I’m enjoying creating recipes with healthy, whole-grain millet. Polenta, which is commonly made with ground corn, has become quite a popular dish. Other grains can also be used to prepare polenta. “It is historically made from other grains. It may be served as a hot porridge, or it may be allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled. The dish is associated with Northern and Central Italy. As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush (known as puls or pulmentum in Latin) that were commonly eaten since Roman times. Before the introduction of corn (maize) from America in the 16th century, polenta was made from starchy ingredients like farro (wheat), chesnut flour, millet, spelt (wheat), and chickpeas.” ¹ Millet works beautifully for this dish and is very affordable. I added winter squash when it was in season, but decided to use cauliflower this time. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the favorable reviews.
5 cups water
1 cup millet, rinsed and drained
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or to taste)
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or butter)–optional
Add water, millet, bouillon, nutritional yeast and black pepper to a medium-size pot. Cover pot then bring to boil. Reduce heat and continue to cook on low. After about 20 minutes uncover pot and stir in cauliflower. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The more the grains break down, the creamier the texture. Add Earth Balance (or butter) and stir into the polenta. Serve warm or hot. Enjoy!
Benefits of Millet
Millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavor, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body.
- Millet is alkaline and it digests easily.
- Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated.
- Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding microflora in your inner ecosystem.
- The serotonin in millet is calming to your moods.
- Millet is a smart carb with lots of fiber and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice.
- Magnesium in millet can help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks.
- Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol
- Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein. Scientists in Seoul, South Korea concluded that millet may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease.
- All millet varieties show high antioxidant activity.
- Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic. A great grain for sensitive individuals.
- Millet’s high protein content (15 percent) makes is a substantial addition to a vegetarian diet.
Benefits of Nutritional Yeast
With 18 amino acids, nutritional yeast is a complete protein. It is considered to be 55% high quality protein. In addition to that, it has 15 minerals. For vegetarians and those who are on a low cholesterol diet, yeast is a great substitute for meat, dairy products or other sources of proteins that are also rich in fats. It is a rich source of vitamin B complex, which helps in managing stress levels, maintains a good metabolic rate, prevents cancer of the pancreas and ensures a healthy skin. In fact, vitamin B12, which is deficient in most vegetarian foods, is also added in certain varieties of nutritional yeast. This vitamin is produced separately from bacteria and then added to yeast to increase its health benefit. Nutritional yeast consists of a trace mineral – chromium, which is known as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). It is beneficial for dealing with diabetes, low blood pressure and fluctuating blood sugar levels. It is also rich in manganese, copper, vanadium, molybdenum and lithium. It maintains ideal intestinal ecology.It improves blood production. It helps in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels.
It improves liver health and function.