Millet is truly an underappreciated grain. It’s a small seeded grass, cultivated over 10,000 years ago and grown in developing countries. That's Old School food...
Millet is perfect for the Kapha in your family - light, clean and easy to digest - check it out.
Here are the top 10 reasons to love Millet:
1. Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic. A great grain for gluten sensitive individuals.
2. Millet’s high protein content (15 percent), making a valuable addition to a vegetarian diet.
3. Millet is alkaline and it digests easily.
4. Because it's so pest resistant and grows in poor soil, it's not necessary to use chemicals to encourage Mother Nature's work with this grain! No GMO needed!
5. Magnesium in millet can help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks.
6. Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding micro flora in your inner ecosystem.
7. The serotonin in millet calms us!
8. Millet is a smart carb with lots of fiber and low simple sugars, so it has a relatively low glycemic index. It’s been shown to lower blood sugar levels more effectively than wheat or rice. (Kamari and Sumathi, 2002)
9. Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated. Good for Vata (Space / Air Dosha).
10. Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol ad millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein. Scientists in Seoul, South Korea concluded that millet might be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease. Nutrition Research. April 2010; 30(4):290-6.
And a fun fact, The Hunzas, who live in a remote area of the Himalayan foothills and are known for their excellent health and longevity, enjoy millet as a staple in their diet.
Due to its light, heating and drying characteristics, millet can be used in to reduce high Ama, improve dull Agni, help with diabetes, edema / bloating, extra weight and other Kapha (mucous/fluid) conditions. If eaten in excess it may aggravate Vata or Pitta but it can be cooked with ghee and cooling spices (like fennel and coriander).
Its Ayurvedic Profile:
- Rasa (taste): Sweet
- Virya (potency hot / cold): Heating
- Vipaka (post digestive effect): Sweet
- Qualities: Dry, Light
- Actions on the doshas: Balances Kapha, increases Vata and Pitta in excess
- Action on the mind: Rajasic/Sattvic
Millet for Breakfast - could it be easier?
Breakfast for 1 is as simple as:
1/2 c. millet
1 c. water
1 T. ghee
*spices to taste
warm ghee is saucepan on medium-low, add spices
*see below - don't be afraid to use 2-3 fingers per pinch of spice!
let ground spices warm in the ghee for ~ 2 minutes. If using seeds, add them 1 minute before ground spice
Add dried fruit if desired along with millet grain
Add water, heat to boiling (shave 5 mins off overall prep time by boiling water in an electric kettle before this step)
Reduce heat / cover / simmer ~ 20 mins
Fluff with fork when done, let rest 3 minutes then enjoy!
Spices to taste:
*Nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon to warm things up for cool, calm Kapha; reduce ghee to 1/2 Tablespoon. For added heat use a pinch of ginger.
*For a less spicy breakfast to soothe fiery Pitta use ground coriander, fennel, add raisins, and maybe some maple syrup.
*For cool, dry Vata, don't spare the ghee - juice it up and consider adding dates to the ghee. If you feel scattered or keep losing your keys, use 2 T. ghee and include more steel cut oats in your breakfast plan if possible.
In general - eat more grains!!