Your eyes and wallet are not deceiving you — quinoa prices are at an all-time high. The longtime staple of the Andean people has reached hippie-crack status of the health-food set. And while it may be hard to believe that another seed can replace this nutritional powerhouse, 2015 may be the year that millet takes over. What's to love about millet besides how good it is for the body? It's easy to prepare, affordable, and, unlike quinoa, it's free from complicated environmental and social quandaries.
First things first: despite being a favourite choice for bird feeders, millet is not just for parakeets. Still grossed out? Just a reminder: those chia seeds you eat are the same ones sprouting out of someone's terracotta pet figurine (and we've all come to terms with that). Like chia seeds, millet ranks high when it comes to nutrition. A good source of protein, iron, B vitamins, and fibre, millet is also gluten-free, making it a whole-grain alternative for anyone suffering from wheat intolerance. Numerous studies also show that millet helps regulate blood sugar — goodbye, sugary cravings! — and is high in antioxidants. All in all, it's a great whole food that supports weight loss, weight maintenance, sustained energy, and heart health.
Prepare (and use) millet in the same way as you would quinoa or brown rice (two parts water to one part grain). While millet has a mild, slightly nutty flavour on its own, the fluffy seed easily takes on the flavours of the dish you cook it with — and goes with just about anything! Use it in a salad, serve it alongside a curry, or top with your favourite healthy stir-fry.