Creamy Millet Polenta with Winter Squash

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 as it is now in season, but you can certainly use other veggies as well. Enjoy!

Ingredients

5 cups water
1 cup millet, rinsed and drained
2 cups peeled and cubed winter squash
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or to taste)
5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)

Add all ingredients (except the Earth Balance) 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. 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.
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