seed that cooks like a grain) to add to your pantry.

Millet is a staple in Africa, Taiwan, and India and is considered the sixth most important grain in the world, as well as one of the oldest. While it can be sprouted or ground down into flour (used to make flatbread), you can eat hulled millet uncooked (it’s especially delicious in pancakes and muffins for extra crunch). For fluffed-up millet that boasts a buttery flavor, toast it dry over the stovetop.

Ready to give millet a try? Here are two simple ways to start cooking with this grain.

Steamed Millet is a great substitute for rice.

Toasted Coconut Millet

(Serves 4 to 8)

Toasted Coconut Millet is great with roasted tofu or vegetarian curries.

Instructions:
 

1. Melt the ghee or buttery coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the salt and millet, stirring to coat and until the millet’s fragrant and golden, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Pour the water into the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to simmer for 18-20 minutes. Keep the lid on for 5 more minutes.

3. Remove lid. Fluff the millet with a fork. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Cherry Jam Millet Muffins

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

Cherry Jam Millet Muffins will make you a hit at the office.
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup uncooked millet
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup cherry jam

Instructions:
 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray down a standard-sized muffin tin with six wells with nonstick spray.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt for 30 seconds to combine well. Whisk in the millet.

3. In another larger bowl, whisk together the extract, oil, egg, almond milk, and maple syrup. Whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

4. Fill the muffin tin wells 3/4 of the way with batter. Dollop 2 teaspoons of cherry jam onto each muffin well. Using a toothpick, plunge and swirl the jam into and on top of the muffin batter.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, the top doesn’t jiggle / is dry, and the top springs back when touched.

6. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin. Then remove the muffins from the tin to cool for a few more minutes on a wire rack.

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(Recipes and photos by Annelies Zijderveld / Brit + Co)